The Importance of Carbohydrates For Athletes!

The Importance of Carbohydrates For Athletes!

When you are into sports and exercising for fitness and performance, it is very important for you to ensure you have a diet that gives you the nutrition you need.  When you are working out at high endurance, it is crucial for you to eat, sleep and rest correctly. Prominent sports athletes always say that you should work out under the guidance of a good sports coach and a good nutritionist.

Jack Elway a popular sports enthusiast in the USA says that when you are into endurance sports you should remember the following guidelines listed below on the intake of carbohydrates for athletes –

  1. Increase your carbohydrates- They give fuel to the body. With carbohydrates, the body successfully changes it into a form of sugar called glucose. This glucose is stored in the muscles and is known as glycogen. When you exercise, you will find that your body changes this glycogen into the energy you need. In case, you exercise for under 90 minutes you get sufficient glycogen in your muscles and if you are into high-intensity activities and the workout is longer you may use the following strategies-
  • Load your body with carbohydrates three to four days before an event.
  • It is wise to consume a diet that gets 70% calories from carbohydrates. This diet should include pasta, fruit, cereals and bread. You should also include lots of vegetables in your diet. This helps you to store the carbohydrates.
  • Before any big event it is crucial for you to consume a meal at least 3 to 4 hours before you exercise. It is prudent for you to give time for your stomach to empty itself.
  • You should avoid the consumption of sugar and food that is rich in starch especially 30 minutes before any activity. This accelerates dehydration.
  • If you are in a very long exercise session, it is important for you to replenish minerals, carbohydrates and water. It is crucial for you to drink fluids and east a snack. Refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour pass through the bloodstream fast and they fuel the active muscles. This is why many athletes opt for sports energy bars, gels and drinks. They are convenient for consumption. Fruit and fruit juice are good choices when you are working out during long sessions he says.
  • It is important for you to reload the carbohydrates after long and intensive exercise workouts. In this case, you do not need quick energy and you can play safe with less refined carbohydrates. The best sources of these kinds of carbohydrates are carrot sticks or whole grain bagel. They give you both carbohydrates and a rich source of nutrients at the same time.

Jack Elway says that when you follow the above tips on carbohydrate intake when you are working out, you are making a wise and prudent choice towards optimal fitness goals. He says that being a sportsperson is demanding and you should always enjoy the long and intensive workouts without hassles at all!

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