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Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs

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Hi to All.

These are information which uncle has gathered and it is meant for sharing and discussion. If some information is not relevant or appropriate in context, feel free to "ignore" and just treat as just "chat".


1. Nutrition

1.1 Nutrition Label, Eating For Your Sport, Nutrition in Marathon (Pre-, During and Post-Recovery) Discussion

1.2 Energy Gel

1.3 The Healthy Runner's Diet...The Ultimate Guide to Workout Nutrition

1.4 "Bonk" and "Hitting the Wall"

1.5 How to practice your long run nutrition to find your sweet spot...


2. Hydration

2.1 how much is in a Drink?...the right mix of liquid and carbs will help fuel every run...

2.2 100PLUS is specially formulated to hydrate better than water...Pocari Sweat...Developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Japan...The Very Best Beverages for Runners...

2.3 Dr. Mok Ying Ren's training and race day running and hydration tips...


3. Metabolism

3.1 Know Your Metabolism

3.2 Metabolism and Calories

4. Special Topics

4.1 A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport Nutrition(ACSM), the International Olympic Committee(IOC) and the International Society for Sports Nutrition(ISSN), General nutritional needs for physical activity, Calorie counts for Singapore's favourite food items

4.2 Stick to The Hydration and Nutrition Plan for Runs that Works!

5. Diets for Endurance Runs

5.1 Nutrition, Hydration, Metabolism and Biomechanics: The Kenyans

6. Marathon for Healthy Living

6.1 Running Marathon



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1. Nutrition

Hi, how much must we know? ... this concerns everything including water, sports drinks, daily meals, snacks, snack bars, energy gel, carbo-protein, protein bars...and Metabolism...how much do we know...with special focus on Marathon Runs (Half and Full)...

Nutrition Label - Understanding Food Labelling > The Nutritional Information Panel got tips: use the 'per 100g as prepared' column to compare the energy (KJ) in similar food products.

The Nutritional Information Panel

take a Milo's sachet pack..3-in-1..Per 27g Serving..


say Energy is 454kJ


so... we must know what's in KJ... but, in other Nutritional Info... must know what's in Calories..

Let's take a snickers bar...



and yes..Serving size 1 unit (52.7g) of Snickers.. Calories of about 250..

now... let uncle use Calories easier to explain further.. how the number come about... Calories 250


27g carbo
12g fat
4.5g sat. fat
0g protein

We use nutritional calories to define how much of carbs, protein and fat..and this is defined as every gram of CHO/P/F..gives how many calories..so every g of CHO and P = 4 calories, and every g of F = 9 calories.. what..meaning Fat has the highest (make sure better type omega-3/6, not others) has the most for energy when burned..yes, FAT is also for burning fuel in aerobic endurance, but not as efficient as Carbo..

We compute:

carbo (CHO) 27 x 4 = 108
fat 12 x 9 (F)= 108 
sat fat 4.5 x 9 (F) = 40.5
protein 0 x 4 (P) = 0

total up gives.. 256.5 calories..Calories 250

and so when energy label say..this snack contain 27g carbo..easy..27x4..gives 108 calories..for.. 25g carbo...running needs that one..

now... popular local sports drinks like 100plus ..per 325ml serving...370KJ

Sports drinks1.jpg

uncle's snickers bar..250 calories.. convert please..to KJ

Convert calories to kJ - Conversion of Measurement Units

Verdict: OMG..only 1 KJ.. meaning....snickers bar when consumed has a low energy compared to Milo's 3-in-1 and 100plus...how can that be?

Let uncle explain....uncle's snickers bar should fall under nutrition.. and knowing that 25g carbo is what most runners need..and so..uncle's snickers bar has..27g carbo... compared to Milo's satchet pack, 3-in-l... per serving of 18.7g carbo.... and with 100plus per serving of 22.1g carbo (as glucose, fructose, sucrose or maltodextrins)...has also small amounts of electrolytes (most often sodium, potassium, and chloride)...which is carbohydrate-electrolyte (commonly known as electrolyte carb)...so 100plus is carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage..and explains why..a local favourite hydration must in run race...

Some runners often claim drink milo is a better beverage choice..before run..for they feel like "full of energy" for run...typically.. morning run..so comparing Milo's "satchet pack, 3-in-1..Per 27g Serving..Energy is 454kJ".. vs .."100plus.. per 325ml serving..370KJ"...yes.. that's true...because..Milo's satchet pack, 3-in-1 has 2.6g protein.. vs 100plus 0g protein..making milo's satchet pack, 3-in-1..a carbohydrate/protein beverage (commonly known as carbo-protein)..

Want to know why... in endurance races.. runners are expected "Carbo-load"... some even "Carbo-load with protein" day(s) before actual race ...Protein is important for building and repairing muscle. Make sure you' include a good source of protein at every meal...

Well a quick summary all about nutrition management and strategy for runs..

Wah...Milo Trucks are here....grab more.. unlimted...surp, surp..time to build and repair leg tired muscles...after a great run...

milo truck.jpg

Now understanding of hydration and nutrition...important for runs?

Of course... how much is enough for..Pre-Run... Performance...Recovery...why runners have water, sports drinks, snack bars, energy gel, protein and carbo-protein bars... and bananas/muffins are served at nutrition/hydration stations in some longer distance races like marathon run.... shall be discussed next....

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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Thank uncle for the sharing... informative as usual.... for new runners, do remember to try out the hydration on any new drinks weeks before the actual race... this is to allow yourself to gauge if your stomach and body is able to "accept" the drink.... remember not to try anything new on race day...

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2. Hydration

2.1 How much is in a Drink?.. the right mix of liquid and carbs will help fuel every run...

Water is always important...benefits..


Variables such as the length of your run, the temperature, and your pace affect what you should drink. For workouts that are about 30 or 45 minutes long, a few sips of water will usually do the trick. But for runs closer to an hour, it's important to choose a drink that has the right combination of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes–compounds such as sodium and potassium–that help your body retain fluid. The right product will determine how much energy you have and how much you enjoy your experience...

Running Time: Up to 60 minutes, Drink: Electrolyte tablets..Low-calorie sports drink..100plus

Running Time: One to two hours, Drink: Sports drinks...Reach for a drink that has about higher grams of carbs such as Gatorade..


Running Time: Two hours or more, Drink: Endurance sports drinks.. Endurance contain extra electrolytes to help offset large sweat losses and may help prevent cramps. The longer you sweat, the more electrolytes you lose..




Running Time: Post-Run or Recovery, Drink: Recovery drinks, protein shakes, chocolate milk, smoothies..Combining proteins with carbs increases glycogen stores in muscles and reduces the amount of muscle damage from exercise

Running Time: Race day, Drink: Sports drinks with caffeine..Caffeine-enhanced sports drinks can be perfect for races or workouts when you're feeling a bit sluggish.

how about caffeine? ...yes..caffeine..guideline..60kg athlete..60-180mg of caffeine for ergogenic effects (influences that can be determined to enhance performance in high-intensity exercises)..can be consumed 1 hour before exercise, and during..for prolonged exercise to improve performance.. but check the label..excessive caffeine can cause side-effects for some who are non-tolerance to "caffeinated"..

lastly... "stomach bloating and discomfort"... sports drinks.. why? 

100plus.. one has "carbonation"..can cause bloatedness....can be caused by caffeine (coffee in beverage) and sugars in fructose and sucrose too..

gatorade?. even though it always has the fruity components..citric, vitamin C..but, some people sensitive to citrus or fructose..even if contain zero caffeine..can get bloated..due to sensitivity to citrus tolerance.. "acidic" in stomach..

perhaps.. a non-carbonated sports drinks..like 100plus Edge..may be an alternative...



The benefit of sports drinks ..consumption prior to run like an hour or less because it is likely almost not desirable to eat anything solid, performance maintenance (hydration along the run), and recovery (hydration after the run)..

want to know how to read nutrition info on label of sports drinks..look closely on the ingredients of carbohydrates highlighted...


as most people are aware, carbohydrates are essential to help prolong exercise performance....with many published papers in the field have already identified that the depletion of your body’s glycogen stores can result in fatigue and reduced performance – it is therefore an absolute necessity that an athlete is taking his/her carbs which can be used as glucose to continually replenish your energy stores. But, from uncle's past experiences, that it is easy for a consensus to emerge that the carbohydrates available in a fluid solution could not be adequate to sustain energy levels.

so..intake of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution such as 100plus/gatorade was absolutely vital for maintaining blood glucose levels during exercise...the carbohydrate-electrolyte based drink allowed athletes who were running at 70% of their V02 Max to start with greater glucose availability which was then evidently used a lot in the first 10 minutes of exercise – such energy which wasn’t available to runners who drank the water solution. Drinking an isotonic drink like 100plus before exercise also proved pivotal for the exercising body to replenish energy during exercise – and after 30 minutes, the available glucose for athletes was still significantly on the rise.

interestingly, too, after 30 minutes of exercise your body will naturally lose its efficiency to use carbohydrates as an energy source...hence the ingestion of a “sports drink” is vital when topping up energy stores..yes..take note on the 30 minute window...plan to refuel and sustain glucose levels.

for fitness..any run must be at least 40min..aerobic..fat-burning..and because energy is required.. light meal prior to run is good..and of course, hydration during and after are always a must..and after run..drink as much as you want..

it is advisable.. for run above 45-50min..it is considered above normal aerobic training..and so nutrition and hydration is required.. like a small meal or snack is needed..and endurance distance type runners...mostly will bring along their personal "hydration" assets..


next.... for endurance runs of marathons (half and full)....


Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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3. Metabolism

3.1 Know Your Metabolism...








Where do calories go?



Interesting Note: Only 1-2% is used towards maintaining muscle... and 3-5% for gaining muscle... so gaining lean mass has a VERY small effect on your basal metabolic rate, something like 30-50 calories for 10lb (4.5kg) of muscle...

Carbohydrates...Preferred Option for Energy...


Muscle Matters...



Rev up Metabolism...Aerobic Exercise...Works Better with Intense...


"After Burn Effect"...


Exercising at 85-90 Per Cent of Maximum Heart Rate...


Fuel Up with Water...


Energy Drinks...




Spice Up Your Meals...


Power Up with Protein...


Coffee Booster...


Recharge with Green Tea...


Be a Mean Calorie-burning Machine...


Eat Whole...Fuel up with Water...Stay Active...Be Healthy...


Boost Your Metabolism...Real Food and Healthy Eating...


Video: Foods that Speed Up Your Metabolism...Stay Active...for Better Health...

Coming next...Sports Nutrition..Discussion for HM and FM...

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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1. 1 Sports Nutrition - Eating For Your Sport will be of interest to all here...

Eating for Your Sport

so how for distance runners engaging in Half Marathon (HM) or Full Marathon (FM) activities? how much calories must be consumed daily? according to sports nutrition guidelines for endurance session like 1-3hrs/day (HM)..and >4/5 hrs/day (FM)...and we use carbohydrate intake in g/kg/day..(kg refers to your weight).. so HM needs 6-10..and FM needs 8-12...g/kg/day

yes, another important info..sports nutrition/hydration label carbo content is always say..like 25g of carbo..50g of carbo..and some say got high strength caffeine..and some liquid fruity gel, boost performance quicker..but, so how much do we need?

so for example for this illustration... we take a 70kg weight runner in HM activity..take out calculator...he/she needs carbo intake of 630g (70x6) to 700g (70x10)..and how much of calories..all x4 (CHO = 4 calories)..max up to 2800 calories (max 700x4)..for FM activity..up to 840g (70x12)..and calories x4 (CHO = 4 calories)..and 3360 calories (max 840x4)..and that will be how much carbo content recommended daily diet for a 70kg weight runner needed HM - 2800 calories and FM - 3360 calories..so what's your own weight..do the computation..HM? or FM?..important consideration for carbo-loading..pre-race..recovery snack..meal..later...

so uncle? got any recommended guideline for carbohydrate-rich recovery snacks..yes..25g carbo for HM..50g carbo for FM..but is that enough?..Not really..for some..recommend also carbohydrate-protein recovery..and typically..protein intake guideline..same as carbo..but depends of weekly activities..let's say..intake in g/kg/day.. kg refers to your weight.. those in HM training (0.8-1.2)..and and those in FM training (1.2-1.6)..and again using 70kg runner.. HM..up to 70x1.2..max 84g..and FM..up to 70x1.6.. max 112g..and that's how much protein content in your daily diet for a 70kg weight runner needed HM - 84g carbo and FM - 112g carbo..so what's your own weight..do the computation..HM? or FM?

so..for endurance runners in race.. FM and UltraDistance..yes..50g carbo..10g protein..and anything less..fatigue..cramp..and so athletes must know..how much CHO (carbo) g and Protein g.. to be consumed during run/race..to top up and move on..otherwise.."wall of china wacks"..and of course, dehydration means sweat lost - sodium loss..and sports drinks..100plus..let's say..6 CHOg/100ml, 48mg sodium/100ml, and 14mg potassium/100ml..and..sports drinks also has carbo..but is that enough for HM..and FM? go and figure yourself..how many cups is 500ml..and..36g of CHO..of course great..but, you don't need 70mg of sodium..too much alkaline ++..makes you..hmmm.."bloated"....especially for newbie..who drinks too much or excessive hydration..

make sure what your training activities for the event..any endurance race which is beyond Half Marathon..must include how much loss in g in carbo and g in protein..also..loss in mg in sodium, potassium (electrolytes)..and how much mg in caffeine is enough to keep you alert.. only through practices during pre-HM or pre-FM training..and taking part in races..and preference for the type of energy gel or protein bars to be consumed..and please do NOT "overconsume" and "addicted" like these are your must haves in every runs..these are not natural food..but lab-manufactured.. so.. always practice post-race recovery with real healthy food..and proper REST zzzzZ and Recovery for protein growth..including also stretches and flexibility training, yoga, Pilates...to stretch/strengthen muscles..and to prevent injury with a sound Training Plan..

lastly..always consume energy gel with lots of water..if gel is of concentrated..of course, compact pack is handy, fuel carrier belt.. if gel is liquid-form..gel pack is bulky..adds weight..and so decide..with care..which is the best..nutrition and hydration for run races..

hope uncle..able to simply show the big picture on Nutrition and Hydration for Runs.. have you computed personal HM/FM calories and HM/FM g carbs..based on personal weight..



