Nutrition is a key component of success in endurance sports. And in the same way that good nutrition is vital for health, it should form a key part of any endurance training formula.
There’s no getting away from it, if you don’t fuel your body correctly you won’t train and race to your best, your recovery will be hampered, and you’ll increase your risk of illness, overtraining and reduce long term progression.
The nutrition for endurance section provides information on specific aspects of nutrition for endurance athletes including carbohydrate loading, carbohydrate intake during exercise, carbohydrate intake after exercise, protein and fat intakes for optimum recovery.
Endurance sport is physically challenging, placing unique stresses on our body, and increasing our nutritional requirements for key nutrients, minerals and vitamins. In order to recover effectively, maintain immune health and maximise sports performance it's vital that we consume and replace these key nutrients.
Carbo loading, is a process where endurance athletes deliberately increase carbohydrate intake, in the build up to key endurance races. This causes increased storage of glycogen within the liver and muscles, which in turn increases our performance during endurance competitions.
Consuming energy gels, during endurance events, is now common practice. And, rightly so! It's a research proven way to delay fatigue and improve endurance exercise performance. In fact, research has shown that consuming carbs can delay fatigue by around 15-30minutes even at moderate intensities.
Consuming carbs after exercise, is a sure fire way to replenish valuable stores of muscle glycogen and speed recovery. This is particularly true after prolonged, or intense training sessions. Not only does this replenish glycogen stores but it also helps to preserve muscle mass by reducing the level of muscle breakdown.
As endurance athletes we're well aware of the importance of consuming carbs. We also pay attention to fat metabolism, by including longer training sessions. But what about your fat intake? Should you be paying attention to the amount and types of fats that you consume in your diet?