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Blog: Intra workout nutrition - Part Two

Continuing from part one...

Intra workout nutrition: Carbohydrates

The need for these really depends on your training goals and diet set up. The need for them for the average gym session lasting less than 60 minutes is pretty much nil with regard to enhanced performance, but could be useful when using a targeted carbohydrate diet (i.e. only eating carbs at specific times in order to maximise where they are directed and used). Using them during training means they will be used up at a time when the body is efficient at using carbs, common sources of carbs used intra training include maltodextrin, dextrose or waxy maize starch due to their ease of digestion and speed on uptake of carbohydrates and amino acids by the working muscles. Limiting carbs to during and post training is often an approach used to help produce lean gains and is useful for those that are less sensitive to carbs at other times of the day. For those that train for endurance or do multiple training sessions per day, carbs during training may aid recovery for later sessions and improve performance during longer endurance based session. The need for carbs during training determines by your goals and diet set up, hence there is no requirement to have then during a session. [caption id="attachment_3124" align="alignnone" width="650"]Intra workout nutrition is key to hydration Intra workout nutrition is key to hydration[/caption]

Intra workout nutrition: Hydration

Regardless of training goals, hydration is important as dehydration of just 2% can impair performance by 10%, impair muscular contractions, increases heart rates at relative intensities and increases how hard exercise feels. Dehydration also reduces cell volume which is required to provide an anabolic signal for muscle growth and can also increases the stress hormone response to exercise. All of this equates to less efficient training with a less the optimal metabolic response to recover from. To ensure optimal hydration ensure you are well hydrated before you start exercising, monitor fluid loss (maybe weigh yourself before and after your sessions) and for everyone kilo of lost weight, drink 1.5 litres of fluid. The inclusion of some electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium aids hydration status while aiding the how our muscles contract, providing more forceful muscle contractions and reducing the risk of muscle cramps,  additionally, the inclusion of coconut water can also aid hydration by improving fluid balance.

Intra workout nutrition: Take Home Points

The use of nutritional supplements during training session has the ability to improve performance and recovery from the session, but it’s important to take into consideration that the effectiveness of these supplements is only as strong as the quality of the diet as a whole: good intra workout nutrition cannot make up for a poor overall diet. The use of intra workout nutrition is a completely individual thing; some people feel it’s not required if proper pre training nutrition has been followed, some feel it has a highly significant impact on training and results, while others use it as an insurance policy so they don’t miss out on potential gains in the off chance they make a difference to training and performance. BCAA’s may be useful when pre training protein hasn’t been ingested (i.e. fasted training) or during extended training sessions to minimise protein breakdown and prevent central fatigue Beta Alanine / citrulline malate / sodium bicarbonate may be useful to prevent metabolic causes of fatigue, resulting in improved training session leading to a greater training stimulus for the body to adapt to. Carbohydrates such as dextrose, maltdextrin and waxy maize starch may be of use to people following a targeted carbohydrate intake in order to maximise the potential benefits of carbohydrate intake without risk of the potential adverse effects some people may experience if they have a reduced tolerance to carbohydrates. This is 100% down to an individual’s goals and preferences Hydration is important to everyone regardless of their goal, with dehydration having detrimental effects of athletic performance and body composition.
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