Pause for Typical Discussion: Dear Uncle...

"So according to your "after 30 minutes of exercise your body will naturally lose its efficiency to use carbohydrates as an energy source", what are good choices for post-run makan?" 

"Also wondering if there any advised period to wait before eat after a long run, and what foods should be avoided..."

"For normal weekly run, like me 3 times a week( each run ~ 10-11km) and probably 1 slighly longer run over the weekend,

Does our daily meal ( Bread/peanut butter/Roast Pork rice ) enough for each day 10k run?"

"I have not tried any energy gel or Bar even last Sundown 21K(just water), am I consider in the "Fat Lost" strategy? Is this advisable for people at this age?...coming 40"

"Paiseh uncle also a little loso.....for training myself in longer distant run may be like from 30km-40km, is energy gel/bar the best way and carry 1.5litre of water( just invest a NB 1.5L backpack) good enough ( I once ran 19km and only bring 300ml bottle, finished the water by 13k and then...found Vending machine along PCN but no bring money"

Next topic after PAUSE for discussion... always hot issue for further discussion..what are energy drinks/gels?..."Is it possible to do a FM without taking any gel?"...

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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2.2 Hydration : 100PLUS is specially formulated to hydrate better than water...


It replaces fluids quickly by providing energy and electrolytes lost during sports and active lifestyle. 100PLUS also provides a great refreshing taste to ensure efficient hydration. 


Pocari Sweat...Developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Japan...











Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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1. 2 Nutrition - Energy Gel

"Took the shotz gel ..during race, dun know whether true energy or psychological, manage to run from there to finish pt though I was fatigued then.... "

energy gel..read the Nutritional Info... especially..on the General Usage.. "15 Before Every 45 - Hydrate Along the Way"... seems to imply..you need to take a gel every 45 minutes...or seems to suggest..great baseline advice: a gel every 45 minutes when you’re running relatively hard like in a marathon or half marathon race is pretty solid advice to prevent bonking..


read another energy gel Nutritional Info.. of fruity choice..


"most energy gel packs contain about the same calorie units ~about 100+/-10 calories/pack. ..difference being the concoction of the ingredients to give the optimum energy release,...some come extra with non-energy adders like caffeine, electrolytes and so on. ..also the caffeine part which I can feel the effect, and of course the fatigue-relieving sugars. ...also....other factors like texture and taste..."

need to compare the differences of energy gels..calories..carbs..others..


what are "Amino Acids" in GU energy gel?

how about energy gel vs energy drinks..caffeine (mg) in energy gel better to relieve fatigue?


"some people have tolerance issue with specific type of carbs or even caffeine..which can send them straight to the toilet on the run....won't want that to happen in a race."

" I tend to like diluted gels because I don't time my gel intake with water stops. Besides, very few races have signs informing the runner how far away the next water stop is. ..hence my preference towards watery gels."

"I have tried quite a few brands - GU, Powerbar, Hammer, Honey Stinger, & Maxifuel. My current favorite is Maxifuel simply because it has more water content and is easier to consume. The flip side of being more diluted is that it weighs much more. Most gel packs like GU or Hammer weighs about 30g, but the Maxifuel weighs 70g! If you carry say 4 packs on a race belt during a marathon race, it's going to bounce a lot. Another 'diluted' brand is the SIS Go gel which I've yet to try. But it's also a 'heavy' pack at 60g. I only take gels during a race to give me some slight boost, but avoid them during training long runs. "


makes fuel belt..loaded..too bulky..and bounces a lot..yes..heavy..


ultra runner: "The longer you are out on a run, the more likely you will need some type of sustenance. I can run for 3 hours with having only eaten breakfast an hour before my run!...I avoid gels, unless there is nothing else or have been unable to eat solids during the event. This is to avoid the sugar highs and low."..

ok.. time out.. ...pre-Run..eaten breakfast an hour before the run.. 3-hour run (or race)..avoid gels..unless there is nothing to eat solids during the event..banana/muffin/snacks/fruits?...avoid the sugar highs and low..side-effects of energy gel? what side-effects...

those who favour the alternatives to energy-gel..

"so far what i tried successfuly is to have bananas n yoghurt 2 hours before the race...if during race there is no banana provided so i took the gel instead...I find banana with yoghurt a very cheap affordable alternative to gel."

"A cereal bar provides a longer blast of energy but is difficult to eat when it is hot!" 

"I tried fruit bars but after a long run, mine became "melted", got sticky and such not a good choice"

of course, uncle's snickers...the alternatives to energy-gel of 100 calories..with 52.7g of Snickers.. calories of about 250....provides a "blood sugar spike"...for at least 10-minute...works too!


however, side-effects of energy-gel..uncle's experiences..having done 1/2 marathon, full marathon, and ultramarathon within a period of 1.5 months...having taken energy-gel during training and races..see doctor with frequent headaches.. diagnosed.. was told suffered from less of critical level of red-blood cells (RBC)..and uncle was termed as by doc after blood test result.."are you a vegan"..and when uncle confessed.."uncle is ultra!runner!!".."use energy gels for most training and also races".. doc said, "ok".. explained...

energy gel..artificial lab-produced carbo mostly complex and chemical based, not organic - cause blood sugar level to spike..so that when in endurance actitivities.. heart rate goes up..body reacted to produce burning of fuel from this "artificial CHO"..and hormones of body responded to this as "fight-or-fright: an acute stress response to threatening situtation"..excessive production of hormones to support the blood sugar level to spike..the side-effects is if after endurance race, and body no longer need that sugar level to spike.. but, the hormones still think otherwise..excessive production of hormones.. instead of over-production of RBCs.. now, the counter-reaction will be the RBC age faster than the White Blood Cell (WBC)..and so explains why uncle is in a state of WBC-excessive..critical stage..need blood test again (3-month)..and again (3-month)..to balance the critical level of RBC..and of course..uncle needed to cut-down endurance activities asap..and yes, curb the consumption of energy gel (had became addictive)..of course.. have learned to "fuel on fat for the long run"..may not be efficient..but that is the best and organic way.. alternative to energy gel...

yes.. energy gels are still needed due to that..race organisers will never provide better alternative on energy fuelfor endurance distance runner because this has become "individual" fuel needs for his/hers distance runs.. so the only way is load and be self sufficient, carry energy gels just in case...during training/races...

info: Energy Gels Does the new fad in sports nutrition really improve endurance?

lastly..will it be better to have OR rely less on energy gels for distance runs...think about it..

1. You don’t need gels on most of your training runs.

2. Gels are a great tool for racing a half or full-marathon.

3. It’s good to take gels when racing half and full marathons and on some long training runs in anticipation of those races to determine that your body can handle a particular variety for the race.

4. Using gels more than this is hurting your performance, your wallet too.. 

5. CAVEAT! of course, those train in energy-gel.. most probably peers say good for you..or marketing hype says must take..just don't get too carried over.. and get extremely.. become "addicted" buy dozens..please do NOT go cold turkey and start running completely without them...please wean yourself off...extend the intervals between gels by 2-3km a week until you don’t need them any more, something like that...by consuming the gels all the time your body isn’t ready to go crazy with the fat burning and will need time to adjust...learn how to "fuel on fat for the long run..save the $$$ on gels..

of course, can ask uncle how to "kick" off the over-reliance on energy gels..how to transition..the natural way to running the distances.. and if you desire to train further endurance distance.. every after-training or pre-training nutrition needs.. must always be emphasized.. let the body builds naturally..the best organic gel..that is what you plan..follow..modify..maybe running technique..like transition to barefoot running.."Run Right Run Light"..listen to body..and the body will work with you....based on heart rate(aerobic heart rate)..and let not the body work against you.. naturally in race with fatique and cramps.. adapt..manage post-recovery injury with strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, coordination, agility... 

so...plan with nutrition needs after recovery must be the focus of every endurance training, and that will be uncle's natural or organic "energy gel alternative"...do proper post-recovery after every pre-HM or Pre-FM training. Info: Recovery Nutrition

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 3:00 AM, kohpapa said:

2. Hydration

Variables such as the length of your run, the temperature, and your pace affect what you should drink. For workouts that are about 30 or 45 minutes long, a few sips of water will usually do the trick. But for runs closer to an hour, it's important to choose a drink that has the right combination of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes–compounds such as sodium and potassium–that help your body retain fluid. The right product will determine how much energy you have and how much you enjoy your experience...

Running Time: Up to 60 minutes, Drink: Electrolyte tablets..Low-calorie sports drink..100plus

Running Time: One to two hours, Drink: Sports drinks...Reach for a drink that has about higher grams of carbs such as Gatorade..

Running Time: Two hours or more, Drink: Endurance sports drinks.. Endurance contain extra electrolytes to help offset large sweat losses and may help prevent cramps. The longer you sweat, the more electrolytes you lose..

I think when a runner trains long enough, his body changes and adapts to many things.. one pt I notice is that I usually don't bring electrolyte drinks when I do my LSD runs... usually I just get a pack of gel to sustain with water along the route. This eliminates my hands from holding additional items... After a few runs, I found that my body adapted to the "no isotonic drink" feel and somehow its still able to sustain my entire runs compared to the initial few....

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While we're on the topic of nutrition for runners, I highly recommend Lush Protein (http://www.lushprotein.com/) for runners' protein and carbohydrate supplement needs. They are a local company that produce high quality supplements with minimal additives, all at an affordable price. You can even view their lab certificates so you know exactly what is in the product and not just what is printed on the label.

Apart from their bestselling protein (http://www.lushprotein.com/category/protein.html), their Endurance Fuel (http://www.lushprotein.com/endurance-fueltm.html) and Hydration Blend (http://www.lushprotein.com/hydration-blend.html) are great for post-run recovery. I also use their pills and capsules but those are more generic supplements that can be found elsewhere.

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4.1 Special Topics

Sport nutrition: A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport Nutrition 1.jpg  (ACSM), the International Olympic Committee  2.jpg  (IOC) and the International Society for Sports Nutrition  3.jpg  (ISSN)...

S Potgieter, South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol 26, No 1 (2013)

Evidence-based sport nutrition guidelines which explore the connection between nutrition, exercise and well-being form a crucial part of any athlete’s competitive and training programme. Guidelines that are based on sound scientific evidence about the quantity, structure and timing of food intake are important to ensure that athletes train more effectively to reduce the risk of injury and illness. Appropriate nutrition complements training and recovery and can induce metabolic adaptations to training. Adequate energy should derive from a variety of foods that provide carbohydrates, proteins, fat and micronutrients. Maintenance of the energy balance in individuals with increased requirements because of physical activity is important. Challenges may arise in the case of larger athletes and those who partake in high-volume intense training. Habitual carbohydrate intake is essential for physically active individuals and should be timed according to training sessions to ensure optimal pre-, during, and post-workout nutrition. Dietary protein requirements are slightly elevated in the case of strength, speed and endurance training. Consideration of the quality and timing of protein intake is important. The fat requirements of athletes are similar or somewhat higher, so consumption of adequate amounts of fat is essential for optimal health, maintenance of energy balance, optimal intake of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins and minerals are needed to provide a health benefit, although the ergogenic effect of most micronutrients is still unclear and warrants further research. Supplements and sports foods are used extensively and although the use of some supplements may be ergogenic, the risk to benefit ratio needs to be carefully considered before embarking on the widespread use of supplements.

Source: South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition

General nutritional needs for physical activity...

Good nutrition assists in the ability to train intensely, as well as in muscle recovery and metabolic adaptations to endurance exercise. Adequate energy should derive from a wide variety of available foods that provide carbohydrates, proteins, fat and micronutrients.

Energy and energy availability...

In most instances, a well-balanced diet should be sufficient in energy in order to maintain the energy balance in individuals with increased energy requirements because of physical activity. However, it might be challenging to meet the energy needs of athletes with a high body weight and height, i.e. larger athletes and athletes who partake in high-volume intense training.

A negative energy balance is common in endurance athletes, such as runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes, as well as in sports in which dietary restriction is part of the strategy to modify body composition and size, such as gymnastics, skating, dancing, wrestling and boxing. These athletes sometimes attempt to lose weight too quickly and in mismanaged ways.

Historically, female athletes are more prone to eating disorders, which lead to a disturbed energy balance. A negative energy balance in female athletes can lead to the development of the female athlete triad, which includes disturbed eating patterns, menstrual disorders and low bone mineral density. It is possible for a female athlete to become energy deficient without having a clinically diagnosed eating disorder. Apart from this, high intensity training can decrease appetite and change hunger patterns. Some athletes may be uncomfortable eating meals before exercise because of gastrointestinal discomfort.

