Real Food Refueling During Exercise

Maria leading a training hike to Camp Muir with the American Lung Association Climb for Clean Air 2004

Real Food Refueling During Exercise

Carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can reduce muscle glycogen breakdown. During a long hike, snowshoeing, or intense bike ride, replenishing energy stores is key. Some athletes rely on sports energy gels that contain quick-digesting sugars to provide a burst of energy and top off glycogen stores as they fatigue during longer efforts.

However, some endurance athletes do not want to consume a gel, a sugary sports drink or a bar packed with synthetic ingredients and prefer real food refueling. Real foods can be just as effective as sports nutrition products. Although sports nutrition products can be a good choice, not to mention convenient, whole foods are a good choice because of the wide variety of nutrients in them, including antioxidants. Antioxidants in food can help reduce oxidative stress, promote recovery and improve performance.

Fluids should always be consumed along with solid foods during training to aid in absorption of the carbohydrate. Read more on hydration.

Keep in mind that the real foods will take longer to absorb than a gel, and that the fiber content might be too much during races for those with sensitive stomachs. Some athletes have increased difficulty in digesting and absorbing food at high intensity. It might also take a bit of chewing. So, with all refueling regimens, practice and see what works best.

And utilize these guidelines along with optimal pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition strategies.

The majority of athletes will perform better when they fuel properly according to these guidelines during workouts lasting longer than 75 minutes.

1:15 to 3 hours: 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

3+ hours: 30 to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour

Use the table below to calculate how much you might need. The serving size of provides 25-35g of carbohydrate, which is the equivalent of most gels.

 

Type of food Serving size for 25-30g of carbs
Banana 7 oz. (31 g)
Raisins 2.5 oz box (35g)
Medjool Dates 1.5 dates (35g)
Small pitted dates 5 dates (40g)
Dried apricots 5-6 apricots (30-35g)
Dried pineapple 1.5 rings (30g)
Dried Mango, cut into bite size pieces 40 grams (34g)
Honey 1 Tbsp (28g)
Fig Bars 3 (33g)
Yoplait Original Yogurt Strawberry 2 gm fat 6 oz. (27g)
Boiled Potato 2 ½ “ diameter, 136 grams (28g)
Baked Sweet Potato 2 ½ “ diameter, 114 grams (24g)

Maria Faires, RD is a mountaineering fitness and nutrition expert.

Sources

What Should I Eat before Exercise? Pre-Exercise Nutrition and the Response to Endurance Exercise: Current Prospective and Future Directions

Metabolic and Performance Effects of Raisins versus Sports Gel as Pre-Exercise Feedings in Cyclists

Carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged exercise: effects on metabolism and performance

Performance Effects of Carbohydrate Ingestion between Bouts of Intense Aerobic Interval Exercise

Exercise and oxidative stress: potential effects of antioxidant dietary strategies in sport

 

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Mountaineering Training or Hiking Resources

What an adventure! This is me crossing an ice bridge on Mt. Rainier.

I am steadfastly here to support you and your fitness as you train for your mountain climb.

Refer to my blogs and YouTube videos for information that will help you with your fitness and nutrition for the climb.

Climb For Clean Air registered climbers: I am available for 30 minute phone calls to answer your personal questions. Email me at ActiveNutrition@comcast.net to set up your appointment.

Climb For Clean Air registered climbers: If you have a quick question at any point during your training, reach out to me via email.

I have compiled a helpful list of some of my blogs, workouts and videos for you to refer to below.

And if you haven’t already, like my business page: Active https://www.facebook.com/myactivenutrition

My blog:

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/

I suggest accessing my blog via your computer. Sadly, my blog is not mobile optimized and on your mobile phone you will not see the right hand column that contains links to topics.

Blog posts that might be of interest:

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/healthy-hiking-or-snowshoeing-lunch-and-snacks/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/maximize-your-post-workout-recovery-with-the-best-exercise-recovery-techniques/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/fueling-for-performance-for-hiking-and-mountaineering/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/fueling-up-to-maximize-your-workout-muscle-growth-and-recovery/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/nutrition-for-the-dancer/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/progressive-hiking-schedule-snoqualmie-washington-region/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/camp-muir-mt-rainier-day-hike-tips/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/camp-muir-mt-rainier-day-hike-trip-report/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/camp-muir-mt-rainier-1-day-glacier-trip-hike-pack-list/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/best-hiking-snack-processed-versus-real-food/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/last-minute-tips-before-your-mountain-climb/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/anemia-iron-supplementation-and-the-mountaineer/

Workouts to do at home:

Even if you do not have access to a gym, there are plenty of other options for in-home and outdoor workouts.

One of my favorite options is the Xiser mini stepper machine. It folds to a flat 4-inch piece of metal to fit in your backpack, carry-on, under the desk, etc. The way the hydraulic system is made in Xiser products is totally different from other  steppers. When you step on a pedal, the fluid goes from the cylinder on that side to the cylinder on the other side and vice versa. So, nothing will stop you from doing a perfect hill running or sprint cardio workout.

 

Discount Promo Coupon Code for Xiser Stepper. Save $15 for each Portable Stepper purchased from Xiser

Follow this link to the retail site and use the discount coupon code maria35 in the shopping cart for a $15 dollar discount on each new Xiser Stepper you purchase from Xiser Industries.

If you do not have a TRX, I HIGHLY recommend it!

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/trx-full-body-workout/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/trx-workout-for-strong-sculpted-body/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/marias-sailboat-travel-workout/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/travel-vacation-home-workout-no-equipment/

https://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/stair-climbing-training-for-mountain-climbing/

Foam roller workout for recovery: https://youtu.be/t4A523-O5uk

Interval training workout: https://youtu.be/5wi6kARs7Us   Ignore his claim that you will lose 10 pounds in 1 week. Not true. But I enjoy doing his interval workout because I can just follow along! You can adapt this to walking, running, any piece of cardio equipment.

My YouTube channel with exercise demos:

Https://www.youtube.com/user/MyActiveNutrition

As always, I appreciate your Facebook likes, shares or comments.

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Healthy Hiking or Snowshoeing Lunch and Snacks

This is what I typically pack for me and my husband when we hike or snowshoe. It is easy to prep and transport and tastes so good on the trail. And, its full of quality nutrients to keep us fueled and aid in recovery for our long snowshoeing trips.

Whole Wheat Pesto, Turkey and Cheese Wraps

Granola, Cliff bar or Fig Newtons or Creative Snack Co.

Peeled Cut-up Oranges in a lightweight container.

Hot Coffee in a small thermos.

Water, I take several stainless steel bottles. You will want about 2 cups per hour.

How To Make Whole Wheat Pesto, Turkey and Cheese Wraps

  • Mission Organic Whole Wheat tortilla
  • Slice of cheese
  • Natural (no preservative) lunch meat
  • Pesto

Roll tightly and wrap in foil. Or for easier eating, cut into pinwheels and wrap in foil.

Pack everything into a lightweight container with a lid. I like using this 64 ounce GladWare container. It keeps everything from getting smashed in my pack and it happens to be the perfect size. I pack this container at the very top of my pack for easy access.

Maria Faires, RD is a mountaineering fitness and nutrition expert.

 

 

 

 

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