Food for Endurance and Stamina
Because food is fuel for our bodies (just like gasoline is for cars) it is essential for us to to eat the right things. Initially, our brain and body rely on glucose and simple carbs for energy. After these are used up, we begin to tap into stored forms of glucose known as glycogen. With prolonged physical activity, we start to burn fat and muscle for fuel.
Fast and hard workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) last seconds to minutes at a time. However, activities like triathlons and hiking or manual labor such as construction and shipping are also endurance-dependent activities. Endurance activities are generally non-stop for 30 minutes to several hours. Because of this, the body runs out of glucose and starts tapping into stored forms of energy.
During long workouts or endurance training sessions that last for more than an hour, experts suggest eating small snacks or food for endurance and stamina. At 30-minute intervals, take a bite or two of low-fat, easy-to-digest carbs. Good food options are small servings of dried fruit, slices of fresh fruit, or low-fat yogurt. Preparing a smoothie or juice beforehand is a convenient way to get fuel on the go.
The term “carbo-loading” is often associated with marathon runners, but the concept can be applied to others who do prolonged activities. Consuming more carbohydrates days and hours before you plan to do heavy physical activities will improve your endurance and stamina. In addition, consuming protein a few hours before will prevent muscle damage and provide another source of energy.