Travel and training also influence food availability and safety, and careful planning around travel schedules is of vital importance. Insufficient energy intake can result in weight loss, especially of muscle mass, injury, illness, increased prevalence of overtraining syndrome and ultimately decreased exercise performance.

To overcome this, athletes should focus on maintaining an energy balance to suit their energy expenditure and have 4-6 meals per day, including nutrient dense food. The use of low-risk supplements, such as liquid meal replacements and multivitamin and mineral preparations, can also be considered.

The ACSM recommends that “athletes need to consume adequate energy during periods of high intensity and/or long duration training to maintain body weight and health and to maximize training effects. The ACSM recommends that energy requirements are calculated using either the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) or prediction equations, such as the Cunningham or Harris-Benedict equations, where the basal or resting metabolic rate is calculated using a physical activity factor (1.8-2.3) depending on the type, duration and intensity of exercise. Energy expenditure can also be calculated by means of metabolic equivalents."

The Cunningham Equation...

The Cunningham Equation is a great tool to calculate how many calories your body needs each day, and it takes into account more than what most other formulas do.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – the energy that your body uses when completely at rest in order to carry on living.

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) – the energy that is required to break down the food you eat so that it can be digested.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) – a factor of the energy you use during every day life.

Metabolic Effect of Training (MET) – a factor of the energy you use during training.

Exercise Related Activity Thermogenesis (ERAT) – the energy you use for training.


Calculate here:: The Cunningham Equation

Harris-Benedict Equation...

The Harris–Benedict equation (also called the Harris-Benedict principle) is a method used to estimate an individual's basal metabolic rate (BMR) and daily kilocalorie requirements. The estimated BMR value is multiplied by a number that corresponds to the individuals's activity level. The resulting number is the recommended daily kilocalorie intake to maintain current body weight.



Calculate here: Harris-Benedict Equation

Energy requirement for physical activity...

The ISSN recommends that energy requirements are calculated according to level of physical activity and body weight, as summarized:

The 2003 and 2010 IOC consensus documents emphasize determining and calculating estimated energy availability (estEA), in addition to calculating total energy requirements. estEA is defined as “dietary energy intake minus energy expended in exercise (EA = EI-EEE)” and is expressed in kcal/kg fat-free mass (FFM)/day. The reasoning behind calculating estEA is that some physiological processes are negatively affected by severely lowest EA. Only determining total energy or resting energy expenditure can underestimate a long-term undernourished, physically active individual’s requirements. Energy balance cannot provide reliable information about energy requirements and is not considered to be useful when calculating an athlete’s requirements. Disruption of a female athlete’s menstrual cycle and diminished bone health have been found when the estEA is less than 30 kcal/kg FFM. Therefore, ingesting sufficient energy and nutrients is important to support the skeletal, reproductive and immune systems, particularly in immune compromised athletes.

The recommendations of the IOC in the 2010 consensus statement on managing estEA is for athletes to eat specified amounts of food at planned times during the day and not to wait for hunger, to eliminate harmful weight-loss strategies and practices, to ensure periodization of diet according to periodization of training, and to follow diet and exercise regimes which provide an estEA of 30-45 kcal/kg FFM/day, while exercising to reduce body size and fatness. 

When an athlete is able to reach his or her daily macronutrient requirements, it is most likely that total energy intake will be sufficient. The guidelines that are presented by the ACSM are based on the DRIs, which have been well researched and based on equations that were developed according to the gold standard method used to assess free-living energy expenditure: doubly labelled water. They also include various activity levels, from slight to very active. Although not researched to the same extent as the ACSM guidelines and thereby complicating critical appraisal of the ISSN guidelines, these recommendations can still be used to obtain a quick calculation of an athlete’s energy requirements according to their physical activity level.

In addition to calculating total energy requirements, the IOC suggests that estEA should be determined to assess whether or not the athlete is reaching his or her energy goals matched for energy expenditure, and to thereby reduce the risk of impaired skeletal, reproductive and immune functioning.

Carbohydrate requirements for physical activity...

Habitual or daily carbohydrate intake is essential in physically active individuals, and should be timed according to training sessions in order to ensure optimal pre-workout nutrition, as well as to encourage recovery post workout. If this is not possible during the day, the intake should be tailored according to individual preference and tolerance, provided that the total daily requirements are met. The field of sport nutrition has departed from calculating carbohydrate requirements as a percentage of the total energy requirement to instead focus on determining requirements expressed as grams per kilogram (g/kg) body weight (BW). When the macronutrient intake is sufficient, total energy requirements will be met. The g/kg BW requirement ensures that adequate macronutrients are provided in respect of total energy intake and that there is some flexibility when it is necessary to individualise nutrition plans according to specific training regimes. Athletes require more energy and macronutrients in proportion to their body weight, expressed in kilograms, compared to sedentary individuals. Therefore, according to the ACSM and ADA, “expressing energy and macronutrient needs in terms of grams per kilogram body weight is a practical method to document these needs”.

Daily carbohydrate requirements Muscle glycogen and blood glucose are the primary sources of energy for contracting muscles. An optimal dietary carbohydrate intake enhances recovery and optimizes glycogen stores for the next training session. The habitual dietary requirement for carbohydrates differs according to the amount and intensity of training and should focus on including more complex carbohydrates of low-moderate glycaemic index. However, concentrated, nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates can be included during difficult and intense training and when it is a challenge to reach high carbohydrate requirements because of the high bulk and fibre content of complex carbohydrates. Low-risk supplements can also be included to achieve the daily requirements if required.

The glycaemic index is a tool designed to rank carbohydrate containing foods according to the blood-glucose response that is elicited after consumption of these foods, relative to that of glucose or white bread. There is controversy about the use of the glycaemic index in sport nutrition. Currently, there are no clear recommendations for athletes. It has been reported that there is improved metabolism and substrate utilization during exercise when low glycaemic index carbohydrate-containing food is ingested with the pre-exercise meal. However, these studies have not shown improved exercise performance. It is also known that when carbohydrates are ingested during exercise, the effect of the glycaemic index on the pre-event meal is diminished. Therefore, ingesting a low glycaemic index meal pre-exercise might be useful when limited carbohydrate intake during exercise is possible. However, further research is needed to confirm this. Currently, the most important aspects of carbohydrate intake thought to be important are obtaining daily carbohydrate requirements and ensuring gastrointestinal comfort, since attaining the high carbohydrate intake that is required for endurance exercise can lead to abdominal bloating, cramping and diarrhoea.

The timing of carbohydrate intake in relation to exercise is important. Apart from the recommendations for before, during and after exercise, a new concept with regard to the role of periodization of carbohydrate intake has emerged. This idea is known as “training low and competing high”. When an acute bout of endurance exercise is completed in a state of low muscle glycogen, it appears that there is increased transcriptional activation of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and improvement in the adaptive responses that favour fat metabolism. Thus, the athlete should train in a depleted muscle glycogen state to elicit a greater training response, and then switch to a high carbohydrate intake when competing to ensure optimal exercise performance. However, there are a couple of misconceptions concerning this theory and further research is warranted before any clear recommendations can be made.

The first of these misconceptions is that all training low methods necessitate chronic adherence to a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Although such a diet can improve the body’s ability to oxidise fat and spare muscle glycogen, it may also impair carbohydrate metabolism, and therefore the ability to perform at a high intensity. Thus, the emphasis is more on the timing of training sessions, rather than following a deliberate low-carbohydrate diet in order to achieve depleted glycogen levels for selected training sessions, i.e. training after an overnight fast, drinking only water during prolonged workouts, not ingesting carbohydrates during recovery, and taking in less carbohydrates than those required by the training low.

The second misconception is that research in this field is not always appropriate. Completed research on untrained individuals, as well as research on exercise metabolism and exercise science, cannot always be extrapolated to apply to well-trained individuals, or directly translate into improved sport and exercise performance enhancement. Currently, there is insufficient research to confirm whether “training low and competing high” can improve exercise performance. However, there is consistent evidence that although this type of periodization can lead to the inability to train at high intensities, especially during sessions that require high intensity or specific technique and skill, there may be some benefit in undertaking some training sessions in a glycogen-depleted state, such as low-intensity or conditioning sessions that are undertaken at the start of the training season.



Carbohydrates before exercise...

The limited glycogen stores in the body will only last for approximately 90 minutes to three hours during moderate- to high-intensity exercise. Carbohydrate loading is a strategy that involves changes to training and nutrition which can maximize muscle glycogen stores prior to endurance exercise lasting longer than 90 minutes. This strategy elevates muscle glycogen stores and has been found to increase endurance and exercise performance. This is also important to maintain muscle tissue stores which can be decreased with low glycogen levels. The carbohydrate-loading regime is complemented with the consumption of sufficient carbohydrates before, during and after the endurance event

Carbohydrates during exercise...

Common complaints during endurance events include muscle fatigue and hypoglycaemia, often as a result of low muscle glycogen stores. Therefore, an increase in liver and muscle glycogen stores, as well as optimal fluid intake, is needed for peak performance to be achieved. Symptoms of suboptimal carbohydrate intake include low levels of energy, heavy legs, fatigue or “hitting the wall”, a slow rate of recovery, loss of concentration, dizziness, irritability and fainting. Ingestion of carbohydrates is recommended during exercise. The type, amount and timing of carbohydrate intake during exercise is important, and should be tailored to individual preference.

Carbohydrates after exercise...

Carbohydrate intake is mainly responsible for increasing glycogen stores. Available evidence indicates that ideal levels of carbohydrate intake optimize muscle glycogen resynthesis. Speedy refuelling is particularly important when there is less than eight hours of recovery time between events or training sessions.

Protein requirements for physical activity...

Dietary protein requirements are elevated with strength, speed or endurance training. Energy intake, exercise intensity and duration, ambient temperature, and gender and age also influence protein requirements.

There are increased requirements in the case of strength or resistance training because protein supports muscle protein synthesis, reduces muscle protein breakdown and repairs muscle damage. Endurance exercise increases leucine oxidation. Therefore, endurance athletes may have slightly higher protein requirements than their sedentary counterparts.

Dietary protein intake should consist of high quality protein. Protein quality can be measured by the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), where a score of close or equal to 1 indicates protein of high quality. Dietary protein sources with a similar score include, but are not limited to, milk (casein and whey), egg and meat products. Isolated soy protein, when all the anti-nutrient components have been removed, also has a PDCAAS score of 1.22 Milk protein, compared to isolated soy protein (with equivalent protein and macronutrient energy) has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise and leads to greater muscle hypertrophy. In general, the benefit of whey and milk proteins was clear in studies that compared whey, casein and soy, particularly because of the high leucine content of milk protein.

The optimal timing of protein intake should also be considered when determining and prescribing protein requirements, as this can lead to faster recovery times and improved adaptation after training.

Daily protein requirements...

According to the DRIs, and more specifically, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), the general protein requirement for a sedentary person is 0.8 g/kg BW/day. Incidentally, this requirement suffices for general fitness and can be slightly elevated to 1.0 g/kg body weight/day.

The ACSM recommends daily protein requirements for strength and endurance athletes of 1.2-1.7 g/kg body weight. It is recommended that these requirements are reached through diet alone. Additional supplementation is not necessary, especially when the energy intake is optimal.

The daily protein requirements for physical activity, as recommended by the ISSN, are summarized:


The daily protein requirements for physical activity, as recommended by the ISSN, are summarized:


IOC general protein guidelines for athletes are 1.3-1.8 g/kg BW and 1.6-1.7 g/kg BW/day for strength-training athletes. Because of the high energy intake of these athletes, these requirements may be met easily. According to the IOC, protein intake above these guidelines does not have any additional benefit and can promote amino-acid catabolism and protein oxidation. The IOC recommends optimizing body composition in favour of losing fat and gaining muscle mass by decreasing daily carbohydrate intake (3-4 g/kg BW/day) and increasing daily protein intake (1.8-2.7 g/kg BW/day), while following a hypo-energetic diet and specified training programme.

Protein before exercise...

The ACSM recommends that a moderate amount of protein is added to the pre-event meal. No specific guideline on ingestion of protein before exercise is included in the consensus document.

The ISSN recommends that, depending on the individual’s exercise duration and fitness level, protein should be included with carbohydrates in the pre-event meal before resistance exercise or when a desired change in body composition is required. This can be achieved by including 0.15-0.25 g/kg BW protein with the recommended 1-2 g/kg BW carbohydrates in the pre-event meal 3-4 hours before training or competition.

The IOC states that although preliminary evidence appears to support increased muscle protein synthesis in response to resistance training when protein is given before exercise, follow-up studies have failed to confirm this finding. Therefore, the current opinion of the IOC is that protein should be ingested after exercise at a time that is associated with optimal muscle protein synthesis.

Protein during exercise...

The ACSM states that evidence pertaining to the benefit of the addition of protein to carbohydrate solutions during exercise is inconclusive. No recommendation is made in this regard in the consensus document.

According to the ISSN, the addition of protein to carbohydrates (carbohydrates to protein ratio of 3-4:1) during exercise has shown promise in recent literature. It has been demonstrated to be favourable in terms of improving endurance performance, increasing muscle glycogen stores, reducing muscle damage and promoting better training adaptations after resistance training. However, it is not known whether this addition of protein is because of the added energy that is available for substrate utilization. Although the ISSN advocates adding protein to carbohydrate intake during endurance exercise, more research in this field is needed as there is insufficient evidence to support this unequivocally.

