Endurance Sports

Endurance sports can be broadly classified into 5 subcategories.

These are

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Mara honing
  • Rowing
  • Triathlon
  • Ultra marathons

To take part in endurance sports, one must be very careful about the food he/she takes. The main nutrient that is common for all these sport activities is carbohydrate.

This is considered to be the body's carbo store and becomes the limiting fuel for endurance sports and exercise.

Availability of carbohydrates while training ensures good muscle glycogen that is very important prior to competing.

Carbohydrates literally act as an extra gallon of petrol to a car with a full tank before a short journey.

With low level of Glycogen levels in the body, it is for sure that a competitor will not last very long. To sum it up, it affects sports person performance.

Food Timing Diet

The second most important thing is food timing. It is crucial to one's performance. When exercising, it's the muscles that burn fat and glucose. The job of the liver is to mastermind the blood glucose levels and trying to ensure that it doesn't dip. This causes hypoglycemia, resulting in weakness, dizziness and nausea. Whenever the liver registers that blood glucose levels are dropping, it releases glucose into the blood from its own glycogen store.

Sports Nutrition

In endurance sports nutrition, it is accepted that sugar should not be consumed within the 60-15 minutes before exercise because of the chances of a hypoglycemic backlash. Before an hour of endurance test, studies found that on consuming 2-3oz of glucose athlete's runtime exhaustion were shorter by about 20-25 per cent than usual.

Sports nutrition tips given by sports nutritionist are very much useful to the sports persons. Sports nutrition courses are done for nutrition certificate that has well demand as sports nutrition jobs in the present sports world. These are exercise of physiology, nutrition, biochemistry, integrative physiology, and cell/molecular biology.

The field of sports nutrition has an 'applied' aspect as well as a 'basic' science aspect.

Nutrition Study

University of Sydney scientists tested four different kinds of pre-race feeds. These include boiled lentils, baked potatoes, a sports drink comprising glucose dissolved in water, and plain water.

Volunteers who decided to opt for cycling became exhausted after an average of 117 minutes with the lentils, compared with 108 minutes for the sports drink and only 97 minutes with potatoes.

This led the scientists to understand that there was a link to blood glucose levels.

Nutritionist Advice

It has been therefore advised, that middle distance running depends on the level of fitness and terrain involved and glycogen may or may not be a limiting factor.

Taking carbohydrates beyond its prescribed limits 10 minutes before racing may not affect the performance. But, chances are there it may not have any positive effect too.

Caffeine increases performance, but it is not very concrete.

Endurance Running

For endurance running, extra crabs before a run may help in doing better performance. Carbohydrates can be consumed in various ways. Carbohydrates include juices or glucose polymer solutions, or solid carbohydrates such as fruits or starches.

It should also be remembered that too much of fiber content may lead to intestinal problems during exercise.

Endurance Cycling

For cycling, it is advised to take a similar dose of food as for the runners. The one good thing about cyclists is that they are not prone to get problems, so will be able to tolerate solid food before competing.

A very important thing is that individuals of different food habits react to carbohydrate and proteins in different ways.


Coming to proteins, it is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Everybody needs protein for growth and development. By definition, proteins have been described as essential and non-essential proteins or amino acids. On an average, a person requires approximately 20 varieties of amino acids to synthesis proteins.