FUEL UP

Runner's World (UK) - - Old Ways, New Ways -

THE OLD WAY The go-to ‘sports drink’ was de­li­cious water.

THE NEW WAY The sports drinks in­dus­try rakes in bil­lions per year, and en­ergy gels come in every con­ceiv­able flavour (in­clud­ing some that, frankly, should have re­mained in the lab, safe from hu­man­ity’s taste buds).

THE BEST WAY We now know that tak­ing in ad­e­quate flu­ids, elec­trolytes and eas­ily di­gestible

carbs be­fore and dur­ing a run can im­prove per­for­mance, says Lewin. That ‘ad­e­quate’ amount of flu­ids varies from run­ner to run­ner and even from day to day, but you’ll know you’re drink­ing the right amount if your urine is light yel­low. (Darker urine can in­di­cate dehydration; clear urine may mean you’re drink­ing too much, which can be equally dan­ger­ous.) As for en­ergy, your body can process 30-60g of car­bo­hy­drates (one or two gels) an hour.

We also now know that con­sum­ing the right foods postrun can boost mus­cle re­cov­ery. Lewin rec­om­mends a snack with sim­ple carbs and pro­tein, such as some yo­ghurt with fruit or a glass of cho­co­late milk, within 30 min­utes of runs last­ing an hour or longer.

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