The IOC refers to recent evidence that suggests that co-ingestion of carbohydrates and essential amino acids is beneficial before and during resistance exercise as it increases substrate availability and exercise performance, improves the anabolic hormonal environment, stimulates muscle protein synthesis and decreases muscle damage or tenderness. However, the IOC concludes that current guidelines promote the ingestion of protein at a time that is associated with maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis (after exercise), and do not provide any recommendations for protein intake before or during a workout.

Protein after exercise...

After exercise, the ACSM recommends that the primary goals of recovery should be to provide sufficient fluid, electrolytes, energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen stores and facilitate recovery. The addition of proteins can provide amino acids for the maintenance and repair of muscle protein, but no specific guideline has been provided by the ACSM to include protein as part of the recovery programme after exercise.

The ISSN recommendation for recovery is to add protein to carbohydrates at a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3-4:1, or by supplementing with 0.2-0.5 g/kg BW protein. This results in increased glycogen resynthesis and ultimately improved performance. The consensus document also recommends that ingestion of amino acids, especially essential amino acids (EAA), stimulates muscle protein synthesis. This can be achieved by adding 6-20 g EAA to at least 30-40 g high glycaemic carbohydrates and ingesting this immediately or within three hours post exercise. This addition of protein to carbohydrates will also result in increased strength and enhanced body composition during chronic resistance training. 

The document also recommends adding a small amount of creatine (0.1 g/kg BW) to the carbohydrate and protein mixture post exercise to optimise the adaptations of resistance training. Current IOC guidelines also advocate the ingestion of protein after exercise, as this is when maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis is required. The IOC recommends that 20-25 g of high quality/or high biological value protein is included after resistance exercise. The combination of carbohydrates and protein post exercise is important to restore muscle glycogen and promote protein synthesis. Protein intake that exceeds this recommended amount does not promote muscle protein synthesis, but can lead to protein oxidation. The dietary protein form of choice is flavoured low fat milk. It shows beneficial improvements in muscle synthesis.

Although there appears to be consensus between the ACSM, ISSN and IOC that the daily protein requirements of athletes range between 1.2-2.0 g/kg BW/day, there are differences in the ranges provided. The ACSM provides a broad range (1.2-1.7 g/kg BW), whereas the ISSN gives recommendations according to training volume and intensity. Although these guidelines overlap, the ISSN guidelines are based on publications by the same author and do not include the entire spectrum of published papers on protein intake and exercise. The IOC provides specific recommendations for strength-training athletes and those who wish to prevent loss of lean body mass and to promote fat loss. It is recommended that athletes who want to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat should follow these guidelines.

Guidelines for protein intake before and during exercise are provided by the ISSN only, while the ACSM advocates a “moderate” intake of protein before exercise. Although there has been some evidence that supports the intake of protein before exercise, follow-up studies have failed to unequivocally support this practice. There is also inconclusive evidence to support the use of protein during endurance exercises.

There is consensus from the ACSM, ISSN and IOC on the beneficial effect of the ingestion of ~20 g protein with carbohydrates within 30 minutes post exercise. This recovery strategy can be achieved through dietary sources. Additional supplementation is not warranted. Although the ISSN recommends,3 and the IOC recognises, that the addition of creatine monohydrate as a supplement after exercise can increase skeletal muscle hypertrophy after resistance training, the practical application of this is questionable as currently, the sport supplement industry is not regulated in some countries. Also, the risk of ingesting contaminated supplements is high. It is proposed that the ingestion of creatine after exercise is not necessary and can even be harmful to health. The same result can be achieved with the ingestion of sufficient carbohydrates and high biological value protein within 30 minutes after exercise. This can be achieved easily by the ingestion of a low-risk supplement which has the correct carbohydrate to protein ratio, such as a liquid meal replacement, especially if the athlete cannot consume a meal because of practical constraints, or because of the appetite-suppressing nature of exercise.

Fat requirements...

The fat requirements of athletes are similar, and are slightly higher than those in non-athletes. It is important to consume adequate amounts of fat to ensure optimal health, maintenance of energy balance, optimal intake of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as to replenish intramuscular triacylglycerol stores. The amount of required fat depends largely on the training status and goals of the athletes.

The ACSM recommends that daily fat intake for athletes should be 20-35% of total energy intake and that fat intake should not decrease below 20% of total energy intake, as the intake of fat is important for the ingestion of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. High-fat diets for athletes are not recommended.

The ISSN suggests a moderate fat intake of 30% of total energy for athletes. This can increase to 50% of total energy for high-volume training, i.e. elite competitor training of 40 hours/week (like the Ironman). In order to reduce body fat or lose body weight, a fat intake of 0.5-1.0 g/kg BW/day is suggested.3 Optimisation of the type of dietary fatty acids is important. The focus should be on increasing dietary sources of unsaturated or essential fatty acids.

The IOC recommends following a diet that does not contain less than 15-20% fat of total energy.

It is suggested that athletes should be cautious of high-fat diets (>30% of total energy intake). The recommendation from the ACSM regarding fat intake should suffice for any athlete. A high-fat intake can be at the expense of carbohydrate intake and may have negative effects on training and racing performance.

Micronutrient requirements...

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients in terms of providing a health benefit, although the ergogenic effect of most micronutrients is still unclear and warrants further research. The ACSM recommends that no additional vitamin and mineral supplementation is needed if an athlete obtains sufficient energy from a wide variety of foods. The ACSM further allows for micronutrient supplementation that is unrelated to exercise performance, such as folic acid supplementation during pregnancy.

Supplementation may be individually prescribed by the attending healthcare professional for certain athletes, such as those restricting energy intake, vegetarians, people who are ill, recovering from injury or with specific medical conditions.5 Vegetarians may require vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin and zinc supplementation.

According to the ISSN, specific vitamins may exhibit some health benefit, e.g. vitamin E, niacin, folic acid and vitamin C. However, few have been reported to provide direct ergogenic properties. Some vitamins may assist physically active individuals to endure heavy training and exercise, thereby improving exercise performance. In particular, vitamins C and E may decrease oxidative damage caused by vigorous training schedules and may also help to support a healthy immune system. Minerals are essential nutrients too, and are important for most bodily functions. 

Some studies have shown mineral deficiencies in athletes. These can impact negatively on sports performance. The health and ergogenic value of some minerals has been studied. These include calcium, which reduces the risk of developing premature osteoporosis, and maintains body composition; iron, particularly in the case of athletes who are prone to iron deficiency; sodium phosphate, which increases maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic threshold and endurance capacity; sodium chloride, to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance; and zinc, which decreases exercise-induced changes in immune functioning. However, there is little evidence to link improved sporting performance to boron, chromium, magnesium or vanadium.

The ISSN recommends that a normal nutrient-rich diet that contains a variety of food groups should provide sufficient amounts of micronutrients in most cases. Athletes who are susceptible to low energy intake, or who purposefully restrict energy intake to lose or maintain body weight, might be at risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies. Low doses of multivitamin and mineral combinations may be prescribed, or vitamin- and mineral-enriched liquid meal replacements taken in such cases. However, this should be carried out in consultation with the dietitian and in combination with altered eating habits.

The IOC recognized and evaluated two specific micronutrients in its latest consensus statement, namely antioxidant and vitamin D supplementation. Antioxidants have been popular in literature and research studies. There are arguments for and against the use of these by athletes. Arguments that support antioxidant supplementation propose that this group of micronutrients is able to decrease the reactive oxygen species that forms during exhaustive exercise. Free radicals can promote muscular fatigue, and in turn, decrease exercise performance. These arguments also suggest that some athletes do not consume a healthy diet that contains antioxidant food groups, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and that antioxidant supplementation is not toxic or harmful to human health. On the other hand, it is believed that although exercise can promote oxidative stress, there is no evidence to support the theory that this exercise-induced oxidative stress is detrimental to human health or performance, and that participation in regular exercise increases the body’s own ability to produce endogenous antioxidants. If energy requirements are met, and the athlete is able to ingest all of the various dietary antioxidants, additional supplementation should not warranted and toxic levels may impair muscle functioning and reduce training adaptations to exercise. In light of the above controversy in the available literature, the IOC recommends that athletes should not consume antioxidant supplements and that caution should be exercised, particularly with the use of single-nutrient, high-dose antioxidant supplements.

Vitamin D supplementation is also becoming more popular, not only in the athletic arena, but also in the general population, as studies of the latter have reported vitamin D deficiencies in certain population groups. In the case of athletes, there is particular concern about athletes who work out indoors, reside at higher latitudes and have dark pigmented skin. In sport, various factors hinder an athlete’s exposure to sunlight, and therefore the amount of vitamin D that is synthesized by athletes. Clothing, the use of sunscreen, ageing, skin pigmentation, training times during the day, seasonal factors, cloud cover and latitude may all influence vitamin D synthesis from sunlight. Vitamin D supplementation might have an ergogenic effect in athletes who do not have adequate levels of vitamin D,
but there have been limited experimental studies in this regard. Some studies have found that there is a direct link between vitamin D status and jumping height, velocity, muscle tone, muscle power and hand-grip strength, while others have suggested that there is a reduction in the rate of stress fractures when vitamin D is supplemented with calcium. In general, the arguments against vitamin D supplementation are that it is not supported by a strong body of evidence, and that since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and it can accumulate in the body and cause toxic side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, weight loss, mental confusion, irregularities in cardiac rhythm and calcification of soft tissues, all of which would negatively impact on exercise performance and general health. There are also large inter-individual differences in the way in which individuals respond to vitamin D supplementation. Current guidelines are opposed to vitamin D supplementation, unless it is medically warranted. It is also recommended that athletes have at least 5-30 minutes of direct sun exposure on the arms and legs several times per week between 10h00 and 14h00. Because vitamin D and calcium metabolism are so closely linked, it is also recommended that at the very least, DRI levels of calcium (obtained from dietary sources) must be reached in athletes.

Currently, there are no clear guidelines on micronutrient supplementation in athletes and which suggest that athletes should be monitored on an individual basis. A healthy, balanced diet, which includes all the different food groups, as well as adequate exposure to sunlight, should provide sufficient micronutrients.

The recommendation by the ACSM and the ISSN that groups who are at risk (including athletes on severe energy-restricting diets, and perhaps those following vegetarian diets), may benefit from taking a low-dose, multivitamin and mineral supplement, or from including micronutrient-fortified, liquid meal replacement supplements in their diet, after consultation with a medical doctor and dietitian, is supported.

Fluid and Electrolyte replacement for physical activity....


The ISSN exercise and sport nutrition review document states that a decrease in sport performance is evident if 2% or more of an athlete’s body weight is lost through sweat. Athletes should not only rely on thirst as an accurate indicator of fluid needs. Body weight should be measured before and after exercise sessions to determine sweat loss. It is also recommended that, in order to maintain fluid balance and prevent hypohydration, fluid should be ingested at a rate of 0.5-2 l/hour. Also, there should be frequent (every 5-20 minutes) ingestion of small amounts of fluid (150-200 ml). Recommended fluid intake should be increased in hot and humid environments. Excessive techniques to reduce body weight, such as the use of diuretics, vomiting and saunas, are inappropriate and dangerous to human health.

The IOC suggests that “sufficient fluid should be consumed during exercise to limit dehydration to less than approximately 2% of body mass. Sodium should be included when sweat losses are high, especially if exercise takes place for more than two hours. Athletes should not drink so much that they gain weight during exercise. During recovery from exercise, rehydration should include replacement of both water and salt lost in sweat”. It is also recommended that sodium should be added to fluids during exercise that lasts > 2 hours, as well as in fluids that are ingested by athletes who have lost more than 3-4 g sodium in their sweat during exercise. It is recommended that following exercise that leads to loss of body weight because of sweat loss, water and sodium are consumed in amounts that are greater than those of the losses (3-4 g), in order to achieve optimum recovery of water and electrolyte balance. This is especially important at times when rapid recovery is required (< 24 hours), as well as in cases where a body weight loss of > 5% body weight is recorded.

Sports food and supplement requirements...

The ACSM has concluded that “athletes should be counselled regarding the appropriate use of ergogenic aids. Such products should only be used after careful evaluation for safety, efficacy, potency, and legality”.

The ISSN 2010 review notes that while some supplements might have a beneficial effect on athletic performance, no amount of supplementation will compensate for inadequate dietary intake.

According to this consensus document, supplements are categorised in the following manner according to safety and efficacy :
 Apparently effective and generally safe: These supplements include weight-gain powders, creatine, protein, EAAs, lowcalorie foods, ephedra (a banned substance), caffeine, water and carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions, sodium phosphate and bicarbonate and beta-alanine.
 Supplements that are possibly effective: These include β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate in untrained subjects, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), calcium, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and green tea extract.
 Supplements whose effectiveness is too early to tell: The list extends to α-ketoglutarate, α-ketoisocaprate, ecdysterones, growth hormone-releasing peptides and secretogues, ornithine- α-ketoglutarate, zinc-magnesium aspartate, chitosan, phosphatidl choline, betaine, Coleus Forskolin, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), psychotropic nutrients or herbs and medium-chain triglycerides.
 Supplements which are apparently not effective or are dangerous to use: Examples of such supplements are glutamine, smilax, isoflavones, sulphopolysaccharides, boron, chromium, CLA, gamma oryzanol, prohormones, tribulus terrestris, vanadium, calcium pyruvate, chitosan, L-carnitine, phosphates, herbal diuretics, ribose and inosine.

