What are the Best Carbohydrates for Athletes?
Due to the popularity of low-carb diets, many carbohydrates have been unfairly blacklisted. But for today’s athletes, carbohydrates from honey are a powerful ally—in fact, the most important source of calories (versus protein and fat).
Why are carbs so important?
Despite their bad rap, carbohydrates are essential for athletic training and performance. They are comprised of sugar, starch and fiber, and getting the right amount and balance is critical to an athlete’s diet. Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles (as well as your liver and, to a lesser extent, your blood), as glycogen. When you work out, your body uses these stores. The best carbohydrates will give you more energy and more nutrients.
Processed food and sweets are stripped of many nutrients—often described as “empty” calories. They may taste good, but they’re not providing your body with the glycogen needed to help you perform at your best when you need it.
Think of carbohydrates as fuel—the necessary nourishment to power both your physical activities and your mental ones.
Carbohydrates for Athletes: Best of the Best
Remember: Not all carbs are created equal. For training, seek complex carbohydrates, including:
• whole fruits
• whole grains
Your body will love you for the intake of fiber, calcium, vitamin C and other nutrients. These foods help you get the most out of your training and give you the edge when competing or performing. If you want more energy or stamina while training or performing, or if you want more protein for muscle-building, consuming the right balance of the right carbohydrates is key.
A note on carboloading: Carboloading over a period of days can give you a “fuel boost” before a big event, such as a marathon, but increase the amounts gradually so you don’t end up sluggish. Try to gradually increase your carb intake for 3-7 days before the big day.
Ample amounts of carbohydrates in your muscles will enable you to perform better for longer. Whether you’re training or competing, it makes sense to closely monitor your carbohydrate intake.
Can athletes use simple carbohydrates for training?
Simple carbohydrates—like table sugar, dextrose, maple syrup and glucose often found in chews and energy gels—are great for on-the-go fuel. Your body can absorb these carbohydrates quickly and help replenish glycogen stores before your muscles become depleted.
What about carbohydrates after training?
Consuming small amounts of carbs after a hard or long training session can help you recover more quickly. That’s because your muscles are particularly good at absorbing carbs in the first hour after a workout.
Why Manuka Sport carbohydrates for training?
If anyone understands the importance of carbohydrates for athletes, it should be manufacturers of energy gels. Most brands include one (sometimes two) sources of carbohydrates, enabling athletes to supplement their diet. They add flexibility to when and how athletes increase the carbohydrates in their bodies.
Manuka Sport takes things a step further. With Manuka Sport, you can expect four sources of carbohydrates—and they’re multiple time released.
We’ve talked about the importance of carbohydrates before, during and after exercise. Before exercise, carbohydrates provide the energy for your training. During exercise, they can replenish depleted glycogen in your muscles, increasing your endurance or the intensity of your activity. And after exercise, your muscles are primed for absorbing carbohydrates (in that critical 60 minutes post-workout), so carbs here can aid recovery.
Manuka Sport energy gels feature Manuka honey and three other natural carbohydrates, blended for consistency and performance. Each product is packed with more carbohydrates than similar sized gel products. And they’re made with natural ingredients, safe for all sporting levels, and taste great, too.
Best yet, you can have your carbs released over time to maximize your performance and convenience. Manuka Sport energy gels are made to the highest standards, with your health and performance firmly in mind. We know what the body needs to function at its best.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a recreational fitness enthusiast, Manuka Sport can help you explore and extend your limits.