So you’re attempting an endurance event? An endurance event is any sport over 2 hours in duration. Endurance sport puts a major stress on the body and requires good resilience, a strong immune system and metabolic flexibility.
Appropriate nutrition, training and recovery are crucial to success in endurance performance. An appropriate nutrition strategy takes into account pre-, intra- and post-activity (training and competition) specialist nutrition, as well as careful consideration of food types/combinations, meal planning and timing of conventional foods during different phases of training and recovery cycles. Poor nutrition strategy will result in fatigue, under performance, immune suppression and illness, risk of over-training and potential for serious long term damage.
Here’s a summary of the fuel you’ll need before, during and after an endurance event. For more assistance please book in for a consultation, enrol in the sports nutrition 4 week program, or subscribe to my sports nutrition pages. The sports nutrition program consists of 4 consultations, a wide range of endurance sports nutrition materials, multiple tips and my assistance in nutrition planning to support your training and performance on the day of the event. Click here to see my SERVICES
24 hours Pre Exercise
To maximize glycogen stores, moderate carbohydrate intake of 8-10g/kg-weight/day, if coupled with adequate exercise rest is required 24hours before exercise over 2hours duration. Higher carbohydrate intake of 10-12g/kg-weight/day may be required if rest is not achievable.
1-4 Hours Pre Exercise
A pre exercise meal to further top up glycogen stores, before exercise over 2hours in duration is needed. Recommend intake of 1-4g/kg-weight of carbohydrate, Low-Fibre, High-GI with some protein and fat.
During Exercise over 2.5hours
Consume 60g/hour of carbohydrate, from the commencement of exercise, to avoid fatigue. Choose High-GI, Low-Fibre and preferably a glucose+Fructose or Glucose+maltodextrose combination for better absorption and lower GI issues. Add protein if 60g/hour is not achievable. Ideally, consume 1x800ml sports drink per hour (66g carbs) along with an additional supplement.
Avoid flavor fatigue by mixing up carbohydrate sources. Support crew availability to assist athletes will ensure optimal consumption. Sports drinks should contain 6-8% carbohydrate, supplied at room temperature to avoid GI issues.
Post exercise (no further exercise within 24 hours)
Carbohydrate, preferably high-GI for quicker absorption, is recommended after exercise to replenish maximum glycogen stores during recovery, along with 21g high quality protein to aid muscle recovery:
- If no further Exercise within 24hours: 1.0-1.2g/kg-weight per hour is recommended within the first hour followed by daily carbohydrate requirements of 6-10g/kg-weight/day
- If exercise within 8hours: 1.0-1.2g/kg-weight per hour is recommended for first 4hrs (55-66g for a 55kg athlete), the first consumption being within the first hour, followed by daily carbohydrate requirements of 6-10g/kg-weight/day