According to the IOC, the following supplements increase exercise performance. This is strongly supported by evidence:
• Alkalinising agents (sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate) increase anaerobic exercise performance.
• L-arginine boosts aerobic endurance. (There is little, but convincing evidence in this regard).
• Beta-alanine enhances anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance.
• Caffeine improves endurance and reaction time.
• Creatine increases performance in strength and power events.
• Nitrate advances aerobic endurance exercise.
• Carbohydrates, proteins, water, electrolytes and amino acids have ergogenic properties.

The IOC strongly discourages the indiscriminate use of supplements, supplementation when nutritional needs can be met via dietary intake, the use of supplements that pose a risk of a positive doping outcome and supplement use by young athletes (< 18 years).

The IOC cautions against the widespread use of supplements, especially in terms of acute or long-term effects on health, positive doping outcomes and possible detrimental effects on exercise performance. Current regulations that govern supplement use are more liberal compared to those by the pharmaceutical market. Often, supplements either contain little or no active ingredient or too much of certain toxic nutrients. They may also contain harmful impurities, such as lead, broken glass and animal faeces because of poor manufacturing practices. The majority of products on the market fail to reach expected standards. Other involved risks include inaccurate labelling, failure to declare the ingredients on the label and cross-contamination of supplements.

Supplements and sports food are used extensively by athletes at various levels, as well as by non-athletes. Although the use of some supplements may have added benefits in terms of improving body composition, sports performance and overall health, the risk to benefit ratio needs to be carefully considered before embarking on the widespread use of supplements.

The product safety and purity, claimed benefits and safety of the supplement for short- and long-term, needs to be considered carefully before it is taken. Poor quality control of supplements on sale in pharmacies and supermarkets can also potentially increase the likelihood of athletes obtaining negative results in doping tests.

Poor hygiene and lack of good manufacturing practices can result in supplements containing impurities such as lead, broken glass and animal faeces, which carries obvious health risks for athletes and other users. Direct or deliberate, and indirect contamination of dietary supplements with undeclared and unlabelled anabolic steroids also places supplement users in a difficult position. Some supplements may not contain the exact amount of ingredients that are listed on the label as a marketing tool. Athletes may be unaware of the potential negative effects of using these supplements.


The aim of this review was to summarize and critically analyze key concepts, elements and guidelines from the ACSM, ISSN and IOC consensus documents. No single consensus document provides all the necessary guidelines and recommendations needing for consultation with an athlete with regard to sport nutrition.

Therefore, a combination of these and other guidelines should be used to individualize the nutritional management of athletes. Apart from the above-mentioned guidelines and recommendations, sport-specific nutritional strategies should also be implemented in training programmes to aid in exercise, sports performance and recovery. A nutritionally complete, balanced diet should provide ample amounts of energy, carbohydrates and protein to ensure sustained exercise performance and optimal nutrition to support exercise performance.

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs..

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3.2 Metabolism and Calories...


So is it even possible to guess the number of calories we need and how precisely can we do it?

Basal Metabolic Rate...

“Basal Metabolic Rate”or BMR is the number of calories your body needs just for its basic functions (example: breathing, to keep your hearth beating and so on). 





The key is the shift in the body's energy demands between rest and exercise...


At rest, basal metabolic rate (BMR) is determined by the energy demands of basic maintenance processes in the tissues, such as protein synthesis by ribosomes (left) and ion transport by membrane pumps (centre). 

When we exercise or run, muscle work through the actomyosin complex (right) places a much larger demand on the energy-supply cascade from lung to capillaries and mitochondria, and the ease with which oxygen can be transported through the cascade limits the maximal metabolic rate (MMR). 


The result is that BMR and MMR have different allometric dependencies on body mass, and the scaling rates can be explained only by mixing the correct 'cocktails' of energy-demanding components.

BMR index is individual for everyone...Factors

It depends mostly on your age, gender, weight and height. From that we can consider it safe to calculate your BMR based on informations you have provided...





Calculate BMR...


We can Calulate the Calorie Intake...


BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults...BMI is not a diagnostic tool... 


Summary...Metabolic Rate...Results...How many calories you need to lose or gain weight?


Don’t forget that each one’s body is individual so these calculations can rarely be 100% reliable in individual cases. Your real BMR can differ than the ideal one we calculate here. Or the calorie deficit to weight loss ratio can be higher or lower in your case.


When your body is well balanced and you’re comfortable between meals, you’re in a state of satiety, or fullness. The systems that contribute to hunger and satiety are complicated and very intricate. Studies have shown that certain conditions - for example, imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters - can make it more difficult for some individuals to feel full.


Appetite is not Overeating...

Appetite is influenced by many factors, including traditions. For example, people often associate eating with celebrations, holidays, particular family gatherings, and religious traditions. 


We may also associate eating with particular circumstances. Some people snack when they watch TV or when they get home from work or school - even if they aren’t hungry. Others eat dessert after dinner even if they just ate a very large and satisfying meal.

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...


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1.3 The Healthy Runner's Diet...By Liz Applegate, Ph.D. Runnersworld.com


"Where's the food?" that's the question I ask many runners when I review their food diaries. It's not that they're starving. Most are taking in lots of calories and nutrients–but it's in the form of energy bars, nutrient-enhanced drinks, and fortified packaged foods. The problem is, "real" foods–fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats–are better for you than fortified products.

That's because there's more to a carrot or a sweet potato than just vitamin A. Within the body, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients work together with literally thousands of other compounds, such as color components in fruits and vegetables, special starches and fibers in whole grains, and unique fats in seeds, nuts, and dairy. And it's the whole package that promotes good health and peak athletic performance.

Of course, protein bars and calcium-fortified juices seem like a convenient way to take in all of the 50-plus nutrients every runner needs daily. But getting them–and more–from real food is easy. Follow these six rules every day, and your body will get everything it needs for better health and better running.

Follow these six rules for a healthy, whole-foods eating plan designed just for a runner like you.

Rule #1: Eat seeds or foods made from seeds


What makes seeds so special? Seeds–including whole grains, many beans, and even tree nuts–contain the crucial mix of nutrients necessary to grow a new plant, which means they are packed with health-boosting compounds. In addition to traditional nutrients like protein and essential fats, seeds contain bioactive compounds, such as phenolic compounds and ferulic acid, which act as antioxidants.

Eating a diet with ample plant seeds has been shown to improve health and help maintain a healthier body weight. People who eat whole grains and beans have a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, and they tend to have lower cholesterol levels than people who don't eat nuts and seeds.

Rule #2: Eat five different colored fruits and vegetables daily


You already know that eating fruits and veggies supplies your body with vitamins, minerals, and the carbs it needs to fuel your running. Fruits and vegetables also fill you up with few calories, helping you maintain your weight. But to get the most from your produce, you need to think in terms of color–yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple, and every shade in between. There are 400-plus pigments that light up the produce aisle, and each offers unique health benefits.

The rich red in pomegranate comes from anthocyanins, the deep red in tomatoes comes from lycopene, and the bright orange in sweet potatoes comes from beta-carotene. These and other pigments have been shown to lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's, while also improving your memory. And since most pigments act as antioxidants, they can help reduce inflammation caused by disease or heavy exercise. But new studies suggest that the pigments in produce need to interact with other color compounds in fruits or vegetables to produce their beneficial effects, which is why it's important to eat a wide variety of colors every day. The results of these studies also explain why taking a single pigment, such as beta-carotene in supplement form, doesn't lead to the same health improvements as eating the whole foods and may even increase your risk for some diseases.

Rule #3: Eat plant foods with their skins intact


Drop the peeler. From apples and black beans to red potatoes and zucchini, plants' outer skins protect them from UV light, parasites, and other invaders. As a result, those skins are bursting with a wide range of phytochemicals that also protect your health. Grape skins, for example, are high in resveratrol, and onion skins contain quercetin, both of which can help lower your risk of heart disease and colon and prostate cancer, and boost your immunity.

Produce skin is also rich in resistant starches and various types of fiber. These compounds promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, improve intestinal function (relieving constipation and decreasing hemorrhoid risk), and help curb appetite and aid in weight control. Studies have shown that fiber from vegetable and fruit skins (which contain both soluble and insoluble fibers) actually blocks absorption of three to four percent of total calories consumed when eaten as part of a high-fiber diet. This is why people who follow a higher-fiber diet (over 35 grams daily) that consists of mainly fruits and vegetables tend to have lower body-fat levels and smaller waist sizes than low-fiber eaters.

Rule #4: Drink milk and eat milk products that come from animals


Whether from a cow, a goat, or even a reindeer, mammal milk (as opposed to soy milk) and other dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and kefir, should be a part of every runner's diet. Sure, milk supplies calcium, and calcium builds strong bones, which is great for your running. But animal milk offers much more.

Dairy supplies a runner's hardworking muscles with an ample amount of protein to help speed recovery. But whey protein, the specific type of protein found in dairy foods, may also help strengthen the immune system. Milk products also contain stearic acid, which is thought to improve blood-cholesterol levels. Ample research also suggests that regular dairy consumption can lower your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease. And for anyone watching his or her weight, studies have shown that dieters who include dairy in their low-calorie plans lose more fat than those who simply cut calories.

Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, cultured milk, and kefir, contain live bacteria, which also bolster immune health. These bacteria, as well as a special fat in dairy called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), can also help alleviate constipation, improve symptoms of certain intestinal ailments, such as inflammatory bowel disease, and reduce the occurrence of yeast infections in women. And people who are lactose intolerant may see an improvement in their symptoms when they regularly consume cultured dairy products.

Rule #5: Eat foods that come from cold water


Fish and other seafood provide a unique combination of nutrients important to runners. Most seafood is an excellent source of quality protein (you need about 50 percent more protein than your nonrunning friends) and also contains zinc, copper, and chromium–minerals that are often low in a runner's diet. But the omega-3 fats found in fish, particularly those from cold waters, are what make seafood such an essential part of anyone's diet.

Over the past decade, researchers have unfolded a fish story of grand proportions: People who eat fish and other seafood a few times per week have a lower risk of sudden heart attack, vascular disease, and stroke. Fish intake has also been linked to lower rates of depression. And recently, low intake of fish (and omega-3 fats) has been associated with certain behavioral conditions in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Anthropological scientists who study "caveman" nutrition theorize that our ancestors consumed much more omega-3 fats than we currently do and that many of our modern-day ailments, such as heart disease and Alzheimer's, may stem from low omega-3 fat intake. Runners should also note that the omega-3s in fish have anti-inflammatory capabilities, giving them the potential to counter exercise-induced muscle soreness and help alleviate diseases such as psoriasis.

Rule #6: Eat meat, poultry, or eggs from free-range or grass-fed animals


By eating lean meats, poultry, and eggs, along with dairy products, runners can easily meet their increased protein needs and take in crucial minerals that can be hard to get from nonanimal sources. In particular, meats are a great source of iron and zinc, which support healthy red blood cells and a strong immune system. And these two minerals are simply better absorbed by the body when they come from meat instead of nonmeat sources.

While a vegetarian lifestyle can be quite healthy, studies suggest that diets balanced with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat, including beef and skinless poultry, help lower blood-cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart-disease risk. Sticking to lean meats, however, is key, so consider foods from animals raised in open pastures that graze on grasses. Compared with their stockyard-raised, corn-fed counterparts, free-range, grass-fed animals may contain more omega-3 fats and less artery-clogging saturated fats due to their healthier diets and higher activity levels.

The Ultimate Guide to Workout Nutrition...



Strength and Cardio Training

Pre-workout: Building lean muscle requires a ready supply of protein for tissue repair. The more intense your efforts, the more protein you’ll need. Carbohydrates should constitute 75 percent of a pre-workout meal, and protein should constitute 25 percent. 

Protein must first be broken down into amino acids in order to be used by muscles to repair and build lean tissue. 1-2 hours prior to strength training, consume protein in order to have an adequate reserve for the upcoming workout. The amount of protein required is based on body weight, intensity level, length of workout, and gender. Recent studies suggest taking in around 10-20 grams of high-quality protein within 2 hours after strength training is usually enough to jumpstart recovery and prevent muscle loss.


Pre-workout nutrition for a cardio session requires more carbs than protein. Carbs give you the energy to power through an intense workout. Carbohydrates should constitute 75-10 percent of a pre-workout meal. Carbs are metabolized into glucose (energy) very quickly. Your pre-workout meal should be consumed between 30-60 minutes before hitting the gym. Add protein and fiber to deliver a steadier supply of energy throughout the workout and prevent fatigue resulting from consuming only carbs. Low glycemic index (GI) carbs release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly and tend to contain more essential nutrients like fiber. They are generally optimal to consume 30-60 minutes prior to either a strength training or cardio workout (also good to consume post-workout). Examples include whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. 

High GI carbs release sugar very quickly, providing a quick but brief energy boost. Best to consume before an intense cardio workout, and examples include white bread, white rice, and packaged snacks.

Strength Training


Your pre-workout meal should include low GI carbs to give you the energy you’ll need, and protein-rich foods to store in reserve. 

