Energy Gels, how to consume?
Everyone knows that carbohydrate intake during a marathon or triathlon improves performance. But how to consume? What brands and when do you eat?
Energy gels typically contain 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, so it is recommended to consume one to two per hour and for the ultra-endurance runners, even up to three per hour. This also should depend on how much sports drinks are consumed as these also contain sugar. The first gel can be taken from 20 to 40 minutes from the start of a marathon / race.
The amount of carbohydrates consumed during a race depends largely on the athlete. As the athlete gets used to consuming the carbohydrates while running or exercise the number of carbohydrate carriers in the body increases so they are able to consume more. However the opposite is also true, if the athlete is not used to consuming carbohydrates their body is not able to absorb as easily which can cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating, nausea and even diarrhea.
So that being said, it is advisable to develop your nutritional strategy ahead of the big race and during the training period building up to the event. It can take up to several weeks to adapt so it is critical to start the strategy well before the date of the marathon, triathlon.