Women

When you’re trying to slim down and look super-toned, carbohydrates may be one of the first things you cut out. Popular diets such as Atkins, Paleo, South Beach and Dukan all focus on reducing carbs and eating more protein and fats. But if you want to fuel your running program, especially endurance sessions, carbohydrates are a must, as they provide your body with its preferred energy source for running.

Time it right

Carbohydrate is the best energy source for your body during intense exercise. It’s found in two main forms in the body: glycogen and glucose. Glycogen is stored in your muscle and liver cells, while glucose, the body’s preferred energy source, is found in the blood. As muscle glycogen levels begin to fall during exercise, especially in sessions over 90 minutes, eating carbohydrate during your workout helps maintain the optimum level to delay fatigue. Your body uses blood glucose first, and when you take in carbs, this is topped up. In addition, incorporating carbohydrate into your post-workout snack or meal can speed up recovery, restoring your glycogen levels in time for your next training session.

Your body uses blood glucose first, and when you take in carbs, this is topped up.

Your body uses blood glucose first, and when you take in carbs, this is topped up.

But not all carbs are equally beneficial. Ditch the processed, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, pasta, white rice, biscuits and cakes), as they offer little in the way of nutrients and can result in fluctuating energy levels. While grains are a good source of carbohydrate, some people find them, particularly those containing gluten (wheat, barley and rye) difficult to digest. Other nutritious carbohydrate sources include fruits, vegetables - especially starchy ones (carrots, sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, beetroot, parsnips) - potatoes, low-fat dairy foods, beans and pulses. Ancient grains such as quinoa and amaranth are also nutritious options. The amount of carbs you need is key to your performance. Here’s a guide of what to eat when.

During the day: For sustained energy, aim to include low Glycaemic-index carbohydrates with each meal and snack. Think whole grains, oats and starchy vegetables.

Before a run: About 30 minutes before you set off, opt for a quick-releasing source of carbohydrate (around 20-30g) that’s easy to digest, such as a handful of raisins, energy bar, smoothie or banana. For long sessions, eat something more substantial, such as a bowl of porridge, about an hour before your run.

During training: If you’re training for longer than 90 minutes, you may need to refuel in the form of a carbohydrate-based sports drink or energy gel (see box, below).

The amount of carbs you need is key to your performance. Here’s a guide of what to eat when.

The amount of carbs you need is key to your performance. Here’s a guide of what to eat when.

After training: Aim to replace your glycogen stores within 30-45 minutes of longer runs. For maximum benefits, include carbohydrates with protein (3:1 ratio) to aid muscle recovery and repair. Depending on the length and intensity of your training, this may be around 40-60g carbohydrates. Ideal quick and easy snacks include a protein shake with fruit, a bowl of fruit salad with Greek yoghurt or an energy bar.

Are You Eating Enough?

If you’re lacking in energy, suffering from muscle soreness, fatigue or reduced performance, you may not be fuelling your body sufficiently. This may mean you’re not eating the right carbs at the right times, or your overall carbohydrate intake is too low. While everyone’s needs are different, the following guide is a good place to start:

General training and low-intensity workouts -around one hour’s training per day: 5g carbs per kg of body weight per day.

Endurance workouts and high-intensity sessions one to three hours’ training a day: 7-10g carbs per kg of body weight per day.

This may mean you’re not eating the right carbs at the right times, or your overall carbohydrate intake is too low.

This may mean you’re not eating the right carbs at the right times, or your overall carbohydrate intake is too low.

For a woman weighing nine stone (57kg), training at a low intensity, this equates to around 280g carbohydrates a day. This could include a bowl of porridge with raisins, an energy bar before a run, fruit smoothie after a run, baked potato as part of lunch followed by fruit and yoghurt, cereal bar for a snack or handful of dried fruit, then in the evening, a sweet potato or rice with lots of vegetables.

Top search
Women
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
Other
Women
- 8 Things Pregnant Women Should Avoid For Children To Have Good Health
- Allergy In Pregnancy
- How To Deal With Dangerous Situations In Giving Birth
- 5 Things That Women Should Do Every Day
- How To Lose Weight While Sitting Much
- Secrets To Lose Weight Easily
- What Should We Eat To Reduce Smell Of Breath?
- Tips That Help Pregnant Women Sleep Soundly
- Live Clean Get Lean (Part 2)
- Live Clean Get Lean (Part 1)
 
women
Top keywords
women
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Women
Top 5
women
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain