One of the doubts or questions that we ask ourselves many times when it comes to training but mainly to compete is what and how much to eat.

Put in a more technical way, the question would be how many carbohydrates do I have to ingest during endurance physical activity. Well then, I will summarize what science says about it …

Before we start we have to know what options we have to ingest carbohydrates, being the most common, energy gels and bars.

How much carbohydrate should we take??

Carbohydrate intake can be done from minute 1, but I recommend you pay special attention from the first hour of activity, since after this time the recommendations are of a consumption of about 30g. hourly.

When we get past the second hour, the glycogen deposits begin to wear out, if they are not already, so you have to get serious about this … in this case the recommendations amount to 60g. hourly.

If we go to tests of ultra resistance, from 4 hours, the thing becomes even more complicated and we must pass to take 90g. hourly.

Science tells us that with these amounts of carbohydrates we ensure enough energy to optimize performance.

How can I consume these amounts??

We have several options depending on what we take in the race, here are some combinations that you can do:

  • For those who comply with the hydration guidelines and ingest about 500ml of Isotonic Drink every hour: these will have insured approx. 30g. Of carbohydrates, so to reach 60g they would have to consume an Energy Gel or a 5: 1 Energy Bar.
  • For those who consume equally Isotonic Drink and water: in this case the contribution of carbohydrates will be reduced by half so we would have to consume two units of gels or bars or combine one and one (according to tastes, Disciplines, etc.).
  • For those who only consume water: in these cases already yes or yes we have to go to a majority consumption of Energy gel and / or 5: 1 Energy Bar, going from one (2nd hour) to two (3rd hour) And arriving at three or more in the tests / trainings superior to the 4h.

And as I always tell you NEVER try any product and especially the gels and bars on the days of racing, supplementation is something that also has to be trained. Knowing our rhythms and planning what and when we are going to take it is as important as the training itself, since a bad practice or planning in the supplementation can give up all our training.

Article written by Pablo Felipe Martín, technical advisor expert in sports nutrition of Crown Sport Nutrition


Other items that may interest you:

  • Importance of hydration I
  • How and when to hydrate yourself in a marathon?
  • Energy gels

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