Ernährung und Ausdauer im Sport

Nutrition and Endurance in Sport

The right mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat lets you benefit from endurance sports. The diet supports more performance and faster regeneration - so it's time to think about sports-specific nutrition.

Put simply as a model, one could say that food is the fuel, the muscles are the motor and water, vitamins and micronutrients ensure the smooth transmission of power or, to put it another way, they ensure the supply of energy. Above all, the quality of the food is important in order to prevent contamination or blockages in the pipes.

So how do I eat properly as an endurance athlete?

It is important to understand how the energy supply works. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) plays a major role in this, as it ensures that all bodily functions can take place. In order to form ATP, the body needs glycogen, fat or creatine phosphate, these enter our body through energy sources such as carbohydrates, fat and protein.

ATP is produced at different speeds depending on the requirement. The more power, the shorter the duration of the energy supply.

With loads of more than 8 minutes, as is usual in endurance sports, the aerobic energy supply takes place. Here, the necessary energy is provided almost exclusively via oxygen and fat. The goal is therefore: to stay completely in the fat metabolism and save the valuable carbohydrate stores for the final phase.

If a load is moderate and not too long, carbohydrates are consumed. If the training lasts longer but is still moderate, then fat is burned. Endurance athletes therefore need carbohydrates and fat. Only under extreme stress is protein converted into energy.

The problem, however, is that carbohydrate storage is limited, fat storage is not. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. These stores are sufficient for about 60-90 minutes and can be increased through diet in the form of carbo-loading.

A balanced diet is therefore recommended for endurance sports with primarily carbohydrate-rich and low-fat foods, eg grain products such as rice, yeast flakes, pasta, bread and lots of vegetables such as legumes, potatoes and corn.

However, it is also important to ensure a sufficient protein intake, because proteins serve as a source of energy during extreme endurance performance. Protein is just as important for the muscles and supports the maintenance of muscle mass, which in turn has an effect on increased carbohydrate stores. An endurance athlete therefore benefits from weight training and more muscles due to higher energy stores.

Tips for nutrition in endurance sports:

-Do not take in protein below normal

-consume complex carbohydrates

-Only eat high-fat foods after training

-drink a lot during training: approx. 150ml every ¼ hour

-if the load lasts >1 hour: integrate electrolytic drinks

-Magnesium and calcium help against muscle cramps

-exercising sober is counterproductive

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