There is so much hype and so much debate today as to what you should take before , during and after the race. I understand, nutrition itself can be a logistical nightmare. Well I want to help make it very simple for you and give you some information based on twenty years of pure personal experience. It’s time to take the guess work out of running nutrition and for once take control of your cabinets so they are not occupied by thirty different jars, bars and gels. All of which stay unopened or partially used until the best-by-date is more than thirteen months past.
Let’s start the spring off right and get ready for the your next 10k, half-marathon or marathon in the right way. This is the first blog in a series that will address the stages of fueling and what to take when.
Let’s start with gels: They are taken during the stages of racing or running when you need portable nutrition and energy to keep up with the caloric output you are creating. My personal experience has been to avoid them like an ex-boyfriend. They may have looked tempting at mile 20 of the New York Marathon when my sugar levels were plummeting and my cognitive focus transient at best. However, I knew my chances of finishing the race would be slim once the gooey concoction hit my stomach.
We are talking cramping, spasm and all around agony when the high simple sugar content hit my system. See, when you are running and exerting yourself that hard and you flood your system with a very concentrated refined sugar source that is usually made from fructose corn syrup, the body has to jump to process it. All the blood is going to the working muscles, so the digestive system and organs such as the liver and pancreas are not prepared to handle the metabolic workload. So instead of “laser lime flavored energy enhanced shots” that are likely to send your system into a tailspin instead of delivering the jet fuel they claim, what are your options? Well, after twenty years of competitive running and passing up the little gold packets encapsulating gelatinous torture, I have finally (yes FINALLY) found an alternative. Palatinose.
What is Palatinose? It is only the super starch of the century! What does it do? It provides the body with an easily digestible source of slow-burning carbohydrate that will offer sustained energy rather than the down and dirty quick hit from those other short-chain saccharides (saccharides are a fancy name for sugars. See Mr. Albritton, I did pay attention in science class). Where can you find it? Vitalyte Sports Nutrition’s “Chia Surge Endurance Gel.” The first gel on the market to utilize this incredible polysaccharide superstar and pair it with the nutritional benefits of the superfood Chia. It’s a match made in heaven. So next time you are perusing the sports nutrition aisle of your favorite bike, running or triathlon store, ask the sales representative to point you to the raspberry-flavored nectar of the running gods we at Vitalyte Sports Nutrition refer to simply as “The Gel.” Believe me, your stomach with thank you, your sugar levels will thank you, and your improved running time will be the proof in the pudding (or in the gel) that this super starch is the stuff that helps make champions.