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What kind of food should you eat during a long-distance race?

16 de March de 2023

Our sports nutrition sponsor Herooj offers a complete range of products where the main sources of energy discussed in this blog post are present. Thanks to the support of athlete and sports nutritionist Martina Rebull @comeypedalea we will be able to enjoy specific advice for the three events of the Titan World Series universe.

During physical exercise, carbohydrates (CHO) and fats are the main sources of energy for the muscle. The intensity and duration of the effort, together with the pre-exercise CHO reserves and the individual’s training status, modify the type of substrate (sugars or fats) used by the muscle cells.

The importance of carbohydrates

Exercise intensity is one of the main factors why carbohydrates become the main source of energy for muscle. In other words, the more intense the exercise, the higher percentage of carbohydrate will be used by the muscle compared to fat. It is therefore essential to focus on the role played by this macronutrient around the sporting event. The aim of this article is to know what kind of energy you need to be able to perform better during a sporting event like the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco.

The main thing in this type of event is to understand that it is a long-distance race. It is essential to set a comfortable running intensity and to monitor your energy and hydration intake during each stage.

In the following image you can clearly see that as we increase the intensity of the race, our body will suffer a greater caloric expenditure and, in addition, it will ask us for more sugars as a source of energy. If you notice, as running power (watts) increases, the amount of energy from carbohydrates (in orange) increases. Conversely, as the intensity increases, fats cease to play an important role as a source of energy.

Energy bars and energy drinks, great allies

It is for this reason that during high intensity races, it is more efficient to consume snacks such as candy bars, gels and/or energy drinks. The latter usually contain around 70-80g of carbohydrates per 500ml, so they help us to maintain a high energy intake while hydrating us at the same time. At an average running pace it is easier to tolerate the more solid snacks with a higher energy intake.

This energy comes not only from sugars, but also from fats. When choosing a good bar, it is essential to prioritise healthy fats such as those found in nuts, peanut butter or tahini, olive oil…

Theoretically, the amount of energy that should be consumed in races longer than 2 hours is about 60g of carbohydrate per hour. If the race is longer than 3 hours, it is advisable to increase the amount to a minimum of 90g. And here’s a curious fact: did you know that elite cyclists can consume up to 120g of carbohydrate per hour during the Tour de France?

So, to avoid gastrointestinal problems during the race, it is essential to have a strategy and to have trained your nutrition in the months leading up to the event, so don’t hesitate to ask your sports nutritionist for help!

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