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Eating for Endurance

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Published on 4 years ago

For athletes engaged in endurance sports – like running, cycling or swimming for more than 2-3 hours at a time – carbohydrates are a necessity to provide fuel to the muscles and are critical to go the distance.young male athlete take a rest after running

Registered dietician and nutritionist Erica Goldstein offers a variety of tips to help athletes understand the best foods and options for carb loading during training.

“The top question I’m usually asked is what I should be eating during training,” says Goldstein, who sees patients on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

First, it’s important to understand what a carbohydrate is, she says.

“Carbohydrate is stored in the body in the form of glycogen, which is basically links of glucose – or sugar – stored in large amounts. Glycogen can be broken down during continual exercise to provide energy for muscle contraction,” she explains.
Examples of carbs

Fructose, glucose and sucrose are three forms of carbohydrates. These can be found in a variety of foods, including: fruits, like bananas, raisins and dates; and starch, like potatoes, pasta and rice.

Of course, there are a variety of sports-specific gels, chews and performance bars developed for athletes.

How much do you need?

The body can only store so much glycogen so it is essential to consume carbohydrate during prolonged exercise, usually greater than an hour, to continue to provide energy to working muscle. “Otherwise, you may compromise your ability to finish your training,” Goldstein says.

According to research, she recommends consuming carbohydrates based on the intensity and duration of training.

30 g after the first 60 min is enough for training lasting 60-90 min.
60 g per hour after the first 2 - 2.5 hours
90 g per hour after 3 hours → dependent on high intensity exercise (~75% of maximal effort)
Goldstein advises athletes vary the types of carbohydrate consumed. “Mix it up; see what works for your body and what you can tolerate,” she advises.

She also recommends reviewing food labels to determine total grams of carbohydrates in a product as well as the specific ingredients (i.e., glucose, fructose, sucrose).

Comments :

emilee younglao

emilee younglao . 2 days ago

yea every swimmer knows that ur hungry asf after but still somehow manage to lose weight. after i cut weight i am enjoying myself some of my favorite foods cuz i know with swimming i will not gain it back

emilee younglao

emilee younglao . 2 days ago

its about nutrition cuz i eat throughout the day but its all vegan, went to the pool only twice within 2 days for 1 hour periods and already cut 1.7lbs. i ate a lot too yesterday but it was all nutritious .swimming will cut weight fast if ur consistent

human being

human being . 1 week ago

for endurance fat adopted body is better....

Yo Gotti

Yo Gotti . 1 month ago

carbonichydroxins are critical


ClassicExampleBand . 4 months ago

Except she doesn't know what she is talking about. Keto adapted athletes are breaking all the records set by carbo-loaded athletes which she is talking about. Endurance athletes now understand that high fat, low carb diets and ketosis adaptation are the key to the best athletic endurance times. It's true. Look it up yourself if you don't believe me. Just check out Dr Tim Noakes, Dr Stephen Pinney, Dr Jeff Volek and Dr Peter Attia for more info. And Dr. Ken Berry and Dr. Shawn Baker know a little bit about it too...


Sarcrai . 4 months ago

enjoy your sugar poison

Nagavath srikanth nayak Nayak

Nagavath srikanth nayak Nayak . 4 months ago

I ❤😘u baby... Ummmma

Bettye's Cooking Channel

Bettye's Cooking Channel . 4 months ago

I’m on the Keto diet too. Keto is the way to go.

Bettye's Cooking Channel

Bettye's Cooking Channel . 4 months ago

I'm on a keto diet. I eat less than 20 grams of carbs a day.

j.v smoeti

j.v smoeti . 5 months ago

30 grms..50 60 grams.. so can u make it simple like how many banana is equal to 60 grams? or how many grams of carbo are there in 2 cup of rice..

S Andreev

S Andreev . 5 months ago

Totally useless... :)

Voodoo Child

Voodoo Child . 5 months ago

Thanks for this ! Very helpful

Steven Lookabaugh

Steven Lookabaugh . 5 months ago

Old standard advice. I wonder why I wake up in the morning, throw on my shoes and run for 2+ hours with no carbs?

