Welcome to Week 5! Just thinking about all those miles you’ve already put in is making us hungry! This week, we are talking about nutrition.
Specifically, we’re going to talk about energy bars because they’re a great source a quick energy. Bars are commonly high in carbohydrates, low in protein and fat—a good combination to consume just before starting an extended activity (or during an extended rest break). Bars with slightly higher fat and protein content are a good thing to eat an hour or more before a workout or any time after it. The high-grade carbs in bars provide an endurance boost during a workout; afterwards, they help replenish glycogen (energy reserves) in muscles. With varying quantities of fat included (up to 15 or 20 grams in some items), energy bars are the only performance food option that serves to quell hunger pangs, though they do so only modestly and briefly.
Remember to drink water when eating an energy bar. Bars are usually dense and chewy and are easier to digest with generous water intake. Avoid washing them down with a performance beverage. Consuming too many carbohydrates at once can slow your body’s ability to absorb them. And finally, remember to test out any nutrition products in training so that you know how they’ll affect you on race day.