Summer is almost here and you’ve worked hard all year so that you’re ready to compete at the local triathlons, but somehow you are not seeing any big results. The crucial element you might be forgetting? Nutrition. Whether you spend time swimming laps in the pool, hitting the pavement or the gym, the right sports nutrition for endurance athletes will help take your performance and training to a whole new level, and speed up your progress.
If you were to open a fitness magazine or an online article, you’d come across hundreds and hundreds of supplement adds and recommendations, but you might not find anything for endurance athletes. The Hulk-like bodies on such adds could easily trick you into thinking that every supplement out there is made with the goal of making you look just like them, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Every endurance athlete, yourself included, has probably spent hours on end doing a continuous activity. If so, regardless whether that’s running or jogging 15-20 kilometres a day, or swimming dozens of laps in the pool, the sheer volume of training combined with a series of resistance-training sessions for a week means that you should be paying huge attention to your supplementation and diet as well. Here’s a list of the best sports nutrition for endurance athletes.
Creatine and endurance don’t go hand-in-hand much often. When creatine is usually brought up, people think about strength, speed and power. But if you look past these effects, and look at the increase in phosphocreatine stores, improved anaerobic performance and rapid increase in ATP production, you’ll see that creatine does indeed offer indirect benefits to runners and triathletes as it can help take your training to the next level.
One mechanism of central fatigue when exercising is free tryptophan crossing the BBB (blood-brain barrier). The downside of fatigue is that it aids the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can effect mood, sleepiness, arousal and fatigue. Since BCAAs directly compete with tryptophan, consuming it will reduce the amount of tryptophan crossing the blood-brain-barrier, which will delay fatigue. Moreover, BCAAs have been proven to decrease lactate production, in return increasing the endurance exercise capacity.
This is the most abundant amino acid in the body, so you might wonder why you need it. Intense physical activities can drain glutamine stores faster than your body can produce them, which can lead to the body breaking down its own muscle, leaving you in a catabolic state. Low levels of glutamine can also impact your immune system, increasing risk for infections. Besides boosting the immune function after an exhaustive exercise, glutamine supplements help in the recovery of muscles as well.