Steve Born is a technical advisor for Hammer Nutrition and answers questions and offers advice on the Yahoo Endurance list. He has offered his thoughts on sports nutrition and fueling guidelines for endurance athletes and is well worth a read. Using sports drinks and energy gels helps provide fuel to replenish depleted reserves during exercise and Steve examines these 15 points in greater detail at the link below.
1. Keep fluid intake during exercise between 16-28 ounces per hour.
2. Restrict caloric intake to 300 cal/hr during exercise.
3. Avoid simple sugars in your fuels; use complex carbohydrates only.
4. Exercise in the 2-3+ hour range requires protein, too.
5. Use soy (protein), not whey, during exercise.
6. Use liquid fuels as your main energy source, even during prolonged training and races.
7. Remember to replenish electrolytes during exercise.
8. Don’t rely on salt tablets to fulfill electrolyte requirements.
9. Don’t use any new supplement or fuel, or supplement/fueling protocol, in a race without having first tested it in training.
10. Be flexible with your fuel consumption during a race, keeping in mind that what may have worked in training may not be appropriate under race conditions.
11. Replenish your body with carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after each exercise session.
12. Don’t over-consume food the night before the race in the hopes of “carbo loading.”
13. For races over 60 minutes in length, finish a pre-race meal three hours prior to the start of the race.
14. Don’t sacrifice sleep to eat a pre-race meal.
15. Consume appropriate amounts of high quality food for your pre-race meal.
Steve wrote this article with endurance athletes in general in mind and it should be born in mind that we are individuals and that these are guidelines only. As ultrarunners, we need to experiment to discover what works for us. Consider this as part of the training program as it will be highly relevant come race day.
Visit Gemini Adventures for the whole article.