How to Fuel Training Runs Gels Drinks Foods Explained

What you eat and drink is very crucial to support training

General diet

Your diet needs to be balanced and healthy with carbohydrates making up around two thirds of it, with fats and proteins filling in the rest. This is how you build your nutritional foundations.

Always think about how far you’re planning to run and then do some basic maths. In terms of fuelling up for a long run, say in excess of 75 minutes, you need to looking to consume around 1g of carbohydrate for every 1kg (2lbs) of body weight, then multiply that by the number of hours you have before your run

Sports drinks

Most runners sweat a lot during their workouts.Some take water only while others take sports drinks which contain electrolytes, low levels of sodium and carbohydrates. For a runner who sweats a lot, sports drinks might be the way to go to replace the electrolytes you’re losing.

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a sports drink, taste being one.Always try out new drinks in training.

Sports gels

Gels are another way of refuelling on the go.Energy gels come in because it’s their job to replenish depleted stores of glycogen.The body needs time to process the gels and convert it into glycogen, which means the timing of your gels is important. It’s best to use them early on in a race, as they can unsettle your stomach later on. The gels are absorbed into your bloodstream as sugar initially and then they are fed to your muscles.

We’re all different, so the rate at which this absorption occurs will vary. The best way to approach it is to have a gel in the first 45 minutes of your long run and then wait around an hour for the next one. You can maintain that strategy for the duration of your run, but remember that for some runners, their stomachs effectively shut down in the latter stages of races or long runs because of fatigue.

As a result they can’t digest the gel and it can sometimes be regurgitated or force an emergency comfort stop. The key word here is practice.The water assists their digestion so if you take them with something else, they take longer to digest and it will feel a bit like eating raw sugar.

Snacks on the go

Depending on the length of your workout, you may have to eat something while you are on the move. Take something healthy with you like a banana, or an energy bar, even some dried fruit or jelly babies. The fruit will give you carbs and energy and the glucose in the sweets will provide a sugar boost.

Post-run snacks

When you’ve finished your workout you need to be thinking about a high carbohydrate snack within half an hour.Some runners like to go for a snack bar or an energy bar. Others prefer some fruit or dried fruit, but if you fancy, some toast with peanut butter would do the trick. The maximal uptake of glucose is in those first 30 minutes after your run.”

Liquid Food supplements

For those runners who don’t like to eat right after exercise, a drink packed with the right kind of ingredients will do the trick. Chocolate milk or a homemade fruit smoothie could also be a potential option here. Liquid food supplements are a new addition to the runner’s arsenal of refueling options. They are high in carbohydrate but also contain protein, vitamins and electrolytes. They are also a popular way of recovering lost vitamins, minerals and glycogen immediately after a workout.