The importance of energy intake in endurance sports

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This video is for those of you who want to perform at an endurance event longer than say, 1,5 hour. This could be running, cycling, swimming, but also things like team sports.

If you want to produce a lot of power or speed during these kind of events, you need carbohydrates. The only problem is that the amount of carbohydrates in your body is limited, and actually is gone after 1,5 hour of intense training or racing. Now you can worry about increasing your FTP or your anaerobic threshold by say 10 watts, but this makes no sense if you don’t think about your carbohydrates and therefore run out of energy.

Relationship between Carbohydrate intake and triathlon performance
Here you can see that IRONMAN professionals who pay attention to their carb intake, by consuming more, are faster in a triathlon.

Regarding this topic there are 2 things you need to know. First, how much carbohydrates do I burn at a certain intensity. Once you know this, you better understand the importance of nutrition during intense or long sport events.

Carbohydrate intake per endurance training zone.
Example of an athlete who uses INSCYD to better understand how much carbohydrates are burned at a certain intensity (or training zone)

The second thing you need to know is your FATmax, because even if you consume a lot of carbohydrates you’ll notice that you can never consume as much carbohydrates as you can burn. So the only alternative for you to save carbohydrates – besides consuming them – is by increasing the amount of fat you burn. The more fat you burn, the more carbohydrates you save.

So in a nutshell: if you want to boost your endurance today, pay attention to your carbohydrate intake. If you want to boost your endurance in the future, make sure you increase your FATmax. And if you want to do this properly, make sure you contact me πŸ™‚

Would you like to know more about nutrition or endurance sports? Click on the links!

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