Choosing the right carbs for training

2013-01-05 00:00

ENERGY replacement has become a contentious issue in South Africa and will remain a key issue for runners in the next few months.

Much has been written about the need and benefits of a low-carb, high-fat diet and this is an issue that is set to change the “carbohydrate epidemic” of the past two decades that has resulted in unprecdented levels of obesity.

The challenge for runners is to keep focus on the relative importance of carbohydrates with their training.

Most literature circulating refers to the average person, whereas hard training runners require some modification before, during and after substantial exercise.

As important as it is to be cautious on the amount of carbohydrate, it is also important to choose the type of carbohydrates carefully.

Anything prior to the training session should be on the low glycemic index (i.e. has slow absorption). This prevents blood sugar spikes while allowing some energy reserves prior to their use particularly during the faster/ quality work.

Ideal in this situation is to use a litre of 32 GI Endure up to 30 minutes prior to training.

The need for energy during the training session will tend to be minimal at present, as this is relatively short-duration work, and as long as you replenish the energy stores after the session, there should be no need for additional carbohydrates.

However, when your session is over, particularly the fast or strength/high quality sessions, it is best to take some carbohydrate and protein within the first 10 to 15 minutes of finishing.

Here you want a small amount of high glyceamic index sugars, as this will first raise the blood sugar, then drop it by flooding the body with insulin, and it is the insulin that pulls the other nutrients into the muscle to aid recovery.

Here, a drink of 32GI Accelerate can pre-empt drinking or eating some protein, or alternatively use the 32GI Recovery drink immediately after training, as this combines carbohydrates and recovery nutrients.

The important aspect here is that the sooner and better you recover, the sooner you can commence training again. The sooner you train, the greater the adaptation/fitness you can achieve.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.