Your body needs some extra fuel on those long runs or rides, so here are some tasty options
90 minutes is the golden cut-off time.
For any activity lasting less than 90 minutes, water is generally the only thing you need to consume, once you break through that 90 minute barrier, you need something with a bit of substance.
Your muscles contain reserve energy called glycogen stores, and your body is able to use this energy until it is exhausted, and that is when you must fuel your body with food, and drink. Those stores generally last about 90 minutes, but depending on the individual this can vary slightly.
Knowing your body is key.
Sometimes food works for some people, and not for others. Trial and error is sometimes what it takes to get things running efficiently, so in your training be sure to try different foods, and see what works best for you before race day comes.
One thing many people struggle with is the acidity of the food they consume during physical exercise. Citrus, and other highly acidic fruits can sometimes upset stomachs, while other people love the sour edge. Try it out, and see how it goes.
Replenish your electrolytes.
Sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other electrolytes are lost with every drop of sweat that falls from your face, so replenishing them is highly important. Low electrolyte levels impede the body’s ability to contract muscles and can lead to cramps, dizziness, and can contribute to hyponatremia.
Sports drinks are known for replenishing your electrolytes, but if you are more the water drinking type, try electrolyte tablets to restore levels back to normal. They can even be taken as a pill for a quick fix.
Don’t fear the calories.
You need calories when you are burning hundreds, and there is no need to count them up. You will burn more than you can consume reasonably during exercise. Candy can actually give you a great little sugar boost to keep you going, even after you have hit the wall.
Aim for snacks to be right around 100 calories, anything much more than that at a time can be too much on your stomach.
Keep it simple.
While complex carbs are the only way to go in your normal day, when you are on a long ride or run, you need something that will give you quick energy, and won’t be sitting in your stomach for hours.
Simple sugars, and carbohydrates should be your focus, with some protein to keep those muscles well fueled.
Try them out.
Here is a list a few great suggestions of tried and tested mid-activity snacks. See which ones work best for you!
Gels (GU, PowerGel)
Water + Electrolyte Tablets
Homemade Energy Bars
Small potatoes- boiled with salt
Coke or other Soda
Fun Size Candy Bars
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