When it comes to fitness and nutrition, it seems that most of the focus tends to be on weight lifters and bodybuilders. These types of athletes usually need some type of supplementation in addition to their diets to get all of the nutrients they need to perform at their best.
With that being said, there are endurance athletes out there as well who are looking to do the same thing to achieve better results. Obviously endurance athletes and those who are bodybuilders have different body types and make ups, so one would think that there would be differences in their nutrition.
While this is definitely true, the way that they go about it is in the same manner. Obviously the calories you consume is going to differ greatly here, but you can use pretty much the same strategies to improve your endurance game that you would for weight lifting-of course with minor adjustments made here and there.
Make Sure to Let Your Body Adjust to Your Supplements
One of the most important concepts here is to let your body adjust to whatever nutrients you are providing to it. Your body is going to perform based on all of the time and dedication you are putting in to your fitness routine, however your diet is extremely important here as well.
A big mistake many athletes and competitors make before a game, event or competition is to give themselves something that they are unfamiliar with. Whether it be a cup of coffee, a handful of candy or whatever other tricks you try to use to give yourself an edge, don’t try new things during competition.
The best way to view this is in this manner: if you were training for an event or competition, you are going to focus on what that requires in itself. If you are a point guard training for a game, you are going to be working on your dribble and your shot, and probably are going to skip working on your dunk and post game.
The same concept can be applied here-if you plan on using caffeine or other substances which can potentially boost your performance, experiment doing so beforehand-don’t let the trial run be during the real thing as it can blow up in your face.
BCAAs Are Extremely Important for Endurance Athletes
Branch chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAAs-are supplements we usually associate with bodybuilders and powelifters. These branch chain amino acids are just smaller amino acid chains which the body uses to repair and rebuild skeletal muscle tissue.
For obvious reasons these tools are great for people looking to build muscle, however they are just as important for endurance athletes as well. This mainly has to do with the BCAAs themselves, and how they provide the body with what it needs in a more ready form. This allows the body to almost immediately use these BCAAs to repair the damage done from exercise as opposed to protein based foods for example which takes more time to digest and synthesize. On top of that BCAAs help to minimize muscle damage as the result of endurance exercise and can help minimize fatigue also.
Avoid Using Caffeine Whenever Possible
Caffeine can be a powerful weapon in your endurance supplement arsenal, however this is a drug that is abused much more often than it should be. If you are one of the many people out there who are dependent on caffeine just to get you through the day, then it certainly isn’t going to have much of an effect in your endurance game.
This is because your body is used to consuming this caffeine and has built up a tolerance to where caffeine doesn’t affect the body as much as it normally would.
This means that when you go to use caffeine as a supplement to give your workouts a boost you won’t get nearly the same benefit, so try to reduce your usage. Doing so will reduce your tolerance to caffeine, and make it more effective the next time you look to it for a performance boost.
Choose the Right Protein Bar
Many of us make the mistake of grabbing any protein bar that looks half decent, as calories aren’t an issue in most cases of endurance training. While all that extra sugar many not look like much, having it without a decent amount of fiber to slow digestion is going to do more harm than good.
You want to choose a protein bar with a decent amount of protein of course, but one that is made mainly from whole foods as well. This will ensure that you are getting plenty of soluble fiber along with your protein bar which will help regulate your blood glucose levels better.