Understanding Sports Nutrition
If you are new to the world of sports nutrition, it can seem quite daunting and confusing but it doesn’t have to be that way. For anyone taking part in an endurance event, getting your diet and nutrition right can enhance not only your sports performance but also your general well-being. Our official nutrition partner HIGH5 has put together the following guide for you.
Why should you use sports nutrition.
As far back as the 1930s, scientists knew that what you consumed could affect your sports and exercise performance. Today, sports nutrition helps you to consume the nutrition you need during sport, at the right time and in the most convenient format. If you’re in the middle of a run and need some extra energy, you can quickly take a carbohydrate gel to give you the fuel your body needs.
There are three key nutritional demands during sports:
1. Carbohydrate to fuel your muscles
2. Fluids and electrolytes to keep you hydrated
3. Protein for muscle growth and repair after exercise
Below we take a look at the benefits of sports nutrition and the products that can help you take on your next challenge.
Fuelling your body
Your body can gain energy from two main sources: fats and carbohydrates. Fat fuel is the “low power diesel engine”. It is not designed for performance and so it is slow to function but it’s unlikely to run out of gas. Carbohydrate is your “Speed Engine”, which provides quick release energy to boost your endurance performance. The key is to ensure you have sufficient stores of carbohydrate to fuel your sport.
Your body has a limited store of carbohydrate, enough to last around 90 minutes of strenuous exercise. This means during longer endurance activities, you need to top up your carbohydrate stores to stay at your best and maintain your performance. This means using sports drinks, gels and bars to top up your stores during exercise.
Using a carbohydrate energy drink is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of fuelling your “Carbohydrate Engine”. HIGH5 Energy Drink is a scientifically formulated carbohydrate and electrolyte solution to help you sustain your performance and enhance your hydration during endurance exercise.
This also features our scientifically proven 2:1 Fructose mix. Research on traditional sports drinks suggests that you can only consume 60g carbohydrate per hour, however, because HIGH5 Energy Drink is a 2:1 fructose mix, you can consume substantially more carbohydrates – up to 90g per hour in fact. That means you get 50% more energy!
Runners, Cyclists and Triathletes find HIGH5 very easy to drink, easy on the stomach, whilst also having a great taste.
Gels are small sachets of concentrated carbohydrate to give you a boost. HIGH5 Energy Gel is a convenient, fruity gel which delivers carbohydrate straight to your muscles during exercise. Ideal for topping up your energy levels on the go!
If you are new to gels or you are a runner, then Energy Gel Aqua would be a great option. These are more like a sports drink so are really easy to take and swallow during exercise.
If you prefer to have something that feels more like real food, then Energy Bars are right for you. Rich in carbohydrate, these will help to fuel your engine. HIGH5 Energy Bar is an easy to chew, great tasting bar filled with real fruits and grains to provide you with both simple and complex carbohydrates during exercise or throughout the day.
Hydrating your body
Staying sufficiently hydrated is very important because you can lose more than one litre of fluid for every hour that you exercise, and if not replaced, you will see a fall in performance. Your sweat contains both water and electrolytes. Both need to be replaced in order to retain performance and avoid cramp. Sports nutrition drinks contain the optimal mix of electrolytes to keep you functioning at your best.
Electrolyte drink tablets
Electrolyte tabs are a great way to mix in electrolytes to your water to help replace the fluids you’ve lost through sweat. With zero calories, these are particularly ideal for your shorter workouts (90 minute or less), just make sure you supplement with bars and gels when taking on a longer challenge. HIGH5 ZERO is a refreshing, great tasting sugar free electrolyte drink with zero calories for during exercise and throughout the day. Simply drop a tablet into your water!
For your longer events, use HIGH5 Energy Drink to also give your body the fuel it needs to keep going.
Recovering your body
Muscles become sore and stiff when they are stressed during exercise. The depletion of muscle glycogen (muscle carb stores) can impair muscle function resulting in fatigue and reduced exercise performance. Post-exercise nutrition is necessary to reduce the damage left to muscles after strenuous exercise and improve the recovery process through building stronger muscles. Supplementing your diet with protein and carbohydrates will provide the building blocks to recover your muscles, and ensure you get the most from your sport.
Recovery Drinks and Bars
Post-exercise nutrition is all about convenience and getting the right nutrients soon after you finish with your workout. The unique forms of protein and carbohydrate in HIGH5 Recovery Drink are chosen to ensure you recover after intense long lasting exercise and turn up ready to perform at your next training session. Available in great tasting flavours so it’s easy to take straight after your session.
If you are on the go and want a convenient source of protein and carbohydrate with a light texture and great taste, then try the HIGH5 Recovery Bar. The ingredients used in this scientifically formulated blend of protein and carbs promote recovery of normal muscle function after exercise and contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
HIGH5 Starter Nutrition Pack
The HIGH5 Starter Nutrition Pack is a great place to start if you want to test our award winning products. It contains the most popular Energy, Hydration and Recovery products to help you get the most from your sport.
Get yours from our official nutrition partner here.