Can running help me get better?
Nutrition & endurance sports
Carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen in the muscles and liver. They represent a quickly available source of energy and are available to the body faster than fat during intense stress. Compared to fat, which can be stored in the body almost indefinitely, the carbohydrate storage is limited. This is enough for about 60 to 90 minutes. The amount of storage can be positively influenced by diet, for example by emptying and then refilling the carbohydrate stores, the so-called carboloading. In addition, a high-carbohydrate and low-fat diet is recommended in endurance sports, in which 55 to 60 percent of the daily energy intake is covered by carbohydrates. In principle, the following applies: the higher the initial glycogen value, the longer the exercise can be carried out at high intensity.
If the glycogen stores are used up, there is a risk of hypoglycaemia (“hunger bite”). Symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, sweating and tremors can occur. If you are “hungry”, it is important to quickly add sugar via drinks or in the form of a gel and then stabilize the blood sugar with starchy foods such as a banana or a fruit bar.
It is therefore important to take in carbohydrates during longer endurance training sessions (after approx. 60 minutes 0.7 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per hour). Basically, the amount of carbohydrates depends on the duration and intensity of the load:
- up to an hour: no additional carbohydrates required,
- one to two and a half hours: 30-60 g carbohydrates per hour,
- longer than two and a half hours: 60-90 g of carbohydrates per hour.
If you do not eat in time, the intensity of exercise must inevitably be reduced. This is the only way to increase the rate of fat burning in the muscles and provide energy again.
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