It is important to manage your energy and hydration when exercising to maximise your performance. Nutrition supplements can be taken in different forms, in the form of energy bars, biscuits, gels, and drinks. Energy in food and drink comes from 3 main sources - protein, fat, and carbohydrates (carbs). There are various types of products designed to be taken before, during, and after exercise.
Before exercise - Carbs are stored in the muscles and in the liver as glycogen. Carbs are the main fuel source for high intensity exercising. When exercising, carbs are broken down into glucose and go to the muscles to be used as energy. Carbs should be taken before exercising to maximise your stores of energy. Energy stores will last for up to 90 mins during your exercise. Make sure to take on carbs before an intense session to avoid these stores being depleted. The body can intake up to 60g of carbs per hour.
During exercise - Fluids will be lost through sweating and electrolytes depleted. Both will need replacing to prevent you becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can occur from sweating and losing as little as a 2% of fluid in body weight. This will also lead to an increased body temperature and heart rate. It can also effect concentration and your overall performance. Ensure you are hydrated before you start exercising, making it easier to maintain hydration.
After exercise - Recovery foods and drinks are designed to help you to be ready to train again. During exercise, your body will use up its carb stores, as well as essential electrolytes that are lost through sweating. Consume a fast digesting protein to reduce soreness, and rebuild muscle fibres. This should be consumed within the first 30 mins post exercise.