There are only two days left for the Jesolo Moonlight Halfmarathon. In our column we have seen a bit of all the important aspects to prepare for the race, now let's make a final recap to get well prepared!
The days before? In the past, the "dissociated diet" was very fashionable, it seemed to be the ideal solution, but we discovered instead that it could very often lead to disorders such as dysentery and even psychological imbalance in the marathon runner. It involved alternating two phases, the first phase characterized by an unloading of carbohydrates before the commitment, and then in the following days eating only carbohydrates without distinguishing between simple and complex. In the first phase the runner trained hard to consume all the glycogen possible, in the days following the discharge instead he trained little. If all went well, the runner could have managed to gain 2'-3 'on the final time, but the risk was too high and this practice was abandoned.
The advice therefore is to eat in a very normal way, not neglecting all three macronutrients. As for the protein part, white meats and fish are to be preferred, because while guaranteeing a good protein intake, they contain a lower quantity of fats even if these are not completely demonized since a good supply of essential fatty acids can guarantee us a " energy bonus ". In addition to all this, let's not forget the part relating to vegetables and fruit to ensure an adequate supply of mineral salts and vitamins, making sure to select those types with an adequate fiber content to reduce gastric distension.
The breakfast will be the one you had before leaving for the very long training, however it must be the normal breakfast that you always have, if you eat very early, you can plan to add a bar or maltodextrin (20-30 g) to dissolve in water. Your normal breakfast must contain a protein component such as bresaola, raw ham, ricotta or natural salmon or tuna.
It is not necessary to start with an excessive load of supplements, remember that you are not going to war. Many runners have achieved excellent results using EASILY transportable energy bars (see nuts, fruit bar or energetika) to be pinned to the bib or in the pocket of the shorts every 10-12-15 km. The frequency of intake is very subjective and should have been proven in training. Good results are also obtained with gel maltodextrin solutions such as the very famous CARBOSPRINT BCAA or Carbosprint Ultrarace.
Therefore, for those facing a race over a distance of 21km, the integration strategy should develop on the three distinct moments of sporting activity:
BEFORE: given that a fairly long test is being faced and in which it is not always easy to replenish fluids and mineral salts during activity, it is recommended to start the test in conditions of weak hyper-hydration to prevent dehydration. Taking a Pre-Race, about 30 minutes before the start of the half in 250cc of water (I'M PRO pre), among other things, also provides sequential carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts capable of delaying the onset of cramps or energy cramps. A valid alternative in the pre-run can be the energy bars.
DURING: If possible, it would be advisable to continue treating hydration every 3-5 km to maintain a good hydro-saline balance, especially in the hot months. Taking a "carbohydrate refill" in the middle of the race helps to prevent energy drops in the final and regenerates energy supplies for the decisive part of the race.
AFTER: To allow optimal recovery, it is useful to take supplements containing mixtures of amino acids, carbohydrates and micro-nutrients (such as I'm-PRO) aimed at eliminating exercise catabolites and which set the conditions for optimal muscle regrowth within 30 -40 minutes from the end of the race.
"HOW AND WHAT TO DRINK ..."
Drinking too much can also be counterproductive and can cause cramps due to the decreased sodium concentration and the typical disorders of the phenomenon called hyponatremia. So the advice is not to drink at the first refueling, but start from the second, alternating one refueling with water to one with a supplement. Remember to drink calmly, sipping and letting the liquid flow slowly into your stomach. Should it be very hot, drink more supplements and less water.
Have a good race!
Dr. Andrea Zonza
As in all sports, running also consists of 3 main moments:
Before, during and after.
The FIRST is the moment of preparation for effort, where energy reserves with slow-absorbing carbohydrates in the case of long-lasting sports must be managed and refined. Furthermore, the first is the best time to insert supplements that can provide a tonic and energizing effect, which therefore give us that extra charge and boost, which very often are lacking.
As Pre Workout ProAction offers a varied range of products to meet every need, here is what you can choose from:
Pre Start Shot: One of the favorite products of runners. Contains arginine, ginseng and guarana. Taken 15 minutes before running, it optimizes vasodilation.
Energy Boost: Contains caffeine from guarana, yerba mate and taurine. Taken about 20 minutes before the activity, it allows you to have high levels of concentration and postpone the sense of fatigue. In long-lasting events it can be taken in divided sips. The stimulating effect it guarantees to our body is very relevant.
Carnitine 1000: Containing L-carnitine tartrate, an unbranched amino acid that facilitates the use of fat reserves for energy purposes. To be taken one tablet a day before training.
BCAA 2.1.1: Three essential branched amino acids, Vasiline, Isoleucine and Leucine, in a 2: 1: 1 ratio associated with vitamin B6 which helps to support the regular energy metabolism, proteins and glycogen and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue .
Taking it before training or performance you get:
• reduction of muscle catabolism
• quick energy
• increased resistance to fatigue
All ProAction pre workouts await you on proaction.it along with many other products ideal for the running world.
Dr. Andrea Zonza
1- Hydration. Take enough according to the demands of our body (age, sex, constitution, state of health and physical activity). For moderately active adults, 2 L of water per day is usually indicated, to be increased in case of intense physical activity and high temperatures.
If it is difficult to introduce a sufficient quantity of water, we can include in our diet foods that are particularly rich in it: cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, watermelon, tomatoes, yellow squash, melon, radicchio, courgettes, milk, yogurt, soups and velvets, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. It is useful to consume drinks rich in salts and electrolytes, the deficiency of which promotes cramps. It is therefore very important to maintain a good supply of hydration before preparing for long runs or workouts.
2- Potassium. Mineral present in variable quantities in all foods, especially in fresh ones not subjected to treatments (fruit, vegetables, fresh meats). The main sources of potassium of plant origin are: potatoes, artichokes, fennel, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, rocket, spinach, avocado, apricots, bananas, kiwi, pomegranates, melon, peaches, figs, dates, beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, spelled, wheat bran, oats, buckwheat. Among the sources of animal origin we find cod, salmon, mackerel, tuna, chicken, turkey, beef.
3- Sodium. The guidelines for a healthy diet recommend not to exceed 2 g / day of sodium (5 g of table salt) and to limit the use of salt in home preparations and the consumption of industrial foods, which contain it in high quantities. (baked goods, cured meats, aged cheeses). In the case of the sportsman, due to the loss of the mineral through sweating, following a low-sodium diet is counterproductive. No special precautions are necessary to ensure sufficient sodium intake: it is present (albeit little) in almost all natural foods and in larger quantities in commonly used industrial foods, such as bread, and we add it to the table with salt. .
4- Magnesium. We find it in almost all foods in different quantities and it is very sensitive to processes such as grain refining, pasteurization and cooking, which drastically decrease its concentration. We find abundant quantities of magnesium in: wheat bran, quinoa, millet, spelled, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, beans, lentils, chickpeas, corn, spinach, beets, artichokes, coffee. The association with fructose, proteins and complex carbohydrates promotes their absorption.
5- Calcium. In addition to not being particularly abundant in food, we are able to absorb a rather low percentage of it, which is why the calcium intake with the diet needs special attention. It is absorbed in the intestine thanks to vitamin D, its bioavailability is reduced by oxalates (present in spinach, tomatoes, chocolate) and phytates (whole grains, legumes, dried fruit) and is increased by the presence of lactose, milk proteins, inulin and oligosaccharides. The foods for which calcium absorption is greater (30-40%) are dairy products, which are the best source of the mineral, and brassicas (broccoli, cabbage), which however do not contain sufficient quantities. They are rich in calcium: aged, medium hard, soft and fresh cheeses, milk and yogurt, almonds, dried legumes, anchovies, squid, shrimp, octopus.
Following a good diet is very important, if in addition you practice physical activity, it is essential to consume the right foods useful for the purpose of energy consumption during physical exertion. To prevent the onset of muscle cramps, it is essential to avoid conditions of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
What about supplements?
