Gone were the days where runners rely solely on water, isotonic drinks and whole foods to power their runs before, during and after a race. With extensive research and innovation in sports nutrition over the years, modern runners of the current era often themselves spoilt for choices of sports supplements which surpass traditional nutrition foods in terms of convenience and efficiency. Runners, do you know the different types of supplements available in the market today and its functions? Let’s check out today’s extensive menu of sports gels, chews, capsules and drink mixes!
1. Energy Gels
Energy gels come in compact sizes and are extremely convenient to bring along your runs. They do not require water after consumption nor a full stomach prior to consumption. Small yet powerful, energy gels are suitable for daily training and competition while being calorie-friendly. GU Energy Gel packs are vegan and contain only 100-calories each and contain carbohydrates, sodium and amino acids, the 3 essential nutrients for runners during a race as they expend energy and dehydrate. These type of carbohydrates use non-competing pathways which not only maximize carbohydrate absorption, but also do not result in stomach distress. Sodium is an important electrolyte that needs to be restored due to dehydration via sweat. Lastly, amino acids are required in our bodies to reduce muscle fatigue and muscle damage.
GU Roctane Gel differs from the original GU Energy Gel by having more sodium and even more amino acids. This enables greater efficiency in restoring hydration and reduction of muscle fatigue and damage. Beta-alanine, a type of amino acid, helps to promote formation of intramuscular buffer carnosine; Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate aids in muscle repair. Similar to GU Energy Gel, they minimize stomach distress by using non-competing pathways in maximizing carbohydrate absorption.
2. Energy Chews
3. Electrolyte Capsules
If you are specifically looking for extra electrolyte replenishment besides hydration drinks, electrolyte capsules is what you need. Hydration drinks provide limited amounts of electrolytes and are often loaded with unnecessary amounts of sugar which might give you a sugar high initially and an eventual sugar crash.
GU Roctane Electrolyte Capsules contain the electrolytes – sodium, magnesium, chloride, which aid in hydration by maintaining water balance and plasma volume. In addition, Vitamin D is also an essential nutrient for optimum calcium absorption and bone health. Vitamin B6 and ginger root in these capsules may help to combat nausea while racing. The capsules should be before, during, or after exercise to replenish electrolyte levels from any energy-demanding activity resulting in sweat loss.
4. Recovery mix and Energy tabs
It is common for runners to pop an energy tab or powder mix into their drinks for an extra energy boost during a race. But did you know that recovery mixes are also available for refueling after a run?
Recovery Drink Mixes targets protein synthesis and ease the breakdown of muscle-protein. They also contain the big 3 – carbohydrates, amino acids and sodium to reboot your hydration, energy and oxygen levels. You can check out GU Recovery Drink Mix for the multiple tasty flavours including the runners community favourite, chocolate smoothie.
Hydration Drink Tabs and Mixes primarily serves to restore the water balance in your body before, during and after exercise by replenishing electrolyte levels. For hardcore athletes that spend a long time being active in a high-intensity sport such as ultramarathons, typical drink mixes might be insufficient to fuel you throughout your workout. GU Hydration Drink Tabs are reformulated with xylitol to help reduce gastrointestinal distress when compared to sorbitol.
Runners should always access their physical needs and reactions before deciding to consume sports supplements on their race day. While sports supplements do not provide a one-for-one replacement of the nutrients in our body, they can spice up your sports diet and bring you closer in achieving your sports goals by enhancing your physical performance. Not to forget, having a determined mind and self-confidence form part of your equation to success as well!