How to Fuel Your Body for Endurance Activities

5k marathons and other endurance sports and activities are becoming more popular each day. How you prepare nutritiously for such activities, may be the difference between just participating and actually succeeding in these long endurance based events or sports.

Eatright.org divides the foods you should eat for endurance training in three separate categories-carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

#1 Carbs

Carbohydrates provide some of the best fuel for most endurance activities because they are easily digested and quickly used as energy for the body. Since each person is different the amount of carbohydrates needed varies from person to person. You can easily search online for a carbohydrate calculator to determine how much you need. When you incorporate that amount into your diet it can prevent fatigue and injury in endurance activities. Some examples of carbohydrates to consider are whole grains, or whole wheat, brown rice and sweet potatoes.

 

#2 Fats

Fat is an important source of energy for extensive exercise and sport training. Healthy sources of fat include salmon, nuts and their oils, vegetable oils and avocados. You want to limit your intake of saturated fat, which comes from dairy foods like whole milk, butter and high-fat cheese and animal products, says eatright.org.

Fats and Recovery

Omega-3and 6 help decrease recovery time because of their anti-inflammatory effects. Endurance exercise causes inflammation and these healthy fats help to reduce swelling. Additionally, they help post-event to bring your body back into energy balance.

 

#3 Protein

Protein is the perfect way to build and repair muscles. It helps with fluid balance and supports immune function. Protein is also used as a significant fuel for endurance exercise and sport.

What Kind of Protein is Best?

There are many options for proteins before, during and after exercise. It is recommended to use a combination of soy and whey protein to support an athletic diet. Whey protein is good for recovery and immune system function. Soy protein is better for fulfilling protein requirements prior to exercise.

How Much Protein?

There are many studies on this question. To find out how much protein you should consume, multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.4-1.7 depending on the intensity of your exercise. This will give you the amount in grams.

When you follow a nutritional and well-balanced diet, you can easily meet your needs for endurance training and activities. Just remember, high in quality carbohydrates, moderate in healthy fat and plenty of lean protein.