Examples include: Egg white omelet with spinach, whole grain toast, and skim or soy milk. Smoothie of protein powder, soy or skim milk, high GI fruits— such as mango, peach, or pineapple— and flax seed. Greek yogurt with banana, walnuts, apples, and honey.


Eat a small snack to help boost blood sugar levels pre-workout, especially if your cardio workout is before your first meal or between meals. Examples include: Whole, mixed grain hot cereal with raisins and walnuts, skim milk, and honey. Scrambled egg whites in a whole grain pita with a sliced apple. Greek yogurt parfait with layers of banana, peaches, and granola. Fruit smoothie made with soy milk, ice, banana, strawberries, and honey or brown sugar.


After a strength training workout, dietary protein is more readily used for muscle building, rather than fat storage. A protein shake or meal within 2 hours of a workout will give your body what it needs to build lean muscle. Although many believe consuming a protein drink during a strength-training workout is best for building muscle, no significant evidence supports this. 


After a cardio workout, hydration is the main goal. A significant amount of water is lost through perspiration. Pure water is the best source of hydration of the average exerciser. Sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde replenish lost electrolytes, but contain large amounts of sugar and calories. Only athletes may need the extra electrolytes that make sports drinks worth the sugar and calories. Generally, the average workout doesn’t demand the extra calories and electrolytes in sports drinks. Coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks, offering lots of potassium and magnesium, which restores your electrolytes. Also, after a tough cardio session, your energy resources may need replenishing with a carb-rich snack or meal.

Post-Workout choices For strength training, protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. Examples: Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana. Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato. Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast. Whole foods are the best option because they offer complete nutrition. They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated. The best whole food choices contain complete, high-quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral. These include eggs, fish, chicken breast, turkey, low-fat milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt. For cardio, the key is to replace both carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during a workout. Examples: Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter. Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey. Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the best sources of carbs for a workout. Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix. 


One of the best protein-carb combos is chocolate milk. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein and is recommended for both strength and cardio training. Chose low-fat to avoid excess fat and sugar consumption. Consume 8 ounces to obtain necessary nutrients after a workout.


What About Nutrition for Circuit Training?


Circuit training, combining strength training with periods of cardio work, requires just a few adjustments. Have your protein 2-3 hours before your workout. 30-60 minutes before your workout, have a carb-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit and slice of toast, or a mango smoothie. Post-workout, drink plenty of water and have a post-strength training meal with an extra carb, such as a piece of fruit. 30-60 minutes after training, replenish with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein to ensure adequate muscle repair and recovery. Consume a regular meal 3-4 hours after a workout. 

Workout Nutrition...Plan Ahead!!!





Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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4.2 Something That You Know and Believe...Stick to The Hydration and Nutrition Plan for Runs that Works!




Uncover the Truth about Fueling for Your Endurance Endeavors...10 Biggest Sports Nutrition Myths Matt Fitzgerald, Competitor.com, Aug. 4, 2014...Points to Ponder...

Myth 1 - Taking in simple sugars during exercise is bad...

Sugar, in the form of glucose (and also glycogen, which is the storage form of glucose in the body), is the most important energy source for intense endurance exercise. Dozens and dozens of studies have demonstrated that supplementing your body’s supply of glucose/glycogen with glucose, fructose, and other simple sugars that are easily converted to glucose during exercise enhances performance in workouts and races lasting longer than an hour. Despite this mountain of evidence, many runners still avoid using sports drinks and energy gels containing simple sugars because they are accustomed to thinking of sugar as “bad.” But sugar is only bad when you’re not running. When you are running, sugar is good!

Myth 2 - There is an optimal macronutrient ratio...

Should your diet be 60 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent fat, and 20 percent protein, as many sports nutrition experts recommend? Or should it be 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent protein, as other experts contend? Or is the optimal macronutrient ratio for endurance performance something else? In fact, science has shown that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all optimal macronutrient ratio.

Individual runners need different amounts of the three macronutrients based on how much they train. Consequently, while a 60/20/20 breakdown might be perfect for one runner, it might not be for another runner. Carbohydrate requirements vary the most with training volume. Think in terms of absolute amounts of carbohydrate instead of percentages. The average runner requires about 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight daily, but elite runners who train 20 hours a week or more may require twice that amount.

Myth 3 - It's necessary to carbo-load before races....

Carbo loading, or the practice of increasing dietary carbohydrate intake in the days preceding a race, is a familiar ritual for most runners. But it’s seldom necessary. Research has shown that carbohydrate loading has no effect on performance in races lasting less than about 90 minutes. Also, its effect is minimal even in longer races when adequate carbohydrate is consumed during the race. 

That being said, it does no harm, so if it gives you confidence, go ahead and load up.

Myth 4 - You should drink to completely prevent dehydration...

A whole generation of athletes was taught that any amount of dehydration had a negative effect on athletic performance and increased the risk of exertion heat illness. More recent and better science has shown that this is not the case, and that the old advice, based on the old beliefs, to drink enough to completely prevent dehydration during exercise is counterproductive.

It’s especially counterproductive for runners, because during intense running it’s almost impossible to absorb ingested fluid as quickly as the body loses fluid through sweating. A number of studies have shown that runners perform best and face no additional risk of heat illness when they simply drink by thirst, which typically replaces only 65-70 percent of sweat losses. And the risk of *GI distress is much lower when runners drink by thirst instead of forcing themselves to drink more.

*Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion/dyspepsia, bloating and constipation...

Another method to determine sufficient hydration in the body...



How Yellow is your Pee? Dark yellow = dehydrated; Light yellow = adequately hydrated.

How much volume have you peed out? Small amounts that are dark yellow = dehydrated. Large amounts that are light yellow = adequately hydrated.

Myth 5 - Eating more fat will increase your endurance....

A currently popular trend among endurance athletes is eating a high-fat diet to increase the muscles’ reliance on fat for fuel during exercise and thus increase endurance by sparing the muscles’ limited glycogen stores. Studies have shown that a high-fat diet does increase the muscles’ reliance on fat for fuel during prolonged exercise, however it has no effect on performance.

Myth 6 - Muscle cramps are caused by dehydration...

The idea that exercise-related muscle cramps are caused by dehydration and/or electrolyte depletion originated from a single flawed study conducted almost a century ago. More recent science has clearly shown that there is no correlation between dehydration levels and risk of cramping.

Instead, muscle cramping appears to be a symptom of a type of neuromuscular fatigue that is caused by unaccustomed exertion (this is why muscle cramping occurs almost exclusively in races) and occurs in athletes who have some sort of innate susceptibility to cramping. Drinking more fluid and consuming more electrolytes have not been shown to reduce cramping risk in susceptible athletes in races, with the exception of one study showing that sodium-loading before prolonged exercise delayed the onset of cramping.

Myth 7 - All sports drinks are the same...

So much research has been done on sports drinks that many products share the same basic formula — the combination and concentration of ingredients that are proven to work. But there are some significant differences that make some products generally more effective than others and make different sports drinks better for different individual athletes. For example, the addition of a small amount of protein to the typical sports drink formula, with a 6-8 percent concentration of carbohydrate, has been proven to increase endurance and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage. But a small fraction of unlucky athletes cannot tolerate protein ingestion well during running and therefore must use traditional sports drinks without protein.

Myth 8 - Most runners eat enough carbohydrate....

The long shadow of the low-carb diet craze of the early 2000s has left many of us believing that the average runner, eats a high-carbohydrate diet. In fact, the average runner gets only 50 percent of his or her calories from carbs, just as the average non-runner does. And while a 50 percent carbohydrate diet may be too much for a sedentary person who burns few carbs through activity, it’s not enough for most runners, who do.

As we said in discussing Myth 2, there’s no one-size-fits-all carbohydrate percentage that is right for every runner. You have to think in terms of absolute amounts and adjust your target amount based on your body weight and activity level. Runners need at least 2 grams of carbs per body weight daily. Elite runners may need as much as 5 grams per pound during periods of peak training.

Myth 9 - Runners need to eat as carefully as non-runners....

Many runners assume they can “get away with” eating a little more junk than couch potatoes can. Sports nutrition experts frequently try to correct this assumption, arguing that saturated fat, sugar, and the rest have the same terrible effects on the body whether you run or not. Actually, the runners have it right. High-volume aerobic exercise does mitigate the negative effects of consuming certain nutrients that are generally labeled “bad.” The license to eat a little more garbage — and to just eat a little more period — is one of the great rewards of running.

That being said, the diet of the average American is awful, and running definitely does not give you license to eat even worse than that with impunity. Couch potatoes need to eat an almost perfectly clean diet to maintain a modicum of health, and even that is not enough, as robust health is impossible without exercise. What you as a runner can get away with is eating a diet that’s a little worse than the perfect diet that’s a must for the non-runner.

Myth 10 - Supplements are necessary for maximum performance....

There are a lot of nutritional supplements that are marketed to endurance athletes with claims of enhancing endurance performance. Some of these claims are backed by a little bit of scientific evidence, but no nutritional supplement has ever been proven to enhance endurance performance significantly by a large number of studies without being counterbalanced by other studies showing no benefit. And most of the world’s best runners consume no nutritional supplements.

Video: Top 10 Nutrition Myths...How Much Do You Know?...Explain What You Agree as True or Disagree as Not True but Myth...

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1.4  "Bong" and Hitting the Wall"

Recalling Discussion:


Were answered previously, thanks coach tbz:




often, people associate the word "bonk" with "hitting the wall" during endurance runs..so for endurance runners it is a sudden and overwhelming feeling of running out of energy... what seemed like a manageable pace, then seemingly without warning your legs turned to cement...with heavy legs, a body-wide feeling of fatigue and sometimes dizziness, you are forced to stop. 


no matter how well trained you are and how wisely you’ve run up to this point in the race, these are bound to have the "hit the wall" on you when enduring the distance in long runs :

1. You shall have low blood sugar (light-headedness).
2. You shall suffer dehydration (your heart will pump sludge).
3. You shall run out of muscle glycogen (your legs will be out of fuel).

unless you do three things before "hitting the wall" :
1. Eat before the marathon...just to raise your blood sugar level so your brain can concentrate on the task at hand. “An hour before the race, you need to take in about 300 calories"...brain food.”..a toasted bagel, some pretzels and a banana would make a good pre-race combo...


2. Drink two 8-ounce glasses of water or sports drink 2 hours before the marathon, and hydrate at every water station..you should take in 5 to 12 ounces of water or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes during the race...this keeps dehydration at bay so your blood moves smoothly from your heart to your leg muscles, bringing those muscles the oxygen they need and shuttling waste products away...taking in enough fluids also keeps sweat flowing, which cools you down and helps prevent muscle cramps...don’t pass up the early water stops because you’re not thirsty or don’t want to slow down; by the time your body tells you it’s thirsty, you’re already on your way to dehydration...if you find it hard to swallow fluids while you’re running, stop and drink. The few seconds’ delay will pay off later.


3.Finally, take in fuel during the race..to ward off both glycogen-depletion and light-headedness, consuming about 200 calories every hour..that’s four cups of sports drink per hour-or candy, cookies, a banana, energy gelsor an energy bar on the hour...doesn’t matter if the fuel is liquid or solid,practice beforehand to figure out which type of fuel works best for you.

some runners find energy bars too hard to chew, while others think gels (syrupy substances in squeezable packets) are too sweet... cookies can crumble, and candies may melt..take advantage of your long training runs to work out which fuel is easiest for you to transport, use and digest... and since digesting solid “marathon food” will use water, make sure to drink plenty of fluid-at least a 6-ounce cup-with each snack...how much is 6-ounce cup..or..4-ounce cup 


What Causes a Bonk?..perhaps a complete bonk can be described as total glycogen depletion from the muscles and liver... glycogen is the primary fuel source for endurance athletes. ..this severe glycogen depletion does not occur during short duration, high intensity efforts, rather it occurs during continuous exercise at some 70- to 85-percent of VO2 max that is sustained for periods of more than about two hours.

how about an hour?..happens when you are forced to stop exercising after completing very high intensity bouts, it is typically not glycogen depletion that is limiting your exercise...but..rather..shorter, high-intensity efforts use a different combination of energy systems in the body... these energy system waste products ultimately interfere with muscle contractions and force you to stop or slow down... even though you're forced to stop after a high intensity effort, your body still has plenty of glycogen stores to continue at a slower pace... 

Can a Bonk be Prevented?..yes, you can prevent a bonk with several strategies:

1. Eat a diet adequate in carbohydrates. Experts argue over what value is seen as "adequate" and the optimal value is likely individual. Consume a diet that is some 40- to 65-percent carbohydrates.
2. Eat a diet adequate in overall caloric density for your body weight. Chronic under-eating can deplete glycogen stores.
3. Consume adequate fuels during training and racing.
4. Replenish glycogen stores after long workouts, particularly if you have not consumed fuel during the last hour or so of a long workout. You can use home-made recovery drinks or the commercial variety.
5. Eat before training and racing to "top-off" your tank, particularly if it has been several hours since your last meal.

Recovering from Glycogen Depletion: takes at least 20 hours for depleted stores to be replenished, assuming sufficient carbohydrates are consumed during that period... if glucose is given intravenously, glycogen stores can be replenished faster, perhaps in as little as eight hours. 

