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Length to digest

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Length to digest

Postby knjwes » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:56 pm

I am trying to look at timing my nutrition needs for a speedy 15k run. I am considering consuming at least 1 gel midway through the run but was curious as to how long it typically takes a gel to affect your caloric needs and provide the energy.
-Kirk
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Re: Length to digest

Postby steve-born » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:54 am

Hello Kirk -

It's hard to give a truly precise answer because everyone's digestive capabilities are going to be a little different. That said, the maltodextrin we use in Hammer Gel has the same glycemic index rating as glucose (both rated at 100) so it will elevate blood sugar levels (and thus energy levels) fairly rapidly... within 5 or so minutes I'd estimate.

One thing I wanted to mention is in regards to the duration of the event (how long it will take you to finish). This will determine your timing of a pre-event meal and I've taken the liberty of cutting and pasting some information from the article "" (), which I hope you will find useful.

When you’re engaged in training sessions or races in the 90-minute range or shorter (personally, I prefer an hour limit), fasting three hours prior to the start is not necessary. Consuming some easily digested calories an hour or two prior to the start will not negatively affect performance, and may actually enhance it. Here’s why:

As we’ve discussed earlier, when you consume calories sooner than three hours prior to the start of a workout or race, you accelerate the rate at which your body burns its finite amounts of muscle glycogen stores. In events lasting longer than 60-90 minutes, refraining from calorie consumption for the three-hour period prior to the start is crucial because you want to preserve your glycogen stores, not accelerate their depletion. Muscle glycogen is the first fuel that the body will use when exercise commences, and your body only has a limited supply of this premium fuel. If your workout or race goes beyond the 60-90 minute mark, you don't want to do anything that will accelerate muscle glycogen utilization.

However, when you consume calories within three hours of a race, that's exactly what will happen; you'll increase the rate at which your glycogen is burned.

During shorter distance races, however, accelerated rates of glycogen depletion/utilization are not problematic. You don’t need the calories for energy, but the presence of carbohydrates will elevate glycogen utilization. In a short race, that’s what you want.

Dr. Misner explains that prior to shorter-duration bouts of exercise, “consuming a few easily digested carbohydrates [such as a serving or two of HEED or Hammer Gel] will advance performance, because carbohydrates consumed prior to exercise make the body super-expend its glycogen stores like a flood gate wide open." In other words, if you eat something 1-2 hours prior to the start of a short-duration training session or race, thus causing the insulin "flood gates" to open, yes, you will be depleting your glycogen stores at maximum rates. However, at this distance it’s a beneficial effect, as glycogen depletion is not an issue when the workout or race is over within at most 90 minutes.

--- END ---

Basically, if you've been training well and have been consistent about post-workout refueling (a.k.a. "refilling the tank") you will have build up a new reservoir of muscle glycogen. If your race is in the 60-90 minute range why not "ride the insulin train" from start to finish and enjoy the benefits of doing so? I think that - again, depending on how long it'll take you to complete the race - following the above-mentioned suggestions can really give you an advantage. So too will having a serving of Hammer Gel halfway through the race.

I hope you will find this information useful.

Sincerely -

Steve
************************
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www.hammernutrition.com
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Re: Length to digest

Postby steve-born » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:35 am

Oops. In the second paragraph of my response, I forgot to include the title of the article and the link. The title is "How to Properly Fuel Prior to Workouts & Races" and you'll find it at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1279.html
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************************
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Re: Length to digest

Postby knjwes » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:42 am

Thanks for the reminder to this article. I had read it before, but forgot about that piece. I plan to complete in under 60 mins, but in order to do so, it will be a very high intensity for me. My preference is to not take in any calories for the duration, but am more concerned about lacking energy. Here is my current plan: use Race Boost the days leading up to the race. Use Anti-fatigue caps two hours before the race start. Do a light jog/walk (20 mins) from my house to the race start for a warm-up. Consume a gel with some water a few mins before start. I am also interested in carrying one of the energy surge caps, but have not used it yet and want to experiement prior to the race.

Given the pre-race meal, I typically dont eat before races, but in reviewing the info in the article, it appears that it may be helpful to consume a couple of servings of Heed (maybe with a couple of endurolytes?) at the same time I take in the anti-fatigue caps. Let me know how this sounds.

-Kirk
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Re: Length to digest

Postby steve-born » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:11 pm

Kirk -

Your 20-minute walk/jog will deplete some of your glycogen stores but if your race is going to be under 60 minutes in duration, that still keeps you in that time frame where having some easily digested calories prior to the start will enhance performance. This is, of course, assuming that you've been consistent with post-workout refueling in your workouts leading up to the race. If so, yes, I think your pre-race fueling/supplement strategy looks just fine... taking some Anti-Fatigue Caps and Endurolytes while sipping on a bottle of HEED in the hour or so leading up to the start would certainly be what I'd do.

Sincerely -

Steve
************************
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Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
www.hammernutrition.com
800.336.1977
************************
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Re: Length to digest

Postby knjwes » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:43 am

If I decided to also use the Energy Surge product, when woould be the best time to use it. Just keep it in my pocket until a start feeling tired?
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