KEY SUPPLEMENTS FOR ENDURANCE: ENERGY AND HYDRATION (1/5)
In the previous article, we clarified the importance of energy and the replacement of minerals after a demanding training session. We've already finished the training, now it's time for regeneration. This means that we need to get enough rest and sleep, while in the first twenty minutes we need to replenish the body with all the nutrients that it "has lost". In principle, most athletes use already prepared regeneration beverages, but of course, they can be enriched with various basic ingredients according to the type of training, the nutrition of the athlete and his/her overall health. A good regeneration drink for endurance athletes contains simple sugars (monosaccharides), an adequate proportion of high-quality proteins (whey or whey proteins), an amino acid supplement (BCAA, glutamine) as well as vitamins and minerals. Proper regeneration during the period of the anabolic window is crucial for the growth of functional muscle mass and restoration of glycogen stores while preventing exhaustion and overtraining.
Let's touch on myths. Sugar is bad. Of course, if you eat it in the evening before going to bed or watching TV. Regenerative drinks contain it in the simplest form (dextrose), as only minutes after training, glycogen stores can be filled up to the last gram so that we can train more the following day. Dextrose as such, of course, easily penetrates the inside of the cell and triggers an increase in muscle mass through an insulin response. Naturally, it is necessary to consider a healthy measure and adjust the dose to the type of training and the amount of ingested dextrose in the hydration drink itself.
The third issue that most are familiar with are proteins or related substances. In addition to those who are already old customers, two types of customers come into our store. The first use chocolate milk for regeneration. Chocolate milk is not a completely wrong decision, but it is not exactly an appropriate foodstuff neither according to its structure nor the availability. First, it contains quite a bit of fat that slows down the passage of the substance into the blood, and secondly, it does not contain either the appropriate ratio of macronutrients or the corresponding quantities of the latter. After training, without the proper regeneration drink consumed in the first 20 minutes, we are tired, often grumpy, our brain does not work, but what is the most problematic, in the next period, i.e. epidemiologic window, we are more susceptible to many colds. It is unnecessary to draw attention to the fact that an unregenerated muscle (i.e. muscle in catabolism, which does not get the appropriate substances) is not only less efficient but also more susceptible to injuries.
Both dimensions, both energy & hydration as well as regeneration go hand in hand, and also from the physiological point of view bring advantages that we often do not think about. A protracted endurance exercise, unlike those with weights, often destroys our hormonal balance - the reason for this is the increased stress hormone cortisol which is due to prolonged anaerobic activity. It is necessary to know that our sex hormones originate from the same precursor (i.e. from the same "reserve") and the more we turn it into stress, the less it will remain for testosterone, progesterone, and the more there will be cortisol, estrogen, adrenaline. The constantly elevated cortisol levels tell us that it is necessary to stop because it turns off many functions (including immune function) - the appropriate combination of consumed proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants and minerals effectively prevents unnecessary "wear" of the body. Of course, in today's time, we do not have time to prepare regeneration shakes on our own, therefore, they can be obtained in the ready form. Usually, for the very demanding training, a drink with a high content of amino acids, vitamins and minerals is selected, and for regular training, it is necessary to ensure that we do not consume a product that contains any artificial additives - therefore, the product should be free of dyes, harmful flavors or artificial sweeteners.
In the next section, we will write about a more partial, but still important matter - the amino acids that build our body and which get lost during endurance training, so it makes sense to add them to our diet.