Endurance athletes are unique in their nutritional requirements, largely due to the fact that endurance exercise requires greater amounts of fuel. Preparation comes down to ensuring you get the right amounts of carbohydrates and other supplemental nutrients at the right time. Endurance athletes also need to get adequate protein to offset muscle protein breakdown and hasten recovery.

Pre-Workout

For endurance athletes, the pre-workout period is all about preparing the body for exercise and providing enough fuel to keep the muscles operating at a high level.

When an endurance athlete exercises intensely or for long periods of time, the supply of oxygen-rich blood may have difficulty keeping up with the demand. Ultimately, the lack of oxygen and a buildup of waste can result in fatigue, exhaustion, and subpar athletic performance (1). Vasodilation and the resulting increase in blood flow aids all athletes by increasing nutrient delivery, oxygen levels, and the removal of waste products.

Taking AMPED before exercise can support blood flow by providing vasodilation during training. It works by providing vegetable, critical for healthy blood flow. In addition, taking AMPED offers three main actives—creatine—to increase strength and power while offsetting fatigue.

Mid-Workout

The purpose of this period is to keep energy levels stable to prevent dips in performance. Endurance athletes heavily rely on carbohydrates to fuel their performance before, during, and after competition (10). When exercising for long periods, athletes burn quickly through glycogen (stored carbs in muscle) and the sugar in their bloodstreams. Eventually fuel stores run low and athletes hit a wall, exhausting themselves while hindering their performance. Since endurance-based activity burns through your body’s stored fuel source (glycogen), replenishment midway through your race, adventure, or ride is essential to maintaining stamina.

Another important part of your mid-workout nutrition plan is getting adequate fluids. Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as two percent. Losses in excess of five percent of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30 percent (18). There is little question that hydrating is one of the most important, yet overlooked, nutritional strategies for athletes. Water and fluids are essential to keep the body hydrated and at the right temperature, and your body can lose several liters of sweat in an hour of vigorous exercise (19).

Post-Workout

Intense endurance exercise affects muscles by depleting fuel stores like fat and carbohydrates. Waste products from metabolism increase and need to be removed. Muscle tissue needs rebuilding. The role of nutrients in the recovery process is clear. Consuming carbohydrates and healthy fats help restore fuel supplies for greater exercise potential while protein helps repair damaged tissue back to previous levels.

Summary: When and What to Take

Depending on digestion and comfort, consume a meal containing carbohydrates and moderate amounts of fat and protein no sooner than 90 minutes before training or competition along with at least 16 ounces of fluid. An example would be an IsaShake with a banana and a tablespoon of almond butter.

To replenish muscle and liver glycogen synthesis, consume roughly half your body weight in grams of carbohydrates (from foods like fruits, potatoes, or rice) over three to four hours post-exercise.

References

  1. Jones AM et al. Influence of dietary nitrate supplementation on exercise tolerance and performance. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2013; 75:27-40.
  2. Pérez-Guisado J & Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010; 24(5): 1215-1222.
  3. Cynober L et al. Leucine and citrulline: two major regulators of protein turnover. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2013; 105: 97-105.
  4. Bendahan D et al. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. Brit J Sport Med. 2002; 36(4): 282-289.
  5. Hickner RC et al. L-citrulline reduces time to exhaustion and insulin response to a graded exercise test. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006; 38(4): 660-666.
  6. Sureda A et al. L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010; 110(2): 341-351.
  7. Chwalbiñska-Moneta J. Effect of creatine supplementation on aerobic performance and anaerobic capacity in elite rowers in the course of endurance training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003; 13: 173-183.
  8. Santos RVT et al. The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race. Life Sci. 2004; 75(16): 1917-1924.
  9. Van Loon LJ et al. Creatine supplementation increases glycogen storage but not GLUT-4 expression in human skeletal muscle. Clin Sci. 2004; 106(1): 99-106.
  10. Burke LM et al. Carbohydrates for training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S17-2
  11. Stellingwerff T & Cox GR. Systematic review: Carbohydrate supplementation on exercise performance or capacity of varying durations. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep;39(9):998-1011.
  12. Kim DH et al. Effect of BCAA intake during endurance exercises on fatigue substances, muscle damage substances, and energy metabolism substances. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2013 Dec; 17(4):169-80.
  13. Jentjens RL et al. Oxidation of combined ingestion of glucose and fructose during exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2004 Apr; 96(4):1277-84.
  14. Rowlands DS et al. Effect of graded fructose coingestion with maltodextrin on exogenous 14C-fructose and 13C-glucose oxidation efficiency and high-intensity cycling performance. J Appl Physiol. 2008 Jun; 104(6):1709-19.
  15. Jeukendrup AE et al. Multiple transportable carbohydrates enhance gastric emptying and fluid delivery. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Feb; 20(1):112-21.
  16. Rowlands DS et al. Composite versus single transportable carbohydrate solution enhances race and laboratory cycling performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Jun; 37(3):425-36.
  17. Negro M et al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep; 48(3):347-51.
  18. American College of Sports Medicine; American Dietetic Association; Dietitians of Canada. Joint Position Statement: nutrition and athletic performance. American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, and Dietitians of Canada. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Dec; 32(12):2130-45.
  19. Bonci L. Nutrition, pharmacology, and psychology in sports. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2009: chap 8.
  20. Du M et al. Leucine stimulates mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in C2C12 myoblasts in part through inhibition of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. J Anim Sci. 2007; 85:919-27.
  21. Drummond MJ et al. Rapamycin administration in humans blocks the contraction-induced increase in skeletal muscle protein synthesis. J Physiol. 2009; 587:1535-46.
  22. Doi M et al. Isoleucine, a potent plasma glucose-lowering amino acid, stimulates glucose uptake in C 2 C 12 myotubes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003; 312:1111-7.
  23. Doi M et al. Hypoglycemic effect of isoleucine involves increased muscle glucose uptake and whole body glucose oxidation and decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007; 292:E1683-E1693.
  24. Letto J et al. Valine metabolism. Gluconeogenesis from 3-hydroxyisobutyrate. Biochem J. 1986; 240:909-12.
  25. Chang B et al. L-carnitine inhibits hepatocarcinogenesis via protection of mitochondria. Int J Cancer. 2005; 113:719-29.
  26. Stephens FB et al. Skeletal muscle carnitine loading increases energy expenditure, modulates fuel metabolism gene networks and prevents body fat accumulation in humans. J Physiol. 2013; 591:4655-66.
  27. Giamberardino MA et al. Effects of prolonged L-carnitine administration on delayed muscle pain and CK release after eccentric effort. Int J Sports Med. 1996; 17:320-4.