The Importance of Carbohydrates During Training

Carbohydrates are essential for any individual wanting to get the most out of their training. It is often forgotten how much of a key part they play when our body is wanting to perform at it’s max. 

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates in the simplest of terms are energy. Our body uses energy when working at a moderate-high intensity. Glycogen is what the body uses for fuel and glycogen comes from carbohydrates. However, we only have a certain amount of glycogen stores in our body that we can use. This is why it is essential to top up with carbohydrates little and often to keep on generating fuel. 

What happens when we have no carbohydrates?

Running out of carbohydrates is a nightmare during training. The reason for this is because our body is forced to switch to fat stores as its prime energy source. You will know when this happens as you will begin to feel more fatigued and lack the ability to train at the same intensity. 

The reason for this is because fats are a very slow releasing energy store. Perfect for easy and light sessions where our heart rate is relatively low. However, during key training sessions where we may have intervals or a pace/zone we need to keep at fats won’t help. 

Exercise over an hour is when you should start taking on carbohydrates to begin topping up with energy. Sessions under an hour don’t usually need carbohydrate intake as your body will still be using carbohydrates taken pre session i.e from a meal. However, if a meal cannot be consumed then fuelling during is advised.

Carbohydrates during training

When working at a moderate intensity such as an endurance ride or long run it is has been proven that you should aim to take on board around 60g of carbohydrates per hour. A great way to achieve this is by consuming 1 scoop of Surge Energy Powder and 1 Surge Energy Bar. 

Experiment for yourself 

Now you know the importance of carbohydrates why not experiment for yourself? Carry out two endurance rides or runs and try one session with very little carbohydrate intake. Then carry out a second session a few days later consuming carbohydrates little and often, aiming for around the 60g mark per hour.  

Sometimes it is more effective to just go out and try it for yourself! Doing so helps prove to yourself just how important carbohydrates are to your body. 

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