Friday 10 July 2015

Nutrition for Endurance Sports

nutrition for endurance sports vegetables
A couple of weeks ago I gave you some tips on starting to take up trail running. Once you've got going it's time to look into the longer term and what you are doing to fuel yourself and keep your body healthy. Once you start doing long distances or training for an event the nutrition required for trail running can be applied to many other endurance sports such road running, cycling, swimming or the mighty combination of all three the triathlon. So while you take a break from training have a look at what you can be doing in order to get that extra advantage by what you put into your body.

Eat by the seasons – In summer make use of colourful fruit and vegetables in your meals such as courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines. They are all packed full of nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C, lycopene and potassium which help the absorption of iron. In winter months go for root vegetables and leafy greens.
Supplements – If you struggle with getting your dietary needs right consider taking vitamin supplements. Vitamin D is particularly hard to take in a times. It's naturally made through the skin's contact with the sun but it cannot be stored. In summer you could be wearing suncream or sunblock and this stops it absorbing into your skin. In winter the sun isn't strong enough to make a difference. For endurance athletes Vitamin D3 is important as it aids the absorption of calcium from food sources and stops the body excreting calcium. This is important for runners as calcium helps maintain strong bones and therefore is important in the prevention of stress fractures. Vitamin D3 also contributes to keeping your body's muscles and nerves in tiptop condition. You can buy Vitamin D3 online from companies such as MultiVits.

Energy gels and blocks – A favourite of professional cyclists and marathon runners but they can literally be hard to swallow. Before you use them in a big race make sure you have tried them out in training first. Many people find they make them feel sick so don't come a cropper on your big day. Whilst they may give you a short term energy boost many contain preservatives, additives and even caffeine.
Honey, honey – For a more natural alternative to energy gels try making your own sports drink with 500ml water, a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of runny honey. If you prefer the gel idea you can try individual sachets of honey

Protein for vegetarians – For body strength you'll need muscle building protein which for many people comes in the form of meat. If you're vegetarian opt for eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, wholegrains, cheese, milk products and soy in all its forms. Check out the selection of beans and pulses at Real Foods.
Mix up your carbs – Don't just rely on pasta for your carbohydrate intake. Make things more interesting by using other wholegrains such as rice, couscous, quinoa, bulgar wheat and buckwheat.

Cereal – On race day a high fibre based cereal is not a good idea and could give you stomach problems! Perhaps go for porridge with some slices of bananas or some homemade flapjacks.

Cake – I rarely meet a cyclist or runner who doesn't like cake there are other options to a big slice of cream-filled sponge. Try taking some slices of malt loaf in your back pocket. It's high carbohydrate content will help keep you going.

Keep happy – Love chocolate or wine? Don't think you should deprive yourself of it just make sure you don't over do it or binge on it. Perhaps use your favourite food or tipple as a rewards system.

Now you're ready and fuelled up what are your fitness goals for this year? What's your favourite endurance training meal?

This is a collaborative post. Any tips should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any health concerns please consult your GP or health care professional.

Mums' Days


  1. My brother in law does endurance cycling. He recently did the Hero Ride. I'll pass this list into him!

    1. The Hero Ride is an awesome event! I hope these tips help him!


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