It is probably known to you as an endurance athlete; you have been on the road for a while and suddenly it seems as if you are standing still. Your legs cannot and will not go any further. Is this the "man with the hammer" you used to hear people talk about? Probably. The human body has a glycogen supply for about 90 minutes of physical exertion. This glycogen stock is the stock of carbohydrates stored around the muscles and liver. During endurance sports, you run out of this stock, so you can imagine that you have to replenish it when you finish workouts longer than 90 minutes. If you do not do this, the proverbial man with the hammer will cause you to come to a standstill.
To replenish the glycogen stock, carbohydrates are the most important energy sources, because they can be converted into energy relatively easily. Another energy source is fat, but because it is more difficult to convert into energy, it is not an efficient energy source. To avoid having to get a (too) large amount of energy from fat, it is advisable to always have 2 things in order:
- Make sure you go out the door with a well-stocked glycogen stock
- Make sure you replenish your glycogen stores in time for more than 90 minutes
So it is important to go out with enough carbohydrates. For this you can put a bunch of bananas under your straps or fill the pockets of your running jacket with gingerbread, but this will not benefit your speed. In addition, it is not always desirable to have to eat during an endurance training. Supplements can therefore offer a solution for endurance sports. These are easy to take with you and are composed in such a way that they perfectly match the needs of you as an endurance athlete.
But how do you ensure that you leave with a well-stocked glycogen stock? For example, by eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, such as oatmeal with banana or bread with peanut butter and honey. If you train or are on the road later in the day, a energy bar or easy to carry oatmeal outcome. Also make sure you hydrate by drinking 2 large glasses of water, preferably up to 30 minutes before you start exercising. This prevents unnecessary sanitary stops along the way.
Supplements during training
Do you train longer than 90 minutes? Then it is important to start replenishing carbohydrates and moisture in time. You can easily supplement carbohydrates in the form of a energy gel of isotonic energy drink. The general rule is: use about 30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes, which is equivalent to 1 gel or 1 serving of energy drink. During physical exertion you sweat, whatever the weather conditions. In addition to moisture, you also lose salt in the form of electrolytes, so make sure you replenish them well during exercise. This can be done by an isotonic energy drink or mineral water to use which includes magnesium and potassium; magnesium contributes to a good electrolyte balance and potassium is important for normal muscle function.
Post workout supplements
You also sustain minor muscle damage during endurance sports. To allow the muscles to recover as quickly as possible, and to immediately replenish your glycogen stores, it is advisable to use a combination of proteins and carbohydrates. For example, you make one for this protein shake with a banana, or make your toast with salmon and some cucumber and pepper. If you continue to hydrate well during the training, thirst will be less than expected, but also make sure that you get enough moisture after the training. Preferably eat and drink within 30 minutes after training; thus the recovery is optimal.
Supplements during endurance competitions
The above advice can also be applied during competitions. However, the most important motto is: never use a new supplement during a competition, but always try this out first during training. Just like you always want to walk in your shoes to prevent blisters. Also, every body reacts differently to the same amounts of energy, so here it is also important to find out what works for you. If you can use the supplements without problems during training, you can then apply them in your competitions.
Basic nutrition for endurance athletes
It is of course very nice if you can get more out of your endurance sport with supplements, but the basis is always laid in a healthy daily diet. Therefore, make sure you have enough macronutrients gets in the optimal ratio for you. Supplement with a large dose micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and ensure good at all times resistance. This way you stay healthy all year round, you train optimally for your sporting goals and you use supplements as final touches.
Do you want to know more about the energy systems that your body uses in different types of exercise? Then read this article!