Carbohydrate timing and fuelling: what you eat and when matters.
The demands of your physical sport mean we fuel the body with the right nutrients to perform at your best. When and what you eat can profoundly affect how you feel, think and perform.
We must understand your personal expected caloric output and provide antioxidants, carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in adequate amounts, in the right type at the right times.
Gaps in your current nutrition may include not eating enough carbohydrates to provide sufficient energy, not eating enough protein to support recovery, injury prevention and muscle growth, and not getting enough healthy essential fats to support overall health.
WE MUST GET THE BASICS RIGHT
We believe the foundation of performance is in energy intake.
Insufficient calorie intake results in:
● Poor recovery between training sessions
● Poor quality training sessions (e.g. insufficient energy)
● Low motivation for training
● Poor adaptation to training
● Immune suppression
● Overtraining syndrome
● Increased risk of injury
● Weight loss and potentially muscle loss
When we start working with people, we find they spend a lot of time at the thin end of the athlete's triangle trying to find the new fat-busting or cognitive stimulant to acquire results. They pull on caffeine too hard, overhydrate and believe a neon blue pre-workout formula will be key to the results they desire.
We labour nutrition and with very good reason.
Key Principles of Sound Athletic Eating Requires
#1 Fuel: Pre, During, Post (glycogen & micronutrient sufficiency)
#2 Rebuild & Repair (protein synthesis)
#3 Rehydrate (fluids and electrolytes)
#4 Reduce & Repair (inflammation, collagen)
#5 Rest & Sleep (HPA axis support)
Nothing there highlights the demand for further packs of NOCCO. This article discusses point 1 in this 5 part hierarchy of athletic eating.
WHY CARBOHYDRATES MATTER
Let's get clear, this article proposes examples for people who actually train.
This is not for people who are in the gym for 90 minutes but it consists of a few tricep pressdowns supersetted with Snapchat and checking Instagram.
Consistent driven effort.
It is important to keep in mind that there exist three primary energy systems in the body:
- Phosphocreatine pathway (ATP) for short bursts of explosive energy
- Glycolysis for moderate levels of energy
- Oxidative system for long-term energy production
The utilisation of carbohydrates and fats occurs simultaneously, with the significance of each source depending on factors such as the intensity and duration of the exercise and one's specific adaptations.
*Image provided as an example.
Muscle glycogen serves as a crucial energy source for muscle contractions solely utilised by the muscles themselves.
Liver glycogen, on the other hand, helps regulate blood glucose levels, which can be used by both the muscles and the brain during physical activity.
In terms of endurance performance, glycogen stores and getting carbohydrates across the gut barrier are often limiting factors.
● Enable high rates of carbohydrate oxidation during exercise
● Reduces rate of perceived exertion
● Increases endurance capacity
● Delays onset of fatigue
● Prevent hypoglycemia - low blood sugars
● Important for muscle repair (e.g glucose stored in the liver and muscles)
You will notice better all-round energy by focusing on complex carbs most of the time but higher glycemic sources are important around training and especially competitions.
There are also key vitamins and minerals that assist in energy production such as iron, magnesium, B vitamins and glutathione that are required for ATP production.
Ensure you are refuelling appropriately with high-quality food sources.
RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON ACTIVITY
DAILY CARBOHYDRATE TARGET
LOW-INTENSITY OR SKILL-BASED
MODERATE EXERCISE (-60MINS PER DAY)
ENDURANCE (-1-3H/D OR MOD-HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE)
EXTREME COMMITMENT (>4-5H/D MOD-HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE)
• Consume higher glycemic, carbohydrate-rich foods vs lower glycemic immediately after training.
• Adding protein (and creatine) with carbohydrates may increase the rate of glycogen resynthesis versus carbohydrates alone.
• To promote optimal restoration of carbohydrate stores, consume carbohydrates at a rate of 1- 1.2g/kg/h for the first 4 hours after training.
CARBOHYDRATES FOR PERFORMANCE