Carbohydrates: Before, During And After Sports

Interest in the “filling” of glycogen stores should not be reduced only to the day of the competition or a few hours before, but also to previous days, studies have shown that glycogen levels can be normalized 24 before competition with rest And adequate consumption. Tats of between 7-10 g / kg in the 24 hours prior to competition are sufficient to maximize glycogen stores, this concentration may vary depending on the body composition of the athlete, in athletes with higher fat percentage and less mass Metabolically active, the amount of carbohydrate would be lower producing the same effect, in addition, we must also take into account that these data are effective for events that last between 60 and 90 minutes,

Carbohydrates: Before, during and after sports

Research that studies the effects of carbohydrate consumption on maximal exercise and endurance exercises has also found a relationship between carbohydrate consumption and glycogen reserve levels. The strength and power in the exercise are not only the result of a correct training, also of the stimuli created through proper nutrition, particularly in recovery. If the intakes between training sessions are not correct, performance in the following workouts will be adversely affected.

Typical values ​​of resting muscle glycogen in a trained individual are between 100-120 mmol / kg net weight. A typical glycogen synthesis rate is about 5 mmol / kg / hour, so we should wait 24-36 hours between training sessions to allow for maximum glycogen resynthesis. An example would be the elimination of any training 1 or 2 days before the competition.

On certain occasions athletes are not accustomed to eating a lot of carbohydrates hours before a competition, something that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in even psychological “discomfort”, I leave here the basic objectives of the previous meal to the competition:

Complete Glycogen Reserves Since Last Training

Restore hepatic glycogen reserves, especially for the competitions that take place in the morning, since nocturnal fasting produces an emptying of said deposits

Carbohydrates Before, During And After SportsEnsure proper hydration

Prevent hunger, thus avoiding gastrointestinal discomfort during training or competition

Through the investigation of glucose metabolism and as affecting performance has been established that the optimal range of carbohydrate intake in the hour prior to competition should be between 0.6-1.0 g / kg of weight bodily. Sometimes athletes choose liquid carbohydrate supplements instead of solid foods because of their shorter intestinal transit time and higher rate of absorption.

The main purpose for which we consume carbohydrates during training is to maintain blood glucose levels and to preserve muscle and liver glycogen levels. When blood glucose levels begin to fall, glycogen stores are used to restore these blood levels to maintain work levels. The most common symptoms like dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue appear when the glucose concentrations are below sufficient levels.

The type of carbohydrate we normally use during competition or training is in liquid or semi-liquid form, whether as sports drinks or as carbohydrate gels . Many studies have analyzed the rates of carbohydrate oxidation during intense exercise, with the intention of knowing which is the optimal moment for its consumption and in what concentration. In general, during intense, short-term exercise is recommended to consume between 180-240 ml with a concentration of about 7% carbohydrate, this equates to approximately 20 g of carbohydrates every 15 minutes.

In addition to taking into account carbohydrate intake, we should not forget the intake of fluids. Consumption of 1.5-2.0 ml / kg of body weight is recommended every 20 minutes of sports practice, in addition to beverages that provide us with carbohydrates, water should be consumed at regular intervals to prevent the occurrence of Thirst or hypohydration.

The fuel replenishment after the training is related to the ability of the athlete to recover and therefore to be able to face the next training or the next competition with the maximum guarantees. Here are some guidelines to follow for the recovery of carbohydrate deposits:

Start the intake of carbohydrates during the hour after sports practice

Consume high glycemic carbohydrates (glucose or sucrose 0.7 g / kg body weight every 2 hours for 4-6 hours.

After 6 hours, consume low glycemic index carbohydrates, consuming a total of 500-700 g or 7g / kg of body weight

All studies lead us to the conclusion that the consumption of carbohydrates for sports is indispensable, being especially important before, during and after training or competition, whether of strength or endurance.

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