Let's start with nutrition- Consider this:
- "Fully loaded", guys store about ~2000kcal of carbohydrates ladies store ~1500kcal
- At a moderate pace, we burn ~300-800 carb kcals/hour
- At an intense pace, we burn ~600-1000 carb kcals/hour
- During a single long ride or run of 3 hours+, most of us would completely deplete our carbohydrate stores if we did not refuel during the workout.
- OR, if we did not refuel our bodies after daily workouts, we will eventually deplete our carbohydrate stores and START out workouts NEAR EMPTY!
- Once your carbohydrate stores are depleted, your body turns to protein in your muscles as an emergency fuel source- yikes.
THEREFORE, it's CRITICAL to fuel our bodies with carbohydrates before/during/after workouts, and make sure we are putting QUALITY nutrition products in our bodies.
I am fortunate enough to be on a team sponsored by First Endurance, my favorite sport nutrition company. I had been using their products prior to learning of our sponsorship- now I'm proud to be an ambassador!
The first nutrition product I recommend you invest in is a sports drink that not only can help with replenishing your carbohydrate stores, but can also maintain hydration and electrolyte balance.
First Endurance's EFS Sport Drink is definitely worth a try. It comes in a variety of flavors (grape, orange, fruit punch, tart lemon lime) - my FAVORITE is tart lemon-lime because I think it tastes like a margarita! I also use fruit punch. Most of my Trakkers teammates like the grape flavor, but I'm not a fan of grape-flavored stuff in general. It's been awhile since I tried the orange, so I don't have a comment on that.
Clinical research has shown that sports drink can be most quickly absorbed at a solution of 6-8% carbohydrate, which is exactly how EFS is formulated. It provides a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, so you can be confident that it will be absorbed and metabolized rapidly, save a little bit for later, and minimize GI stress.
It also has the highest electrolyte content of ANY sports drink on the market- this is very good for people who find that although their muscles are well-trained, they are still cramping, especially in heat or heavy sweating. I myself am a VERY salty sweater, and after using EFS for a full season, I NEVER had to take a single "salt tablet" to prevent cramping, where in previous years I had gone through 2 $30 bottles of that stuff !
It contains 2000mg of amino acids (building blocks of protein), so that will help prevent muscle breakdown and aid in recovery. Also, this stuff is CLEAR!! Meaning, it WON'T STAIN your water bottles!! SWEET!