Ever since we have participated in endurance sport, we have been looking for ways to fuel ourselves. We have discovered that Carbohydrates (CHO) are our fastest burning fuel and by taking in more CHO we can perform at higher levels of exertion and for longer. But it isn’t easy to take in a lot more CHO while running or swimming, without the risk of potential gastric distress, or cramping. This is largely due to the time it takes for our digestive system to break down our food into a useable source of energy. Along with this reason we also acknowledge that our physiology isn’t designed to perform at peak performance while still digesting food. When our digestive system gets to work it uses energy to function, as well as blood which must be directed from elsewhere in the body. Ideally we should be at rest when we are digesting our nutrition or performing light activities. Realising that this is something which every person is limited by Maurten reinvented sports fuelling through the innovative use of Hydrogel.
Hydrogel doesn’t need to be digested in the stomach, instead it is rapidly transported into the small intestine to be broken down outside of the stomach, thereby reducing the risk of gastric distress, and improving the absorption of carbohydrates, the amount of CHO which can be taken in and the speed at which CHO can be converted into fuel for the body.
With reduced risk of stomach upset and increased CHO intake at faster speeds, in more controlled manner an athlete is able to gain control of how they fuel their body for sport with much greater precision. Instead of being limited to 40/50g CHO per 30 minutes, Hydrogel allows for rapid intake of CHO for near immediate use.
This means athletes can maintain their CHO levels at a consistent level without severe highs and lows, as long as hydrogel is taken at regular intervals to meet the needs of the body during sporting activities. Maintaining steady CHO levels means a consistent effort can be maintained and the working muscles are fuelled constantly without burning the muscle glycogen, leading to eventual deterioration of activity, and/or muscle cramping/spasm and other related consequences.
The speed at which CHO are burned far exceeds the speed by which we can digest and convert food into energy for the body to use, so an alternative was needed. With Hydrogel CHO can be supplied to the muscles faster than other sources of CHO. Ultimately to work out what fuelling strategy you require is going to depend on how fast you burn CHO in your sports per hour. For each sport this will be slightly different. Between 40g and 100g of CHO per hour are burned by the muscles during prolonged sports activity. Other factors affect this such as current level of fitness, weight, age, levels of effort. But this is a starting point to understanding how you can approach a fuelling strategy for an endurance event of a number of hours.
Ideally before starting your event it would be advisable to consume hydrogel 30 minutes before the start of the event. This can be in the form of Drink Mix or Gel. From here on, and for every hour of endurance CHO must be taken in to match the energy which is being burned in the body. The aim is to avoid burning the muscle glycogen which is a reserve source of CHO stored in the muscles. If the energy burned is replaced with CHO in the form of Hydrogel the muscles contractile ability can be preserved allowing for longer and more consistent performance as the duration of endurance grows longer.
Since an athlete can now fuel their body faster there is no more reason why they should run out of energy, and since there is reduced risk of gastric upsetting there is no more reason why an athlete should be concerned with taking in too much fuel. This means that to fuel for the best performance an athlete must fuel with the intention to have more fuel available than is needed. This will mean that energy will be available at all ties and the athlete can focus solely of their sport.
As another method of adequately preparing for a endurance sports event it is also recommended that the night before hydrogel is consumed. This will assist the body with hydration and carbohydrate absorption. Furthermore after endurance sport activities, Hydrogel can be consumed in order to aid the recovery process.
In time you will know how much CHO you need for optimal, and advanced performance.