Endurance sports like trail running, mountain biking and triathlon results in different nutrition requirements. These sports are usually performed at a high level of intensity and rehydration and glycogen replenishment is essential.
Here are top nutrition tips for endurance athletes to keep you sustained and enhance performance:
Get enough carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are primarily used as fuel, as the glycogen stores can easily be accessed and utilized to help prevent early fatigue and injury. Different types of carbs have different roles in endurance:
Low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato and USN’s Energy Oats Bars are released slower and keep the blood sugar stable for a longer period. They are great to consume regularly as well as during a long event.
High GI carbohydrates such as pasta, energy bars and energy gels such as USN’s Energy Burst Gels are broken down and released faster to quickly replenish glycogen levels for energy. They are great to consume for a quick energy boost just before or during an event to maintain stamina.
Pump up the protein
Protein is responsible for building and repairing muscle as well as aiding in fluid balance. Protein is broken down quickly after intense exercise and therefore needs to be replenished. A protein-rich endurance supplement such as USN’s Epic Pro ultra-endurance drink is a great way to replace depleted amino acids, muscle glycogen stores and electrolytes after an event.
Ensure that your daily diet contains plenty of lean protein sources such as lean mince, chicken breasts, fish, eggs, lentils and beans to accelerate muscle repair and maintain lean muscle mass.
Electrolytes maintain many vital body processes such as nerve signalling and muscle contraction. They are depleted quickly during intense training and exercise through perspiration. The main electrolytes to keep in balance are sodium and potassium as well as chloride, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Keeping your electrolytes at optimal levels using a product like USN’s Zero Sugar Hydrator will reduce your risk of muscle cramping and enhances recovery.
Don’t forget your greens
Get all your micronutrients in to keep your body functioning at its peak. The best source of vitamins and minerals is always through good quality food. Keep your body happy by eating a balanced diet, high in colourful vegetables and fruit. Dietitians recommend eating 2 portions of fruit and at least 3 portions of vegetables per day.
Making nutrition and supplementation a priority for intense endurance events and training will help you reach new levels with training, endurance and recovery.