The Lords Table Prophets Corner

The Lords Table Prophets Corner . 5 months ago

This is really good especially for me because I took away all the carbs while working out with weights and my blood pressure went up extremely high while working out and anxiety set in because of no energy due to a lack of carbs, all my body Was only able to rely on was fat for energy which isn’t a very good energy source at all. So I tested out the theory, in the morning I got up and started moving boxes, instantly anxiety came back and the lack of energy, then I ate about three potatoes, and started moving the box again suddenly I had so much energy and I felt great doing it. I’m so glad I discovered this because I thought there was something wrong with my brain lol When people make video’s saying stay away from carbs and calories, they have to be very specific and to let people know that you do need some carbs for energy source even though you’re burning fat in ketoses mode, as Long as you stay away from the sugar to keep your insulin level down, you will burn fat in ketoses mode lol

rlalko l

rlalko l . 6 months ago

what about during???

Patrick LaChance

Patrick LaChance . 6 months ago

The advice should be to get fat adapted FIRST so you can use mainly fat as your energy source, then for the longer endurance events add carbs as needed. This will avoid the gut and GI issues that ultra runners have problems with because your body is DUAL fueled instead of carb-only fueled.

Brigen Mucaj

Brigen Mucaj . 6 months ago

Yeahhh go for it plenty of sugar

Bronson Walz

Bronson Walz . 6 months ago

m MMmmm mmMm MMMmMmm 🅱️řəd

Vsr Vsr

Vsr Vsr . 7 months ago

Pretty bad advice..... Chocolate milk which you might as well just drink sugar. 2hr window is also crap.

Jeremiah1 2

Jeremiah1 2 . 7 months ago

I work in a 20 degree freezer lifting 30 pound boxes of frozen pizza 8 hours a day. Im always hungry how many carbs should I eat at night.

Shiyam Sundar

Shiyam Sundar . 7 months ago

GOLDEN words from Erica Goldstein.... Thanks madame...

Garfit Gar

Garfit Gar . 8 months ago

After workouts people avoid carbs because they think they will get fat then when the next workout starts no energy to lift or cardio glycogen stores depleted there are fast carbs slow carbs complex carbs plain sugar


GiveMeTruth . 8 months ago

Does a sport like bouldering fall under endurance athlete

Viole Urzúa

Viole Urzúa . 9 months ago

Hi! Could you do a video like this but for dancers? Like professional dancers, or dance students, because I'm alway dancing, moving or training, during 6 to 8 hours a day approx, and I often found my self dealing with what should I eat to be able to perform good every single day. Thank u :)

Clay Butler

Clay Butler . 9 months ago

Pretty much all wrong, unless you are addicted to sugar. Fat burners go for hours without bonking with no food. I know, I do it every day.

Sonicz Forever

Sonicz Forever . 9 months ago

I wonder what happens if you get through the training and then feel depleted afterward. I worked out for 2 and a half and cleaned house. I get problems afterwards. Im thin and dont require much but I sometimes underestimate and feel unwell afterwards. I thought Id enough in a few biscuit, and a scone but I was unsure if id eaten way too much. My dinner is usually pasta and protein shake as Im vegetarian. Today I ran 9 miles and did some raquet sports , I used to gain weight easily and I forget I cant actually rely 100 percent on my fat. My sugars drop on me. I thought the carbs in the scone and crisps was enough but it wasn't. It burned up immediately, I started getting anxious angry and my Co ordination goes when I get too tired. I get too tired to cook. Athletes that train long need to meal prep and cook BEFORE. I feel a bit ill as I screwed that up. Feel queasy and dropping items. Don't wait till after the training to cook. OOPs.

abdiaziiz haydar

abdiaziiz haydar . 10 months ago

Very helpful and educational

Jeremy Cornwell

Jeremy Cornwell . 10 months ago

Plugs you up so you do get shits during over exertion,shock. Runners trots

Bokkepruiker Records

Bokkepruiker Records . 10 months ago

Saturated fat is a far better energy source than carbohydrates.


CrowdPleeza . 1 year ago

I've heard that carbs can make some people feel sluggish. Why is that?

Andrian-collins scott

Andrian-collins scott . 2 years ago

No that’s not true. We aren’t much carbohydrates in fruits. Fruits are vitamins

Heidi Keller

Heidi Keller . 3 years ago

Agreed. Go carbs!

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