Monday, July 22, 2013

Hitting the Wall

As athletes, I am sure you have all heard the expression "hitting the wall." That feeling when you have nothing left to give during your workout or competition. Do you really know what is happening inside your body? 

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When an athlete "hits the wall" it means that he or she has exhausted all of their stored carbohydrate (glycogen) in their body, which leaves the body running on empty. The body uses both fat and carbohydrate as fuel sources when exercising, but during high-intensity activities such as running or cycling, your body relies on carbohydrate for the main source of energy. Your body will not exhaust all of your fat stores during activity, but it can deplete your stores of carbohydrate.

This condition can by avoided by beginning your activity well-nourished with your carbohydrate stores full. During long longs or rides, be sure to take in carbohydrate through whole foods or sports drinks. The recommended amount is about 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of activity. 


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