TOP 3 NUTRITION CHALLENGES FACED BY ENDURANCE ATHLETES

Endurance athletes depend upon their nutrition for performance. Optimum nutrition gives an edge to their performance else they might face challenges during their training or competition.

1. Not adequate fluid intake 

Dehydration is the top-most reason for poor performance, and it increases your heart rate, making exercise seem harder. It also has a direct impact on mental functioning, leads to issues like an upset stomach, heat illness, and the body struggles to cool off effectively.

Therefore, to ensure proper hydration, have enough water throughout the day and 200-400ml of water within 30 minutes before starting off. Also, keep sipping any hydrating energy drink in between, preferably free of caffeine that will also help provide with the required electrolytes.

2. Not enough carbohydrate intake

Carbohydrate is the most important macronutrient needed to get that boost of energy. Every meal should be able to provide you with sufficient carbs to meet the calorie requirement. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver in the form of energy, which can later be utilised by the body when in need of sustained energy.

When you are on a low carb diet, then you get easily fatigued, muscles become weak and increased perceived exertion & nausea.

3. Not enough variety of carbohydrates

For events longer than 2.5 hours, using a combination of complex and simple carbohydrate sources rather than only simple carbohydrate can help improve endurance performance. Why? As it will help provide sustained energy to keep you going. Energy supplements like energy drinks, sports gels, high carb sports bar, fruit puree, bread with jam, etc. can be of great help with multiple sources of carbohydrates and help improve your endurance performance.

4. Lack of Vitamin- D 

Even though most of the endurance sports are carried out outdoors, due to tanning or deposition of melatonin in dark-skinned athletes are unable to synthesise Vit-D from the sunlight properly. Also, some sports are played indoors as badminton courts can be in-doors as well. Therefore, it is important to include vitamin D foods or take supplements whenever required.

To conclude, good nutritional practice is needed to meet your athletic goals and performance!

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