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October 16, 2019
WHAT TO EAT BEFORE AND AFTER ENDURANCE TRAINING? | By Hubert Cormier
Even the best-performing car won’t go far without gas—or nowadays, electricity 😂! The same goes for the human body. Not eating enough before or after your workout will definitely affect your performance and hinder your progress.
If you’re into endurance training, the following recommendations are for you!
🚴♂ WHAT IS ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Endurance training involves performing sustained constant-load exercise for an extended period of time. Exercises that fall under this category include cycling, marathons, Ironman competitions, swimming, long-distance running, and cross-country skiing.
During endurance training, the body uses carbohydrates and lipids to transform oxygen into energy. This is called aerobic exercise, and it helps to improve cardiovascular fitness and other aspects of health.
👟BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT
If your workout lasts more than 60 minutes, you should eat between 1 and 4 g of carbohydrates/kg of body weight, one to four hours before working out. So, someone weighing 75 kg (165 lb) should consume between 75 and 300 g of carbohydrates during a four-hour window prior to working out. You might think this is a pretty wide range… it is indeed!
This is a broad recommendation that should be adjusted according to the type and duration of your workout: the longer it is, the more energy you’ll need. The recommendations we offer here don’t apply to the average person who engages in occasional, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity.
🍌🍝WHAT DOES 75 G OF CARBS LOOK LIKE? AND 300 G?
To consume about 75 g of carbohydrates, you’ll need to ingest 250 ml (1 cup) of vanilla yogurt and an average-size banana, while 300 g corresponds to 1,750 ml (7 cups!!!) of cooked whole wheat pasta.
👟DURING YOUR WORKOUT
Did you know it can be beneficial to consume carbs during your workout? If your endurance training session lasts more than 45 minutes, rinsing your mouth with a sugary drink could improve your performance. For activities lasting more than 75 minutes, it is suggested to ingest 30 to 60 g of carbohydrates per hour.
For reference, 250 ml (1 cup) of fresh orange juice contains about 30 g of carbs. What about marathon runners who train for more than 2.5 hours at a time? They should consume up to 90 g of carbohydrates per hour, whether that comes from energy gels, soft drinks (some people like the little boost they get from the caffeine contained in some drinks), gummies or candies, sports drinks, or juice.aviez-vous qu'il peut être bénéfique de consommer des glucides pendant l'entrainement?
👟AFTER YOUR WORKOUT
Following an endurance training session, it’s important to fill up on carbs—yes, again!—to replenish your glycogen reserves. To achieve this, you should consume between 1 and 1.2 g of carbohydrates/kg of body weight/hour within four to six hours of exercising. That’s between 75 and 90 g of carbs per hour after the activity for someone weighing 75 kg.
🥚🍗WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?
Protein recommendations are broader when it comes to endurance sports. A daily intake of between 1.2 and 2 g/kg of body weight is suggested. It’s also important to distribute your protein consumption throughout the day and prioritize regular intakes of about 30 g at a time, since protein synthesis plateaus at that amount. Within two hours of exercising, it is recommended to consume 15 to 25 g of protein. High-value proteins such as those found in milk, lean meat, protein isolate, soy, and eggs are preferable as they are well absorbed by the body.
Lipids are not the main source of energy used by the body during exercise because their conversion is more complex and demanding than that of carbs. However, at rest, they can be a useful source of energy, especially if you select them carefully. As such, athletes should consume no less than 20% of their daily energy intake as fat in order to avoid developing deficiencies in essential fatty acids, such as the valuable omega-3 fatty acid.
In short, nutrition for endurance sports should not be taken lightly. You can always turn to a professional for assistance in preparing a detailed and comprehensive plan that will help you achieve your goals, whether you want to run your first marathon or join the Canadian team! Enjoy your workout!
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