There are lots of nutritional products out there that promise you quick energy on the run, but a baseline question is: how much do you actually need to eat while training and racing?
Here’s the quick dope: for endurance activity of 90 minutes or more, you should ideally be taking in 4 calories per minute to help offset your stored fuel losses. This fuel needs to be easily accessbile to your body, which basically means we’re talking about sugar — food that would be low in complex carbs, protein, and fat.
4 calories per minute translates into 240 calories per hour. Taking in that much new fuel will delay the loss of glycogen, and help delay the point at which you bonk and hit The Wall.
The problem is that few of us can take in so many calories every hour. The average sports gel, for example, is about 100 calories — less than half of your hourly needs.
Still, every bit helps, so experiment in training with what you can easily digest and how much you can take in.
At a minimum, you should aim to gulp down a sports gel or comparable product at least once per hour.
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