For endurance athletes, which one of these is the most important?
This is kind of a trick questions because carbohydrates, electrolytes and water/fluids are ALL very important for endurance athletes.
The carbohydrates supplement your glycogen stores so that you have more available fuel to perform longer at a higher intensity.
Electrolytes help to avoid cramping and injuries as well as play a crucial role in fluid balance, muscle contractions and neural functions.
And water/fluids are required to maintain hydration – the more dehydrated you become the worse you will perform.
However, water is also the transport vehicle for the carbohydrates and electrolytes. So if you are not drinking and remaining hydrated it will detract from your body’s ability to utilize the carbs and electrolytes. You can also experience intestinal issue as the carbs are not absorbed as quickly as they should be. Drinking is not only the most important thing for endurance athletes, it’s often also the easiest way to improve your performance. Many athletes under hydrate, and this one simple change can make a huge difference!
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gels, drinks, chews ... what's best for your sport?
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