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  • Lacey Rivette

Fuel for Endurance Athletes: Carb Needs During Exercise

๐—›๐—ข๐—ช ๐— ๐—จ๐—–๐—› ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐——๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—˜๐—ซ๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—–๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—˜?


Spoiler: it might be a lot more than many of you consume!


Unlike daily carb needs (discussed here) which are based on grams of carbs per kg of body weight (g/kg), the recommendations for carbs ๐™™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™š๐™ง๐™˜๐™ž๐™จ๐™š are expressed in grams per hour (๐—ด/๐—ต๐—ฟ). This is because the rate at which carbs are burned during exercise is not influenced by body weight.... But ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™›๐™ก๐™ช๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™™๐™ช๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ & ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ of exercise, with long efforts requiring the greatest intake of carbs. The chart below gives you a breakdown of the typical needs of a competitive endurance athlete (less trained athletes should aim for the low end of recommendations). The second chart gives recommendations for how you could aim to meet your needs!



๐Ÿšจ To fully understand the meaning of "๐—บ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€" reference this post on the types of carbs & how they are absorbed! ๐Ÿšจ



Itโ€™s also important to note that gut tolerance of foods during exercise is highly individualistic and each athletes fueling & hydration strategy will vary. With that said... athletes, especially those who frequently experience stomach issues, should seek advice from a dietitian experienced in sports nutrition. If you have any questions about fueling during exercise, drop them in the comments ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ and Iโ€™ll be glad to answer them!

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