Fueling during exercise: how to enjoy long workouts

Fueling during exercise: how to enjoy long workouts

Fueling during exercise: how to enjoy long workouts

Do you have an upcoming marathon, century bike ride, triathlon, tennis tournament or other endurance event?Perhaps you feel confused about how to maintain energy during extended exercise sessions?

This handy guide can help you figure out your calorie targets. Because your body’s response to food during exercise is unique to you, please experiment during training, observe the benefits (or costs), and tweak accordingly!

Exercise duration: :   Less than 45-60 minutes

Carbohydrate intake during exercise: nothing other than pre-exercise snack

Examples:   A pre-exercise meal (oatmeal) or snack (banana) will do the job to keep you adequately fueled during the workout

Exercise duration:   1-2.5 hours

Carbohydrate intake during exercise:   30 to 60 grams carb/hour

Examples:   Consume 120 to 240 calories of carbs in the form of sports drinks, gummy candy, gels, dried pineapple, banana, and other commercial or standard foods

Exercise duration:  More than 2.5 hours

Carbohydrate intake during exercise:   60 to 90 grams carb/hour

Examples:   For long events like extended training for a 100 mile bike ride, Ironman triathlon, or trail run, target 240 to 360 calories per hour from a variety of carbohydrates including fruit, gummy candy, and granola bars, as tolerated.To avoid “flavor fatigue”, include not only sugary sweets (sports drinks, candies and gels)  but also peanut butter and honey sandwiches, beef jerky, pretzels, chicken broth, cheese sticks, and other foods that offer savory and salty flavors. Be sure to experiment during training to figure out what you can tolerate!

For more information: Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Food Guide for Marathoners, or Cyclist’s Food Guide.

Written by Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD is an internationally respected sports nutritionist, weight coach, nutrition author, and workshop leader. She is a registered dietitian (RD) who is a board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She is also a certified WellCoach. Nancy specializes in nutrition for performance, life-long health, and the nutritional management of eating disorders. She counsels both casual exercisers and competitive athletes in her private practice in the Boston area (Newton, MA). Some of her clients consider her to be their food coach, others their food therapist. Regardless, she enjoys the challenge of helping sports-active people transform their suboptimal eating habits into effective fueling plans. Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, a best-selling resource, has sold over 550,000 copies and is now in it's new fifth edition.
Website: http://www.nancyclarkrd.com

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