Long distance runners (a sporting event over 42.195 km from a marathon) know they have many days of intense shooting and many hours of training in and out of the gym.
They demonstrate an important demand that requires extensive physical fitness, as well as special diet and hydration to be able to safely complete it. This is where nutritional supplements or ergogenic supplements come in.
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“These substances are used to supplement the athlete’s diet, to increase aerobic endurance and fitness, and to avoid deficiencies during a lot of physical work,” explains Amil Lopez Vitees, Physician At Pharmacy, nutritionist and creator of the Coherent Diet method. / p>
For other sports such as 10K racing, additives are not necessary, but in ultra-distance racing, “correct addition before and during the test is necessary to achieve this goal.” that without the correct delivery of these nutrients in time and quantity, muscles will not be able to function properly, ”explains Amparo Carrasco, specialist in internal medicine, endocrinology and nutrition at the hospital.
In addition, they are legal substances, as they are not included in the IOC’s list of alloying substances, ”points out Lopez Viteez.
Ultradistance Race are endurance tests that “rely on blood sugar and glycogen stores in the muscles and liver for their development.” », Details Lopez-Vieter. The problem is that these reserves “are short in duration, 60 to 90 minutes, so hydrates must be included during this type of test in order to successfully complete these tests,” as Laura Llorente, nutritionist-nutritionist at Centro Aleris in Madrid. >
This is where adding gels or energy bars comes in. These funds “extend the sporting effort by replacing spent fuel,” Carrasco says. In addition, “sports supplements and beverages help replace fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat and prevent dehydration and hyponatremia,” recalls Lopez-Vieter. “This will help reduce fatigue, improve performance and prevent dehydration,” says Llorente.
Based on this, the expert of the Center advises:
- Regarding hydration: “Drink at regular intervals throughout the competition and use each drink to take small sips of water or isotonic drink.” Ideally, “drink a glass of water (200 ml) and two isotonic (400 ml) every hour, approximately”.
- Regarding food during the test: in an ultra-track race, the carbohydrate intake should be approximately 60-90g per hour, a very large amount, many athletes may not consume them. ” In this case, Llorente recommends a “pre-workout of the stomach”.
A wide variety of products, which one to choose?
With regard to foods or foods that can be included in training and competition, Llorente mentions natural foods such as fruits (bananas), dehydrated fruits, dates or sandwiches rich in carbohydrates. (with honey, quince or jam).
Based on this, a good example of a natural product supplement would be:
- One banana (12 g HC) + 2 dried apricots (20 g HC) + 400 ml isotonic drink (25-30 g HC) = 57-62 g HC per hour
Another less natural option is gels and jelly beans.
As Llorente points out, gels “are the most popular and there is a wide range of them in different flavors and textures.” If the athlete chooses this second option, the nutritionist recommends “combining different types of carbohydrates so that absorption occurs gradually and optimizing their energy intake during competition.”
Another way is with bars or carbs. This supplement is highly concentrated in carbohydrates, mineral salts and, unlike gels, is solid, so “when choosing them in our diet, we must take into account that their digestion is slower and stronger.” Therefore, it is recommended “only for those athletes who are trained in the stomach.”
Finally, there are tablets or capsules with salts. Its function is to provide the optimal amount of mineral salts during training or long-term competition. They are very important because “when we exercise or compete, we lose mineral salts due to sweat that need to be replaced to avoid cramps and regulate the loss of electrolytes.”
According to this, a good example of adding non-natural foods would be:
- 1 gel (27 g HC) + 400 ml isotonic drink (25-30 g HC) = 52-60 g HC per hour.
If an athlete combines both (natural and non-natural), he can do it as follows:
- gel + banana
- Banana + stick
- Pasta soup (offered by the organization) + bar
- Bar + quince sandwich
The combinations are endless and can be made depending on the tastes and needs of each athlete. In any case, everything should be planned.
For the experts consulted by CuídatePlus, the rider planning is expected to be completed successfully. Amil clearly says that the most important thing is to plan for it before, during and after the competition: “It is important to plan your drinks so that you can properly consume fluids and hydrates.”
It should also be borne in mind that not all athletes are equal, and not all long-distance races are equally demanding. “There are many formats and durations for these tests, so it is important that a nutritionist-nutritionist is in charge of the frequency and individualization of nutritional supplements,” advises Llorente.
According to an expert from the Aleris Center, all planning should take into account:
- Food / additives before the test. The idea is to use the workout to test the supplements that are going to be taken to the race. “The week before a sporting event, it is important to make sure we have a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates to fully replenish our carbohydrate stores.”
- Food / additives during the test. Llorente’s advice is that any food or supplement intake should be planned and planned ahead of time to meet the athlete’s energy, water and mineral salt needs. “We must remember which foods or supplements we will have on hand during the test.”