Prolonged workouts contribute to the depletion of energy resources. Consumption of meals during training lasting longer than 2 hours prevents the occurrence of hypoglycemia (feelings of lethargy, fatigue) and allows you to maintain speed, extends activity at the maximum level. When should you get a snack during your workout? What products should be assisted to avoid discomfort in the digestive tract?
Active people often disregard the importance of the digestive tract during activity. Providing fluid or carbohydrates can be crucial, especially for people training endurance sports or during prolonged exercise. Disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract, such as flatulence, overflow or diarrhea, are common and appear in every discipline.
It is worth remembering that without a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract we are not able to fully focus on the performed exercises – their quality drops significantly. Of course, the digestive tract is very flexible, well-trained, reduces discomfort. Regular consumption of meals during the activity improves the adaptation of the body, absorption, and gastric emptying. During intestinal training, we can see which products affect our body positively and which should be avoided. This technique allows us to prepare the body for the effort and thanks to it we can be sure that during the starts/matches we will not face an uncomfortable situation.
Recent studies indicate that in addition to meals during training, an all-day menu can also have a special meaning. The diet can affect the ability to empty the stomach and absorb it in the intestines. It is suggested that high carbohydrate foods increase the transport of glucose through the SGLT1 transport protein, improving the use of carbohydrates during exercise.
Absorbency of glucose
Absorption in the gastrointestinal tract depends on the composition of the meal. Thanks to the research on the ability to use carbohydrates, we know that the body has some limitations. Glucose is absorbed in the gut through the SGLT1 transport protein and subsequently used in the body. Consumption of carbohydrates over 60-70 g (glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, starch) determines the exogenous peak released carbohydrates at a similar level, or 60 g per hour. Consumption of higher carbohydrate doses in the amount of 144 g / h or 180 g / h did not increase exogenous glucose concentrations above 60 g / h. This restriction was not associated with gastric emptying – it has been found that the use of glucose by muscle or liver must be limited. Doses exceeding 60 g / h are not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The consumption of higher doses contributes to the development of discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract.
A tip when attempting to increase the amount of glucose is worth remembering about the increase in fluid intake because increased carbohydrate absorption is associated with the absorption of liquids. It may reduce discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract.
Fructose is a carbohydrate absorbed by another GLUT 5 transport protein. The combination of glucose and fructose can promote increased carbohydrate utilization by the body. Research confirms that the carbohydrate mixture increases carbohydrate oxidation to 75% about those that used only SGLT1 (transport proteins for glucose). The most preferred carbohydrate combinations are maltodextrin, fructose, glucose; fructose, glucose; saccharose; fructose.
In all cases, the glucose transporter must be saturated, i.e., 60 g / h. Also, the second carbohydrate source (fructose) must be consumed in sufficient quantities (30 g / h or more). Glucose to fructose 2 1 ratio is recommended, where the total intake should be 90 g / h. It is worth emphasizing individual tolerance here. If you can eat higher doses of fructose – you can keep the ratio 1 1, here glucose or maltodextrin are still consumed at 60 g / h.
Take the mouthwash technique with carbohydrates and spit it out
Carbohydrates during exercise improve their performance, even when the exercise is intense (> 75% VO2max) and relatively short (~ 1 hour). It has been shown that rinsing mouth with carbohydrates has a similar effect on improving performance as eating them during activity, but the positive effect is not related to losses during activity (glycogen) but may be associated with the central nervous system. It is believed that the taste affects the mood, and this, in turn, may affect the perception of effort and support of the central nervous system. It is worth noting that in the state of hypoglycemia after a hard run, the intake of a small portion of carbohydrates quickly brings relief before carbohydrates are absorbed. For now, the main conclusion is that carbohydrates, regardless of whether they are consumed or used only for mouth washing – can improve the overall result of exercises lasting about 1 hour.
Routine mouth rinsing with carbohydrates lasting 5-10 sec. improves the results of an effort lasting 30-70 minutes. It is suggested that the benefits of improving the results are similar to those consuming carbohydrates. However, the intake of snacks in some athletes contributes to the discomfort of the gastrointestinal tract, especially during intense exercise. Besides, rinsing and expectoration of carbohydrates may be a beneficial nutritional strategy for people who perform exercises, and for which the goal is to maintain adequate body weight. Such a strategy improves the perception of exercise and/or higher intensity of exercise without consuming additional calories.
Practical guidelines for carbohydrate intake
The table below provides guidelines on how to receive meals during training, how long they are consumed and what forms. It is worth remembering that the reception technique should be adapted to your body and intended training purposes and to be tested several times during training. People with high sensitivity from the gastrointestinal tract should start taking snacks from the smallest portions, (15 g / h), gradually increasing them to obtain a satisfactory effect.