Is it Possible to Recover and Continue Racing After a Bonk?...most of the time, runners do not experience complete glycogen depletion during training or racing..they experience an overwhelming feeling of fatigue...and finding that if they are in the situation of feeling overall fatigue, and they have not been doing a good job of fueling before or during a long training or race event, they can consume some fuel (typically carbohydrates) and fluids during the event to make a partial recovery...yes, that includes energy gel..

for some runners this means stopping, sitting down, and refueling...while others can significantly slow the pace, but continue to move while refueling....

is it wise to continue run/race after a bonk?..if only symptom is a low-energy feeling, and that feeling is reduced or eliminated by a reduction in pace, refueling, and re-hydrating, most of the time you are fine to continue the event...

however, you need to use good judgment.if you can't seem to think clearly or you feel that a continuation of exercise would put you in any long-term danger like injury, it's best to end the day...make a call to have someone pick you up from your training session or end your race day...STOP.. there are more training and race days ahead...wise decision..

if refueling means energy gel.. just remember..can we opt for natural and organic alternatives to "spike the sugar" in the body..

of course, nutritionists term of blood sugar "roller coaster" will not be preferred..be aware.."The constant spike and crash drains the useful energy out of the blood stream which leads to: Fatigue, Moodiness, Cravings, and Weight Gain"


and we need to maintain.. a balance in stable blood sugar..

"Why does this work? The lean protein and good fat slow down the conversion of the carbohydrates into glucose in your blood stream, making them time-released, therefore keeping your blood sugar stable and controlling the release of insulin."

"Because your blood sugar is stable and your insulin levels are low, your body is geared to burn fat rather than store fat."

our bodies burn both carbs (sugars, glycogen, all the same) and fat when we run...the slower we go the more fat we burn and the more glycogen we preserve..the faster we go, the more carbs we burn relative to our fat stores...at our marathon race pace we have about 2 hours before we’ll run out of glycogen and have only fat left to burn... when we only have fat to burn, we feel sluggy and slow and baaaad (this is a bonk!)

the good news is that at easy pace (appx. 1/2 minute per km slower than marathon race pace), most of us can go much longer without running out of glycogen, so there is no need to take gels when running that easy pace...if running at marathon race pace for a training run, you don’t need gels when running for 2 hours or less... 

so by taking so many gels your body always has glycogen at the ready and you will never give it the opportunity to learn to use fat more efficiently... putting yourself at risk of bonking and running slower in your marathons than you otherwise could... and if you’re training to race a marathon to the best of your ability, wean yourselves off that gel dependency now...focus for more on training your body to rely more on fat and spare your glycogen stores..strike a balance in stable blood sugar..as explained..and that also means having a sound working Training Plan..

yes.. it will hurt.."bonk" and "hitting the wall"..


especially for those who yet have experienced their first "bonk"..and may not yet in the process of "hitting the wall"...first 6km..12km..18km..Half Marathon...still all right..but as the distance goes beyond..24km..30km...34km...37km..and to the first Full Marathon...and beyond..first UltraRun!

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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6.1 Marathon for healthy living: Running Marathon...


Circulation System....

Heart pumps harder to supply blood to the skin which acts as a cooling system during hot weather...

Perspiration and water loss, volume of blood in circulation declines and the heart works even harder...

Cardiac Drift occurs...the heart rate slowly creeps up, given the same workload...greater strain in the heart...the effort to maintain the same running speed may feel greater...

Blood is made of cells and plasma, and the plasma is over 90 percent water. When you exercise and start to sweat, you loose some of that water from the blood plasma traveling through your body in order to get oxygen to the working muscles... 

Musculoskeletal System...

Muscle Microscopic Tears...tendons tear or inflamed...bones with stress fractures...cartilage soften, fray and swell...

Gastro-Intestinal Tract...

Blood supply diverted to the muscles...

Digestive tract microscopic bleeding...decrease in iron stores...anemia...


Increase in serotonin versus a decrease in dopamine...


Body's major storage sites for glucose and glycogen, which help to store energy...these resources are depleted 60 to 90 minutes into an endured event....must usually be refuelled with isotonic drinks...if the muscle glycogen store is depleted, blood... 

Sugar levels drop...


sunburn in hot weather...blisters on the feet...skin is constantly wet...chafing occurs...repeated stubbing of toenails with a runner's shoe...bleed below the nails..black toe...


Work extra hard to conserve water and salt through perspiration...extreme cases, when the muscles break down, molecues such as myoglobin are released into circulation, which may impair the kidney'a functioning...precipitate acute renal failure...

Body loses a great deal of salt...if the runner replenishes with only only, rather than isotonic drinks, his/her kidneys may lose their ability to regulate the salt content in the body...

Too little salt in circulation may lead to swelling of the brain...result in loss of consciousness or even death...

Some Simply Explained...

Cardiac Drift... 

When you engage in aerobic exercise, your body has to get oxygen-rich blood to working muscles so that the mitochondria in your muscles' cells can produce energy to contract the working muscles.


Cardiac (or cardiovascular) drift refers to the natural increase in heart rate that occurs when running with little or no change in pace. Many runners mistakenly assume that if they keep their runs at a consistent pace, their heart rate will remain relatively constant as well.

However, exercise research has shown that it is common to see heart rate “drift” upward during an easy run or threshold run, even with no increase in pace or effort—sometimes by as much as 10-20 beats per minute over a 30-minute period.


It is important to emphasize that cardiovascular drift results in an increased heart rate without a corresponding rise in effort, breathing rate, or calories burned. The runner often detect no changes in breathing rate or effort.


Cardiovascular drift is mostly caused by the natural increase in core body temperature when running. This increase in core body temperature elevates heart rate the same way running in hot conditions does. Correspondingly, the stroke volume of the heart decreases so that cardiac output and oxygen uptake remain the same, keeping your breathing and effort similar while heart rate rises.


Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore: 29-year-old man dies after collapsing during half-marathon  Dec 4, 2016


SINGAPORE - A 29-year-old man died on Sunday morning after collapsing during the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. 

The runner was participating in the half marathon. He collapsed 1km away from the finish line at the Padang. 

The runner is believed to be Mr John Gibson, a Briton living in Hong Kong. It is understood that his family has been informed. 

Race organiser Ironman Asia's managing director Geoff Meyer said the runner was immediately attended to and sent to the hospital in an ambulance. 

Said Meyer: "We are working with all the stakeholders with regards to that but our main priority and focus is on the family, and we are working with them to see how they can be fully supported, doing everything we can possibly do.


"We've done everything we possibly can for the family, and we'll continue to support the family."

This year's event drew about 46,000 participants and it was the first time that it was staged by new race organiser Ironman Asia.

For the first time, the half and full marathons flagged off simultaneously in Orchard Road at 4.30am. The runners werelater joined by participants of the 10km race, which started at 6.45am at Esplanade Drive. All races finished at the Padang.

Sport Singapore extended its condolences to the runner's family and friends, and said it will continue to work with organisers to provide assistance to his family. 

This is the second death in the 15-year history of the Standard Chartered Marathon in Singapore.

In 2011, 22-year-old Malcolm Sng Wei Ren died after completing a half-marathon. A coroner's court later determined that he had died from acute coronary insufficiency and had an abnormal coronary artery which had been previously undetected.

In 2013, 25-year-old Goh Kai Lin collapsed while running the 10km Nike We Run. The taekwondo enthusiast died on the same day.

Heart Health Questions About You...

* Have you ever passed out or nearly passed out DURING exercise?
* Have you ever passed out or nearly passed out AFTER exercise?
* Have you ever had discomfort, pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest during exercise?
* Does your heart race or skip beats (irregular beats) during exercise?
* Has a doctor ever told you that you have?:
- High blood pressure
- A heart murmur
- High cholesterol
- A heart infection
- Rheumatic fever

* Has a doctor ever ordered a test for your heart? (for example, ECG/EKG, echocardiogram, stress test)
* Do you get lightheaded or feel more short of breath than expected during exercise?
* Have you ever had an unexplained seizure?
* Do you get more tired or short of breath more quickly than your friends during exercise?

Heart Health Questions About Your Family...

* Has any family member or relative died of heart problems or had an unexpected or unexplained sudden death before age 50 (including unexplained drowning, unexplained car accident, or sudden infant death syndrome)?
* Does anyone in your family have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, long QT syndrome, short QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, or catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia?
* Does anyone in your family have a heart problem, pacemaker, or implanted defibrillator?
* Has anyone in your family had unexplained fainting, unexplained seizures, or near drowning?

As always, chest pain or pressure, passing out, skipping or racing heart, or lightheadedness/dizziness during running should alert you to stop and get evaluated as any of the above causes, plus coronary artery disease, could be the cause.

Heat Exhaustion...

This acid base mnemonics is a milder form of heat-related illness called Heat Exhaustion. Prone to these conditions are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people exercising in high temperatures and unbalanced replacement of fluids.



Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and can cause death if not treated properly and promptly. In this state, the body overheats and can’t cool down. Dehydration and humid environment causes the body to retain excessive heat.


Marathon Carbohydrate Needs...


What Happens to Muscles During Exercise?


During exercise, muscles must perform two main tasks:
(1) “Burn” available fuel for energy
(2) Contract in response to a rush of electrical signals from the brain

Muscle Fuel During Exercise...

Muscle is capable of burning multiple fuels during exercise, including glucose (from carbohydrates), fatty acids (from fat) and amino acids (from protein). The type of fuel that is burned for energy depends on the intensity and duration of exercise being performed.


* Glucose is Stored as Glycogen

* Glucose is stored within each muscle cell as glycogen. Glycogen is a quick-burning fuel used during high intensity exercise.

* Fatty Acids are Stored as Triglyceride

* Fatty acids are stored within muscle cells as triglycerides. Triglycerides provide a secondary fuel source for low intensity exercise.

* Amino Acids are Stored as Muscle Protein

* Finally, amino acids are stored within the muscle tissue as muscle protein itself. Unlike glucose and fatty acids, there is no storage tank for amino acids in the muscle tissue. The muscle itself is the amino acid storage tank.


The Choice of Fuel Depends on Exercise Intensity...

As you can see in the graph below, as the intensity of exercise increases, the dependence on carbohydrate goes up and the dependence on fatty acids goes down. This means your muscles will use your glucose storage tank to fuel your workout so you can eat more carbs!

At low intensities, fatty acids are the main fuel source and only small amounts of glycogen are broken down. As the intensity of exercise increases, larger amounts of glycogen are broken down and burned for energy, making glucose the predominant fuel source.


Muscle Microtrauma...

Even though amino acids from muscle protein are the last choice for fuel during exercise, microscopic tears result from repeated muscle contractions, called microtrauma. These microscopic tears are one of the signals that the muscle requires in order to repair during rest.

Summary...Recovery is a vital, often overlooked aspect of your workout regimen. It’s very important to let your muscles rest – and replace your “fuel” with the right foods.

Muscle is the largest type of tissue in your body, and is extremely malleable because it responds to the type, duration and intensity of exercise that you perform. Frequently exercised muscle tissue is in a constant state of remodeling, leading to increases in endurance, strength, flexibility and power.

Muscle Microscopic Tears...What Happens to Muscles After Exercise?


The basic physiology of muscles during exercise:
(1) Muscles burn mainly fat during low intensity exercise
(2) Muscles burn mainly carbohydrate during high intensity exercise
(3) Muscles spare protein “infrastructure” from being burned as fuel
(4) Microscopic muscle tears (microtrauma) require repair


Work Rate...

Exercise increases the muscle work rate up to 30-fold. In order to sustain these large increases in work rate, glycogen and triglyceride fuel stores are depleted on-demand. 

Following a challenging workout, muscle glycogen and triglyceride stores are depleted by as much as 70%.

The Balance Between Onboard and Imported Fuel...

As the glycogen and triglyceride fuel tanks run low, the muscle starts importing glucose and fatty acids from the blood. This process happens on-the-fly, and the amount of imported fuel depends mainly on the amount of fuel currently in the muscle tissue. When fuel stores are high, onboard fuel is depleted first. When onboard fuel stores fall low, more fuel is imported from the blood.

This is how endurance athletes are capable of performing exercise for many hours – because they have trained themselves to recognize when their muscles are running low on fuel. 

Eating during a workout provides a rapid influx of fuel into the blood that becomes available for active muscles during exercise.

Fatigue and Exhaustion...

You may have noticed that exercise becomes more difficult towards the end of a workout, as you become physically and mentally fatigued.

These feelings of exhaustion result from:
(1) Depleted muscle fuel stores
(2) Muscle microtrauma
(3) The accumulation of waste products
(4) Electrolyte imbalance in the blood
(5) Nervous system fatigue
(6) A rapid exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide across lung tissue
(7) Rapidly increased heart rate

Summary...During Exercise and Post-Exercise Recovery...The Window of Opportunity... 

interestingly, too, after 30 minutes of exercise your body will naturally lose its efficiency to use carbohydrates as an energy source...hence the ingestion of a “sports drink” is vital when topping up energy stores..yes..take note on the 30 minute window...plan to refuel and sustain glucose levels.

for fitness..any run must be at least 40min..aerobic..fat-burning..and because energy is required.. light meal prior to run is good..and of course, hydration during and after are always a must..and after run..drink as much as you want..

it is advisable.. for run above 45-50min..it is considered above normal aerobic training..and so nutrition and hydration is required.. like a small meal or snack is needed..and endurance distance type runners...mostly will bring along their personal "hydration" assets.

how much time is advised to eat for recovery is important..yes.. respect the fuel window is advised here..In the 15-60 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscles are primed to receive fuel to start the repair process. Eat (or drink) your recovery meal right away, within the first half hour after the workout is complete.

