As an Endurance, Crossfit or HIIT athlete, it is imperative that we pay attention to our body’s nutritional needs. One of the biggest mistakes we make is to undermine our training efforts by not fueling the body properly to get the gains from the hard work we do in Endurance, Crossfit and HIIT training.
Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients needed in an athlete’s diet. Carbohydrates are athletes’ largest and most efficient source of fuel (Energy). The stored form of carbohydrates is called glycogen.
As exercise increases, muscle glycogen (where we store carbohydrates) is quickly depleted, which causes a higher need for carbohydrates. You can completely deplete your glycogen stores in a hard ninety-minute effort, depending on exercise intensity.
In order to perform optimally, we need to be sure we have adequate stores of glycogen available for training and recovery from training sessions and races.
You may have already encountered the symptoms of glycogen depletion during training, which can include the following:
- heavy legs
- loss of focus
- normal training seems harder than usual
- dizziness and sluggishness
- overall fatigue
- you have to stop your session altogether because you just feel empty
- irritability and exhaustion
- inability to be explosive; you seem to have only one pace left
Ok, so now you are asking yourself, when is the optimal time to take them?
During: Keep energy levels up
During the workout, hard working muscles use glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy) for energy. As such, there is a point at which blood glucose levels (available energy) and glycogen levels (stored energy) get so low that intense exercise can't continue. There just isn't enough available energy for your muscles to use.
After: Regenerate lost energy
After the workout is the other time to take in simple carbs: this is critical because it starts the whole recovery/muscle growth process. Following a hard workout, your body is severely depleted of glycogen and glucose.
If you are looking for a product that will get you through workouts and help you recover quickly after, Forging Heroes endurance product, Stamina, is a 4in1 formula that will help you replenish muscle glycogen. Stamina’s energy blend contains 22g of 3 different carbohydrate sources that are designed for short, medium and long term release. It also includes 6g of BCAA, 5g of Glutamine and an electrolyte blend. The perfect sport drink to consume during and after Crossfit, HIIT, Endurance training or any sport that requires long and strenuous movements.