Taking Energy Gels is a vital component of your racing plan in order to maximize your running performance.
It is recommended that you consume energy gels during your long training runs in order to determine your fueling strategy for the big race.
You need to take the gels at set intervals in training so that you know when and how much to consume during the race.
Your digestive track is trainable like every other part of your body.
The consumption rates will depend on how well you generally react to energy gels in training, your metabolism, weight and overall fitness level.
Timing and frequency are critical factors to avoiding hitting the wall on race day.
For intense training or competition you should consume up to 90g carbohydrates per hour. One energy gel delivers approximately 27g carbohydrates.
It is advisable to consume each gel with a minimum of 150 ml water to avoid dehydration while running.
Water helps break down the gel and facilitates the digestive process.
When choosing energy gels for running look for multiple carbohydrates on the label such as (dextrose, maltodextrin, lactose and sucrose). These carbohydrates deliver more energy in the form of glucose to working muscles and at a more efficient rate. The various formulas contribute to oxidation rates as high as 1.5 g/minute while running.
Generally, performance athletes need to consume 200-400 calories per hour while running.
Ideally you should consume one energy gel fifteen minutes before training or before the actual race. You should take the second gel approximately thirty to forty five minutes into the race. At this point in the race you are under less pressure and you have a much better chance of processing the sugars faster through the bloodstream.
The simple sugars from energy gels will be absorbed into your blood stream as glucose and remain in the blood stream until they are processed by the working muscles in the form of glycogen.
Energy gels for running can be carried in the pockets of your shorts or for added comfort by using an energy gel waistband holder.