"Recovery doesn’t stop with your post-workout meal; you’ll want to eat again an hour or two later, this time focusing more on quality protein."... and that means.. a proper meal..so.. post-workout meal consists of 2 periods.. Recovery snack.. Recovery during actual Meal (after 2-hour)...

however, uncle follows a personal 10-minute window for fuel loading.. for endurance runs..because muscles after the endurance distance.. the muscles are extremely "crying out" for protein.. so protein bars...anything burger also can.....protein and carbs.. and uncle will want to eat again anytime within 2 hours, this time focusing more on quality protein in a proper daily meal..best if porridge with minced meat..again.. may not apply to other "fat loss" exercise/run or "long distance" runs...

why? in the 2-3 hours following exercise, fatigued muscles are incredibly hungry. That’s why it’s important to feed your muscles in the few hours following exercise in order to ensure that they receive the nutrients they require. During this 2-3 hour window of opportunity, the enzymes required for glycogen synthesis, triglyceride synthesis and protein synthesis are revved up and ready to do their job.

Think of muscle enzymes in the post-exercise state as a collection of eager construction workers ready to build. If they show up to the work site but lack raw materials, their talent cannot be put to use. Instead, if you provide them with the proper raw materials, watch as they perform incredible work at a fast work rate.


In the 2-3 hours following exercise, the glycogen and triglyceride “construction workers” are capable of refilling fuel tanks quickly and efficiently. Similarly, the enzymes needed for muscle protein synthesis are activated and ready to do their job, eagerly anticipating the arrival of amino acids.

Your mission is to provide high quality and bioavailable carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, water, fiber and antioxidants in the right ratio, and let your muscles do the rest of the work. In the next article, we’ll go into detail about which foods are excellent choices for refueling and repairing muscle post-exercise.

Until then, enjoy your workouts and embrace the feeling of post-exercise fatigue – it’s a sign of upcoming growth and repair.

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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5.1 Diets for Endurance Runs : Nutrition, Hydration, Metabolism and Biomechanics: The Kenyans...

Among the best runners in the world, as everyone knows, are the Kenyans. 


The diet of the typical Kenyan runner is 76 percent carbohydrate. Compare that to the diet of the typical American, which is less than 50 percent carbohydrate. 

Kenyan runners get the majority of their calories from ugali, a dish made entirely from cornmeal, that supplies a whopping 38.5 grams of carbs per half-cup serving. 

The only runners whose abilities rival the Kenyans are the Ethiopians. The diet of the typical Ethiopian runner is 78 percent carbohydrate!


This does not mean that you should automatically aim to get more than three-quarters of your daily calories from carbs. The amount of carbohydrate a runner needs in order to handle his or her training is tied to the amount of training he or she does.The requirements vary from as little as 3 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight daily for those who do just a few short runs per week all the way up to 10 g/kg for the heaviest trainers.



Corn meal made from the sturdy dried maize is the staple food for the Kenyans as they make a main dish called Ugali, a porridge that is almost like a stiff dough. It is similar to the Italian Polenta or the Indian Kali. It is usually eaten with a stew made with meat or Suguma wiki (collard) greens. They roll small quantity of Ugali in the hand and form it into a cup between fingers and scoop the stew with it.


Ugali is made by boiling water and adding white corn meal little at a time. It lumps easily, so stirring and adding a little, like making uppuma is the best way to go. The water should be like 2 times more than the flour and it will absorb the water as it cooks. Add a little bit of salt to this porridge when the water is boiling.


Ugali Sakuma Wiki..

This is a High Carb, Low Fat, Low Sodium..Ugali (cornmeal) and Sukuma Wiki (a kale stew with tomatoes)...a traditional dish of the Kenyans that help them stay lean and be the best runners in the world.



It's quick, 15 minute meal that will keep you full and satisfied, helping to stop those late night cravings.

Interesting Note 1: Sukuma Wiki means “week-pusher” or “stretch the week” in Swahili. So when other supplies have run out or if a family is low on meat, this was what they ate.


Sukuma Wiki can be done with spinach and collard greens mixed in with the kale...and much more...


Interesting Note 2: In Running with the Kenyans, Adharanand Finn describes how the Kenyan runners are adamant about eating Ugali with Sukuma Wiki the night before an important race. It’s their way of carbo-loading (the good kind!)



Simpy...Ugali Sakuma Wiki is Vegan Nutrition...


Discover...How to Make Ugali & Sukuma Wiki - Kenyan Meal...

Video: How to Make Ugali and Sukuma Wiki

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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2.3  Dr. Mok Ying Ren's training and race day running and hydration tips...











Long runs are another key workout for you to break that personal best. I 
recommend that you be able to run 70-80min continously on a weekly basis 
to build that engine in you.


Be patient and start at the back. As this may be your first run, avoid lining up 
at the front to prevent accidents from seasoned runners pushing you. Start 
someone where in the middle of the crowd.


Remember to clear your bowels and bladder before lining up at the race start. 
You don't want extra stressors during your first run! 


Eat a normal breakfast like you always do 2-3 hours before the race start to 
prevent bloated-ness during your race!


It will be key for your to start at a good position at the race start to prevent
yourself from being blocked by less experience runners. This will mean heading
to the start line earlier and queue up near the front of the flag off.

Training and Racing Tips...


Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...

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Last post...How to practice your long run nutrition to find your sweet spot...

Many runners start to build up higher mileage as they prepare for marathon and half marathon races...and with this natural increase in both mileage and long runs comes good and bad experiences in regards to nutrition on the run. 


Typically, once you have had a bad experience with digestion or food on a run (like bonking or the call of nature) you tend to shy away from whatever you did before that run in an effort to avoid that negative experience. 

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Interesting Case for Ponder...

"After experiencing the call of nature mid-run and then proceeding to bonk three quarters of the way into the first long run, decision is made to two running routine changes with the hope of avoiding the two negative experiences again."

"The first change, get up earlier and finish eating two hours before next long morning run. This change was made to allow time for complete digestion and a bathroom break before the start of the run."


"The second change, nearly double energy gel intake. Instead of taking a gel every 45-60 minutes, use a gel every 20-30 minutes."


Thinking that drastically changing these two factors was the right call...on the long run the following week...the end result of these changes was low energy and bloating that started in the final couple of miles of the run, which then continued for a period of time after the run was complete...


What most runners go wrong when trying to fix nutrition issues?

There are three issues many runners, get wrong when trying to make meaningful nutrition changes in an attempt to avoid the dreaded bonk or stomach issues during their long runs.

First is being afraid to have another bad run and therefore trying to fix everything in one fell swoop by the next run. It’s important to recognize that each long run is “practice” for the actual race.


Second, less is always best when it comes to nutrition for endurance events. If one gel is helpful, that doesn’t mean 15 gels are going to make you 15 times faster. (more on energy gels for the marathon here)


Finally, making multiple changes at once distorts the actual effect of each change; one change at a time is a much better gauge to determine the benefit of each individual change.

Don’t be Afraid of the Hard Runs and Negative Experiences...

When it comes to nutrition for endurance events, you are bound to have negative experiences – it’s unavoidable and part of the process.


While there are many great guidelines on what to eat before, during, and after a long run to avoid bonking and the call of nature, you have to remember everyone’s body is different. Somewhere along the line your body is not going to fit into the general guidelines, and you may experience a hard run or two.

Just like in other areas of life, it’s often the negative experiences that we learn the most from. If you have an awesome 20-miler, how often do you take the time to go back and rethink what you ate the day or two before the run or the morning of the run—not often I presume.

On the other hand, when you have a terrible run, you are much more likely to think to yourself, “What in the world did I eat recently? That was a hard run!”

Encourage to experiment with what you eat before, during, and after each run while you are training.

Yes, you risk a bad run or two, but you also may find a combination of foods that gives you more energy than what you are currently experiencing.

Use every long run leading up to your final long run as experimental practice runs. Make minor adjustments with your nutrition to determine if it is a positive and beneficial change or not.

The last long run of your training routine should be a dress rehearsal for race day. You should have your pre-race meals (the day before and the morning of), as well as any gel use and hydration requirements determined well in advance.

Less Is Best...

When it comes to fueling and refueling during endurance running, research has shown us that less is best.


On average, a runner burns 100 calories per mile. Therefore, an individual can burn anywhere from 400-800+ calories an hour.

A common belief that runners often maintain is that they need to consume most of those burned calories while running or they will hit that “wall.” This myth has been the source of many uncomfortable, bloated runs for a large number of runners.

When running at a moderate or high intensity for over 1-2 hours, your body simply cannot keep up with the calorie or fluid loss. It doesn’t matter how much you eat or drink, your digestive system can only process so much while running.

Fortunately, your fat and muscle glycogen stores are sufficient to make up for the non-replaceable nutrient losses if trained properly.

The standard recommendation for endurance athletes it to consume 240-280 calories per hour of training. What this recommendation doesn’t specify is that it is based on a 165-pound athlete.

If you weigh more than 165 pounds, or less than 165 pounds, 240-280 calories per hour of running is not your “prime” calorie consumption. This is why I emphasize the importance of experimenting with your own body’s nutritional requirements.

If you are experiencing digestive discomfort or bloating during a run, often cutting down on the amount of gels or chews you are using is a great first routine change.

If that doesn’t take care of the problem, look at the ingredients in the product you are consuming. You may be allergic or sensitive to a particular ingredient; try other brands with varying ingredients or try real food that you are not sensitive to that will supply your body with the same energy boost.


Make One Change At A Time...

If you are interested in really taking the time to learn your body, and you enjoy taking risks, try this experimental process of making one change at a time to help you find your nutritional sweet spot:

During a long run, don’t take anything with you but water. See how you feel, and ask these questions:
-Did you get hungry? What mile?
-Did your pace slow down? What mile?
-Was your overall time faster? Slower? By how much?

The next long run depends on your answers. For example, your last long run was a 16-miler, and at mile 14, you crashed. For your next run, take one gel with you and take it at about mile 12.

Again, ask the same questions listed above. Continue this process for each long run, making small adjustments, as needed, each run. This process allows you to see what works specifically for your body. It will also teach you how to be incredibly in tune with your body’s nutritional running needs and sweet spot.

When you go through this trial and error process you will begin to learn how your body feels miles before you bonk, which gives you the ability to avoid it.

Depending on external elements, like sleep and stress, you probably won’t bonk at mile 14 every time even if you ate the same and ran the same intensity. But, by implementing this process of listening to your body, you should have learned how you feel three to four miles before you hit the wall. Therefore, you will be better prepared to make critical nutritional adjustments on the fly.

Bonking, crashing, “hitting the wall,” and “calls of nature” are never fun, but they are nothing to be afraid of. If done correctly, each negative experience you have can serve to better prepare you to supply your body with what it needs to be stronger for your next run.

Take the time to learn your body’s preferred nutritional sweet spots...


It is well worth the time and effort!

Enjoy...Nutrition, Hydration and Metabolism for Runs...The End! Thank You!

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Talking about nutritional portion, I really think having too much gel is not good during the run cause the body simply cannot absorb anymore and the feeling of the gel (although only a small amount) together with the drink, seems to be floating in the stomach.... how many gels do you guys consume during a long run, say a marathon? I personally would usually consume about 4 packs....

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4 hours ago, AutumnRunner said:

Talking about nutritional portion, I really think having too much gel is not good during the run cause the body simply cannot absorb anymore and the feeling of the gel (although only a small amount) together with the drink, seems to be floating in the stomach.... how many gels do you guys consume during a long run, say a marathon? I personally would usually consume about 4 packs....

In my last Newton 32k run I took zero gel. I did not bonk in that race and clock 2hr 54min. Right now I am trying to do my long runs with minimal gel up to 4hr.


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3 minutes ago, HS Ong said:

In my last Newton 32k run I took zero gel. I did not bonk in that race and clock 2hr 54min. Right now I am trying to do my long runs with minimal gel up to 4hr.


did u train a lot at this pace to "train" your body to learn efficient burning at this pace? or carbo load a lot before this race?

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27 minutes ago, AutumnRunner said:

did u train a lot at this pace to "train" your body to learn efficient burning at this pace? or carbo load a lot before this race?

My long runs pace are slower 6:15 to 6:30.

My longest long run before SCMS which I did 21k was 2 weeks before at 35k with zero gel and it took me 3hr 40min to complete.

The only fuel I was relying on was 3 scoop of Tailwind in my 1.5ltr hydration pack.

Usually I will carbo load 1 week in advance (pasta and prata, works for me!) and reduce my milage and my gym to the minimal. In the week I did Newton, I ran only 11km and zero gym. My average weekly milage is 40k, so, for that week I still hit my 40k weekly goal.

I find the body can burn fat more efficiently after 20k once you train to do long runs above 2hr 30min on regular basis. This year I have clock 40 long runs with minimum 20k distance. I have to thank Strava to make keeping such statistics so easy!

Btw, I am very light. only 54kg with 8% body fat.

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Oh.. that's really good infor.. cause I am trying to have lesser fuel geld on the go as I foresee that this is creating more problems for me ... 

Your pace for long runs is definitely much slower than what u can manage and should be at a very comfortable pace for u... ok.... Let's see if anyone else has any good infor about their fuel nutrition during  the run 


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