By Mark Harrison – Endurance Guru at Monster Supplements
When you perform in a sport that has multiple disciplines, you often find that your training day is made up of more than one session.When this is the case, it is important you give your body what it requires in order to perform at the level you need it to.
For example, you may have a weights session in the morning, followed by an evening run. It is therefore important to prepare your body in the best way possible so that you actually benefit from your session.
It is important to keep your body fuelled throughout the day with a good source of Carbohydrates. This will not only ensure that you replenish your energy stores, but it will also give your body fuel to help with the function of normal body processes, such as immune system support.
Good sources of Carbohydrates would be; Oats, Brown Rice, Wholegrain Pasta and Sweet Potato. These are slower releasing Carbohydrates (Low G.I) which will ‘drip-feed’ your energy stores rather than giving them a short sharp sugary hit.
It is also useful to get some Protein on-board. This will help with the repair and growth of muscle tissue. Although it isn't as paramount as it would be for strength athletes, it can still be beneficial for an endurance athlete. Some studies report that Carbohydrate-Protein beverages enhance subsequent exercise performance versus carbohydrate beverages. The benefits of Carbohydrate-Protein beverages could be due to influences on glycogen re-synthesis, protein turnover, rehydration, or perhaps a combination of these factors.
The main thing to focus on throughout the day though will be hydration. It is important in endurance sport (especially multiple disciplines) to keep your body from becoming dehydrated. This is were supplementation can be a great help. Carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks are formulated to include Carbohydrates as an energy source to supplement liver and muscle glycogen stores, fluids to counteract the negative effects of dehydration, and electrolytes (mainly sodium and potassium) to replace losses through sweat and promote intestinal glucose and water uptake.
Electrolytes are important both during and after endurance exercise, especially sodium. Sodium is the primary electrolyte lost through exercise. Sodium offers several advantages when you are trying to rehydrate during recovery. It promotes voluntary fluid intake, which is important as it can sometimes feel uncomfortable when trying to rehydrate fully. It also maintains greater plasma and extracellular fluid volumes, as well as reducing urine output (which reduces water retention).
By following these tips, you could enhance recovery and bring about optimal performance in subsequent training sessions.
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