eCarbohydrate-rich foods are the optimum fuel for most runners. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, they are digested, converted into blood glucose and used for energy (or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles).
Glycogen stored in the liver is used to maintain steady blood glucose levels for the body and brain, while glycogen stored in the muscles provides fuel.
Carbohydrate-rich foods cause a rise in blood glucose. Some high GI (Glycaemic Index) foods are digested faster than others; pure glucose refined foods, like white bread, sugary drinks, sweets, sticky white rice, fried potatoes and highly processed cereals, are digested incredibly quickly, causing a spike in energy followed by a dramatic drop. Eating these consistently may cause weight gain and make it hard to maintain consistent energy levels for your runs.
Other foods (low to medium GI foods) release their sugars into the bloodstream more gradually, giving you steadier blood sugar levels. These slow-release foods can help reduce hunger pangs, keeping you fuller for longer to help you maintain a healthy weight. These foods also help stamina, endurance and focus.
These unrefined foods include whole grains, porridge oats, wholemeal bread, long-grain brown rice, whole wheat pasta, lentils, pulses and starchy fruit and vegetables, like bananas and butternut squash.
To sustain energy levels and to keep you feeling fuller for longer, combine unrefined carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats, such as eggs, sardines or mashed avocado on wholemeal toast; porridge with milk; toasted walnuts with chopped banana; or whole wheat pasta with chicken and pesto.
- We only sell Tailwind Endurance Nutrition because we think it's head and shoulders above the rest for pre and during training or racing.
- Sometimes over looked, but Tailwind also make a delicious Recovery drink (sold in powder form) that comes in three tasty and creamy flavours. All you need to do is add water.
Photo by Daniel Lindstrom