They certainly play a very important role for all athletes who train and compete. Especially in running, where in the summer the loss of liquids is very impactful, it is necessary to favor the reintegration of the aforementioned elements. ProAction offers two types of products that are right for you: Mineral Plus and Mg + K in sachets, discover them on ProAction.it.
Andrea Zonza, Proaction nutritionist
Don't get us wrong, not everyone needs to recharge during a run. Usually the glycogen stored in the muscles is sufficient to allow the body to run for an hour without problems. However, when it comes to races that last more than an hour, such as half marathons or marathons, it is important to provide the body with the means to produce energy to help it function at its best.
How often is it necessary to recharge energy?
Usually the advice is to adjust based on the km traveled, about every 10 km or alternatively based on the time, more or less every 50min. A problem that should not be underestimated can be represented by intestinal tension or digestive discomfort. This can be caused by consuming too many high carbohydrate, caffeine and fructose snacks while running. During the run, to conserve precious energy, the functioning of the stomach is considerably slowed down. That's why it's not unusual to see runners throwing up at the end of a race right after eating something.
Energy bars can usually contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and micronutrients. There is a great variety on the market with different functions and benefits depending on whether they are consumed before, during or after physical activity.
Benefits: If you love to eat, the bars might be for you. The choice of flavors is much wider as well as the ingredients and nutritional content. I recommend a good mix of carbohydrate component and oily fruit (dried fruit and dried fruit), such as our Energetika or Nuts Bar. Many contain proteins which, even if they are not strictly necessary to produce energy during a run, can favor the process of recovery.
Disadvantages: Unlike gels, energy bars tend to melt in the heat and become very hard in the cold. During a competition, no one wants to get their hands dirty with a half-melted bar in their pocket or struggle to eat a bar as hard as marble, doing so would risk losing concentration. Finally, it is important to point out that an energy bar is not able to hydrate as much as gels (already containing water like our UltraRace).
Energy gels are a type of supplement useful for restoring the carbohydrate reserves that have been burned during a run. Each sachet of gel is composed of a specific carbohydrate formula that allows the athlete to manage the effort, in certain cases these gels can be enriched with other elements such as BCAA, Caffeine and Taurine.
Benefits: Gels provide more energy per product than energy bars or drinks. In addition, they are also more comfortable thanks to the small pouches that can be kept both in the pouch and in your pocket. Another point in favor is certainly the wide choice of flavors to choose from based on the characteristics. Being a gel then you don't even have to worry about it crumbling or becoming mushy and inedible or melting in the heat. Gels are a great way to give yourself a shock when you feel weak and a bit foggy towards the end of a long run.
Disadvantages: Concentrated gels are not for all athletes, in fact some runners complain of cramps, nausea and abdominal bloating when consuming these types of supplements. Gels that do not require the addition of water, such as our Ultrarace, are optimal because they allow rapid gastric emptying being in isotonic formulation.
Dr. Andrea Zonza, Nutritionist Biologist
To arrive prepared for the appointment in Jesolo, we can start working on our integration strategy, testing it in our workouts to better evaluate the effects and benefits.
We emphasize that it is really important to simulate the strategy at least a couple of times in order not to encounter any unexpected events on race day.
So where do we start?
- First of all, hydration. It is important to always stay hydrated until before the start, as well as during the race using the refreshments. The temperatures will probably be high, this will affect our sweating and loss of fluids even more, so let's not get caught unprepared.
- Shortly before departure to have a greater muscular and energetic activation we can insert a Pre Start Shot. Based on arginine, ornithine, ginseng and guarana which stimulates vasodilation and guarantees an effective tonic effect before sports performance.
- During the race: we have already talked about the importance of supplementing carbohydrates during the race to maintain constant energy levels, here, we can test different gel alternatives, based on our tastes and the needs of our body. We choose from one of the following options:
- Km 12 Carbo Sprint Ultrarace: Isotonic gel that can be taken without water, contains slow and gradual release Maltodextrin.
