Due to New Zealand's COVID-19 business restrictions our warehouse and support office are closed until further notice

and there will be delays in delivery of orders  until after the Alert Level is reduced. 

Follow us on Facebook for more information.

AVOID THE OVERLOAD

January 02, 2018

AVOID THE OVERLOAD

CAN I EAT TOO MUCH WHILE RACING OR TRAINING?

The short answer is yes!

While we know food is fuel, the reality is that our digestive tracts can only absorb so many nutrients at once. If you overload your system, you will likely end up with GI issues like nausea, bloating, cramps…or worse!

SO HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

We recommend starting with 150-200 calories per hour of activity for races or training sessions over 60-90 minutes.

It’s possible to train your body to absorb more calories, and some people can tolerate up to 400 calories per hour. More calories in means more energy to burn and less reliance on stored carbs (glycogen).

To train your gut to absorb more calories, start out at 200 calories per hour during a long run or ride and add 25-50 calories per hour on successive long training sessions to assess your tolerance. (Note – training your gut to absorb more than 250 calories per hour is important for events lasting longer than 2.5 hours. For events under 2.5 hours, you can afford to rely more heavily on your body’s glycogen stores.)

WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

Carbohydrate are the easiest energy to absorb and metabolize during endurance activities or high-intensity exercise. When you exercise, blood flow to your viscera (i.e., stomach, digestive tract) is redirected to your muscles to provide sufficient oxygen for muscular contractions. Reduced blood flow means reduced ability to digest and absorb nutrients. It’s not surprising that half of endurance athletes encounter GI issues during exercise!

HERE'S HOW TO KEEP YOUR GUT HAPPY (AND HUNGRY):
  • Avoid protein, fat, and fiber rich foods. These take more effort to digest and slow down absorption.
  • Eat a blend of carbohydrates. Your body can tolerate a blends of glucose + fructose (for example) at higher volumes than carbs from a single source, such as glucose alone.
  • Be wary of candy at aid stations. Simple sugars can cause GI distress. Those sugary candies might sound like a great idea but can do more harm than good in large quantities. Instead, mix it up with starchy carb sources, like pretzel twists, to keep your stomach from rebelling.
  • Try drinking your calories. Experiment with different forms (liquid, gel, solid) and find what works best for you. Whichever combination you choose, be sure to hydrate along the way. Dehydration can also lead to GI distress, even if your nutrition is spot-on.
  • Protect your muscles with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). If you’re worried about muscle breakdown during long events, skip the protein and take BCAAs, which are the building blocks of protein that are already broken down and readily absorbable. We like to think of them as muscle insurance!
BOTTOM LINE:
  • Start small by eating (or drinking) 150-200 calories per hour for activities lasting longer than 90 minutes.
  • Gradually increase your body’s ability to process food during long training sessions by adding 25-50 calories per hour (one or two GU Energy Chews, for example), up to a max of about 400 calories per hour.
  • For very long efforts, the more you can get in, the better. Remember, you will not be able to replace all of the energy you burn during exercise, leaving you in a caloric deficit when you finish. Post-workout nutrition is crucial for recovery! Be sure to replenish carbs and protein within 30 minutes of finishing.
  • As you experiment with different combinations of liquids, gels, or solids, remember to limit protein, fat, and fiber.
  • Whatever your fuelling strategy, be sure to hydrate adequately to keep GI issues at bay.




Also in News

Navigating Nutrition:  Gluten Free
Navigating Nutrition: Gluten Free

January 15, 2020

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gliadin and glutenin are the two main components of this protein and create the “doughy” texture of bread and pastries. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, this protein causes irritation in the small intestine.

Continue Reading

THE ORIGINAL ENERGY GEL
THE ORIGINAL ENERGY GEL

January 08, 2020

We first created our original gel packets for ultra-trail runners pushing the boundaries of the sport, but over 25 years later, our Energy Gels are just as crucial for someone running their first 10k as they are for world champion triathletes, cyclists, and runners.

Continue Reading

WHY ATHLETES LOVE ALL THINGS CAFFEINE
WHY ATHLETES LOVE ALL THINGS CAFFEINE

January 08, 2020

For athletes, caffeine is more than just a morning pick-me-up. Strategically adding caffeine to your nutrition plan before and during exercise can help keep your mind sharp, decrease perceived effort, boost your endurance, and delay fatigue. But is more is not necessarily better...

Continue Reading