High octane fuel
When evaluating the components of your diet, there are many things that need to be considered ™ one of the most important being carbohydrates. Endurance, intermittent and power activities rely on carbohydrate intake to maintain an available level of energy. This available energy source has a direct effect on performance.
There are many studies on the level (or percent) of carbohydrates in the diet relating to the body's ability to exercise to fatigue over several days. Studies show that individuals having consumed the highest intake of carbohydrates while participating in endurance, sprinting, intermittent and high-power activities, were able to exercise longer and/or at higher levels than those on a lower carbohydrate diet. The study's results confirmed that a high carbohydrate diet increased the speed and ability of the body to replenish glycogen in the muscles and thus took longer to reach fatigue, than the groups that consumed a regular diet.
During exercise, carbohydrates provide a quick energy (fuel) source for muscles. Conversely, fat and protein cannot be converted to an energy source quickly enough for the body's use.
Readily available, high carbohydrate/low fat foods and snacks should be on your shopping list. By taking the time to read food labels, you can make more educated food/snack choices. High carbohydrate snacks include – pretzels, air-popped popcorn, bagels and fruit.
Just as high performance cars need high-octane fuels to keep running at their peak, so does your body. For peak performance, carbohydrates – along with a balanced amount of proteins and fat, are an essential part of your diet no matter what your activity.
For additional questions on fueling your body, other sports medicine topics or to schedule a Free Injury Evaluation, call the Aurora Sports Medicine Hotline™ at 414-219-7776 or 800-219-7776.