When you’ve been exercising for more than 60 minutes continuously, you should start considering refuelling options. That would ensure that your energy level remains high and you keep your blood sugar is kept at normal levels, so, those of you gunning to add a half-marathon and marathon finisher tee to your cupboard, take not of the following!
In case you didn’t know, carbs are the main source of fuel for your body AND your brain! During moderate to hard workouts, such as interval training and tempo runs, carbs supply 50 percent of your total energy requirements. Fueling during extensive exercise would help keep your performance level high! Just as running is as much a mental as it is a physical exercise, you’d also want to keep your brain well-fed so that you can think clearly and remain focused.
This whole concept can sound so ridiculously foreign to first timers. I mean, what?! How do you eat while running without throwing up everything onto the person in front of you? So here are some tips for you to take home.
There is an assortment of sports drinks and gels available out there. You can even go for a banana and peanut butter bread or trail mix. Some is going to sit well in your stomach, while others can throw a tantrum. Start by referring to the infographic above, decide how long you’d be exercising for and how much carbs you’d actually need. Pick one that fits your calorie requirement (and taste!) and try it on your next training.
Mix them up
A good bet to make would be to mix up your foods and fluids. Your body has different mechanisms to take in different types of glucose. When you get your carbs intake from a variety of sources, your body absorbs them more efficiently! Instead of just having a sports drink, add some dried fruits.
Fluid replacement is more important than carbs replacement in hot weather. Since Singapore is not known for our cooling weather, local runners need to be more careful about dehydration. If our bodies are telling us ‘we’re thirsty, we’re thirsty!’ we should grab some electrolyte drink at the next hydration station instead of another energy bar.
There can be a lot of wisdom to be shared when it comes to sports nutrition during exercise. Apart from choosing what and how much to take in, you need to think about when to do so too. So keep educating yourself and let us know if there’s anything the internet can’t help you with!