by Karen Campbell, specialist in personalised nutrition for endurance runners from beginners to professionals.
Do you struggle to re-establish energy levels after your running training? Recovery Nutrition for Runners is VITAL.
Muscle glycogen restoration is considered one of the principle aims of recovery nutrition for endurance runners. This is to help re-establish peak athletic performance in subsequent training sessions.
Some Signs of Poor Recovery
- Reduced Sports Performance
- Muscle soreness
What is glycogen?
Carbohydrate is the principle energy source for endurance runners. In the body it is converted to glucose (for energy) and glycogen (stored energy).
Glycogen is stored predominantly in the muscles and liver. During endurance running glycogen stores are depleted greatly because they are converted back to glucose for energy production.
So how much carbohydrate is needed?
1Following endurance running, in the absence of carbohydrate intake, the rate of glycogen resynthesis (reproduction) is thought to be extremely slow. For this reason early intake of carbohydrate foods following training is highly recommended.
2Current guidelines suggest 1-1.2g of carbohydrate per Kg of bodyweight per hour during the first 4-6 hours following training to restore glycogen levels. For a 70Kg athlete, this equates to a large banana, plus either 40g dried cranberries or 150ml fresh orange juice.
2Guidelines also recommend an optimal intake of carbohydrate within the first 30 minutes following exercise because this is thought to be the most favourable “window of opportunity” for refueling.
1Jeukendrup A and Gleeson M (2010), Sports Nutrition: An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance, 2nd edn., Stanningly, Leeds, Human Kinetics.
2Thomas DT et al (2016), Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Nutrition: Nutrition and Athletic Performance, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116:501-528.
Recovery Nutrition for Runners is VITAL.Do you want to know more about the optimal intake of carbohydrate for YOUR recovery following training?
If you’d like to learn more to help you improve your running performance with nutrition please book onto our next online course Easy Nutrition for Healthy Runners hosted by Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell.