Endurance Sports Nutrition
Endurance Sports Nutrition

Suzanne Girard Eberle

Non Fiction?
Date finished
Apr 04, 2022
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🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. Good eating habits is key for optimal performance and staying injury free
  1. Carbohydrate provides the most readily available form of energy we need to fuel endurance sports. Ensure you eat carbohydrates before and during exercise (to top up glycogen stores and fuel muscles), and after to recover properly.
  1. Eat a well-balanced diet with carbs, protein and fat including lots of vegetables.

🎨 Impressions

Good book on “traditional” sports nutrition as a counter to popular instagram influencer diets.

How I Discovered It

By searching for sports nutrition advice

Who Should Read It?

Endurance athletes that wants to learn how to fuel during training and races.

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

  • The importance of carbohydrates for performance and recovery. Eating a low-carb diet while training hard increases risks of injury and decreases performance.
  • Food is a key component to be able to recover between workouts, especially during the “carbohydrate window” directly following training sessions.

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

  • A constant battle with one injury after another may also be linked with poor eating habits. Athletes who routinely exercise with low muscle glycogen stores incur more injuries.
  • Because the body requires less oxygen to burn carbohydrate as compared to protein or fat, carbohydrate is considered the body’s most efficient fuel source. Carbohydrate is increasingly vital during high-intensity exercise when the body cannot process enough oxygen to meet its needs.
  • Because it takes at least 20 hours of refueling with carbohydrate-rich foods to replenish muscle glycogen stores fully, you need to start as soon as possible. Whether you eat or drink your carbohydrate after vigorous or prolonged bouts of exercise doesn’t matter, as long as you do it quickly. Aim to consume .5 to .75 grams of carbohydrate per pound (1.1 to 1.65 grams per kilogram) of body weight within the carbohydrate window, particularly the first 15 to 30 minutes (of the first 2 hours) immediately after you finish. This equates to 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrate for most athletes.

📒 Summary + Notes

Three factors figure in your success as an athlete: genetics, training and nutrition. For a lot of athletes nutrition is something they think about as a pre-event meal, but it’s key to eat a well-balanced good diet throughout your training weeks. Fail to do so and you won’t fullfil your potential as an athlete, or worse get injured.

If you battle frequent injuries or colds it’s a sign that your nutrition is not compatible with your training program. One example could be routinely exercising with low muscle glycogen stores following a low-carb diet.

Carbohydrates are the most readily available form of energy needed to fuel for endurance sports. It’s the primary fuel out muscles use whenever exercising more intensely.

Eating regularly and basing the meals on grains, bread, rice, pasta, fruit & vegetables etc is key. Carbs alone isn’t enough though, our bodies also needs protein and fat for a variety of reasons. To build, maintain and repair muscle fibers; to help injuries heal; to make hemoglobin; to fight off colds and much more.

Fat helps fuel low- to moderate intensity activity - during exercise below 65% of aerobic capacity fat stands for about 50% of the fuel needed for the muscles. However carbs are also needed in these sessions, as when glycogen levels drop our bodies ability to burn fat for fuel also falls.

An adequate, continuous supply of carbohydrate is critical for an endurance athlete. You can tap into the power of carbohydrate in four main ways: * by eating a carbohydrate-rich training diet, * by taking advantage of the carbohydrate window immediately following exercise, * by loading up on carbohydrate-rich foods for 3 days before long events and races, and * by consuming carbohydrate (sports drinks, energygels, and if appropriate, carbohydrate-rich foods) during exercise. Athletes who consistently eat a carbohydrate-rich diet have greater muscle glycogen stores to draw on during training and racing efforts.

Before workouts

Make sure muscle glycogen stores are topped up by eating a well-balanced diet with carbohydrates as a staple.

During workouts

For workouts under an hour, water is fine. If longer then an hour fill up on fluid and carbohydrates up to 90grams of carbs an hour. Don’t forget salt as you sweat. Sports drinks contain the optimum mix of carbs (around 6-8%) and sodium (salt), however some athletes dilute fruit juice instead.

Aim to drink every 15-20 minutes from the start of the workout instead of waiting for thirst (then it’s already “too late”). Drink about 2-6 gulps each time (50-250ml)

Post workout

Consume fluid and carbohydrates immediately following a workout in the so-called “carbohydrate window”, as the body is more receptive. Consume at least a gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight 50-100grams for most. Popular items include fruit, smoothies, bagels, yoghurt and energy bars.