It’s approaching that time of the year when the cones come out, the weather gets hotter (in theory) and the running trainers take pride of place in the kit bag! Remember those dreaded hills that seem to get steeper year on year, the unforgiving road runs that pound your energy and morale, and the nauseating aches and pains that engulf your body the morning after! On the flip side of this, remember the gratification that comes with knocking a minute off your personal best road run? The feeling of achievement that accompanies the rehydration and refuelling process after a bout of ‘shuttle runs’ or ‘horse shoes’? And think about the quiet confidence that comes from knowing you are adhering to a structured, disciplined training, dieting, and sport supplement regime...giving yourself the absolute best chance of outperforming your competitors this season!
Importance of hydration and electrolyte balance
This element of exercise cannot be emphasised enough! One of the main consequences of training is perspiration (sweating) and energy store depletion, which can drastically hinder your training capacity. Obtaining/maintaining the ideal distribution between electrolyte and water is integral, and is achieved through the replenishment of body water, electrolyte, and moderate to high glycaemic index carbohydrate (gradual and quick release carbs). It is not uncommon for a person undertaking intense physical activity to lose 1 litre an hour, and depending on exercise intensity and ambient air temperature, this value can increase to more than 3 litres (almost double the average recommended fluid intake per day)! Therefore the consumption of an isotonic and electrolyte replenishment drink is vital to maximising your training capacity and healthfulness.
Support energy, power and endurance
Creatine has been described by Kreider, Wilborb, Campbell, et al. (2010) of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, as the single most effective supplement available for developing strength and power. It has also been seen to aid endurance, prevent/limit injury and increase muscle size and protein synthesis. It has been classified as safe, and is deemed to be the most useful ergogenic aid on the market! You can maximise creatine’s effects by consuming it with a high glycaemic index (quick release) carbohydrate, this increases the release of insulin which in turn improves creatine absorption.
Protein and Glutamine are integral to the recovery process in that they deliver the body with a much needed supply of amino-acids. A whey isolate protein supplement would provide the body with a source of readily absorbed protein, ideal for consumption within 30 minutes of training. According to Kreider, Wilborb, Campbell, et al. (2010), people that do not ingest enough protein in their diet demonstrate reduced muscle adaptations, and recover more slowly from exercise compared to those that do.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino-acid in our body, it is known as a conditionally essential amino-acid because it can be produced in the body from branched-chain amino acids. It is a key component in the body’s ability to replenish muscle tissue, maintain gastrointestinal (digestive tract) integrity and fight infection. Approximately 90% of the body’s Glutamine is found in the muscles, meaning we should aim to replenish this amino acid within 1-2 hours after exercise to help reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) that hits you 1-3 days after training....a reality that we are all too familiar with (Llewellyn, 2009)!
NOTE: Please consult your doctor prior to commencing any supplement if you have an underlying medical condition, particularly a heart or kidney defect of any sort.
Kreider, R, B., Wilborb, C, D., Campbell, B., Almada, A, L., Collins, R., Cooke, M et al, (2010). ISSN exercise & Sport Nutrition Review: Research & Recommendations. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition. 7: 1550-2783.
Llewellyn, W, (2009). Sport Supplement Reference Guide. Conjugated-Linoleic Acid (CLA). Military trail: Molecular Nutrition LLC of Jupiter.