Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Sports
Nutrition for endurance athletes is a broad topic. A lot of similar principles apply between most endurance events, although there will obviously be differences. In this article though, the goal is to cover as much as possible, while also addressing a lot of aspects of nutrition and how it can improve performance. Intra-Race Carbs Glucose is our body’s most efficient fuel source for exercise above a certain intensity. Later I will discuss low carbohydrate approaches. But for now, we will leave that aspect and just focus on the carbohydrate portion of the discussion. Glycogen is the body’s stored form of glucose/carbohydrate. As glycogen levels start getting closer to being fully depleted, performance starts to decline. This phenomenon is something that you can see in race splits. This is a large…
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Intra-Race Nutrition for Marathon Runners

Intra-Race Nutrition for Marathon Runners

Sports
Intra-race nutrition for marathon runners, or really any endurance sport that involves a longer duration, can make a huge difference. It is one of the easiest things that can be implemented to improve race times. It is also an area I do not see many people implementing nearly as well as they could. If you care about competition, this can give you an edge. If the only competition you care about is improving your own race times, then this will still obviously help you do exactly that too. Intra-Race Carbs Glucose is our body’s most efficient fuel source for exercise above a certain intensity. While there is debate over low-carb vs high carb approaches, the above statement is not one that should be controversial. Although we have larger amounts of…
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Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Sports
One of the more interesting foods/supplements that has been gaining traction over the last few years is beetroot juice. Often times people, particularly endurance athletes, will spend a lot of time and money on things that do may or may not work in the hopes of a small increase in performance. At the top level, this small increase in performance can make a big difference in outcomes. Most supplements do not live up to the hype, but it looks like beetroot juice could be an exception to that since it consistently seems to help people improve their performance. That being said, there is a bit of nuance to the topic. It certainly is not a magical supplement guaranteed to help you dramatically improve your time. How It Theoretically Works The…
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Carbohydrate Loading

Carbohydrate Loading

Sports
What is Carbohydrate Loading? Carbohydrate loading or carb-loading is a nutrition technique used by athletes in an attempt to prolong optimal athletic performance and delay the onset of fatigue, or, ‘hitting a wall’. Transforming Carbs in Food to Energy for Muscles Throughout digestion, carbohydrate-containing foods are broken down into simple sugars such as glucose. These sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream. A hormone called insulin is secreted by the pancreas which enables uptake of glucose from the blood by our liver and muscle cells, where it is stored as potential energy in the form of glycogen. Supercompensation Your muscles are basically fuel tanks for glycogen. Carb-loading if done right, essentially allows you to store the maximum possible amount of glycogen or "fuel" for later use. Successful carb-loading puts the…
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Caffeine and Sports Performance

Caffeine and Sports Performance

Sports
From Saturday night Jager bombs to a humble cup of tea, caffeine can be found in a huge range of commonly consumed beverages (and foods), and it’s no secret that it delivers a sometimes much-needed energy hit. Not as common knowledge, however, is the way you could be using this chemical compound to enhance your athletic performance… Caffeine is derived from a range of nuts, seeds and leaves and acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist throughout the body (i.e. it increases the production of adrenaline, pushing your body into that “fight or flight” mode that helped us escape tigers back in the Paleolithic days). Over recent years, caffeine has been shown to enhance athletic performance, with the bulk of these benefits thought to be due to its effect on the…
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