- Km 15 Carbo Sprint Extreme: mixture of carbohydrates and sugars with rapid, medium and slow absorption, also contains caffeine and taurine. Thanks to its tonic and ergogenic effect, it is ideal in the most difficult moments of the race.
- Km 10 and 15 Carbo Sprint Gel: for a refill of carbohydrates. To be taken with a couple of sips of water immediately afterwards.
- Recovery: to promote recovery after exertion, especially if intense and prolonged, we recommend taking Essential Amino Acids (Amino Essential) immediately after the activity.
All clear? Well, you just have to try everything. Remember the Coupon you can use on the ProAction.it website, to get a discount and a special gift: GEL10.
Dr. Andrea Zonza
Carbohydrates are the first source of energy.
- "Fast" carbohydrates: simple sugars such as dextrose
- "Slow" carbohydrates: maltodextrins, cyclodextrins
- Proper management of carbohydrate intake
- Improved stamina and recovery capacity
ProAction offers a wide range of carbohydrates in gel form, but how do you choose the right one?
First of all, we need to distinguish between hypertonic and isotonic gels. Hypertonic gels have a higher concentration of solutes than isotonics which have the same concentration of solutes as our plasma.
The different concentration acts differently on digestion, the isotonics can therefore be taken without water while the hypertonic gels must be accompanied by water to promote digestion.
Among the hypertonic gels we find:
- Carbo Sprint Gel: gradual release, rapidly absorbed mix of Maltodextrin and Sugar (glucose and fructose)
- Carbo Sprint BCAA: in addition to Maltodextrins it contains branched amino acids BCAA 211 which allow a reduction of the sense of fatigue
- Carbo Sprint Extreme: blend of fast, medium and slow absorption carbohydrates and sugars (dextrose, fructose and maltodextrin), with caffeine and taurine. Thanks to its tonic and ergogenic effect, it is ideal in the most difficult moments (for example before a bike climb or the 30th km in a marathon).
- Carbo Sprint MG + K: in addition to maltodextrins, it contains magnesium, potassium and carnitine to provide a correct supply of mineral salts during activity.
- Carbo Sprint Volata: based on fast carbohydrates (dextrose, fructose and maltodextrin) with an immediate energy supply, enriched with carnitine and caffeine with a tonic-stimulating effect. It is recommended in the last kilometers of the race.
How to use them?
- One gel every 50 minutes, after the first 80 minutes. Possibly take a gel before training if you are unable to eat
- A gel before high intensity fasting workouts.
- In all cases, they must always be taken with water, and there must be no salt solutions in the bottle
Among the isotonic gels we find the Carbo Sprint Ultrarace. Composed of a special blend with MA3X based on cyclodextrins and maltodextrins (DE6 and DE19), with different absorption times, and easily digestible.
- One gel every 50 minutes, after the first 80 minutes. Possibly take a gel before training if you are unable to eat.
- A gel before high intensity fasting workouts.
Dr. Andrea Zonza
Ready to discover them? We are waiting for you on ProAction.it. By entering the code GEL10 you will receive a discount on your cart and a special ProAction gift.
Sport generates an increase in body temperature which is counteracted through sweating. The integration of liquids and mineral salts is therefore essential. But which supplement to choose and what characteristics should it possess?
The integration of mineral salts in sports
Any sporting activity generates a progressive increase in body temperature and to counteract it the body triggers the sweating process. In fact, sweating allows the heat produced by movement to be dispersed and, with high temperatures, the body's effort to maintain balance is greater. To avoid the dangers of dehydration, adequate reintegration is required, especially of water and mineral salts. You may have already seen an athlete who stops without warning due to muscle pain, the classic cramp. Drinking a qualitative sports drink enriched with electrolytes can facilitate recovery from cramps and their prevention. Of course, preparation and training, along with some dietary precautions are essential, but the integration of mineral salts remains essential.
The depletion of the body's hydrosaline reserves and energy supplies, during prolonged physical exercise, is the main consequence of the progressive decline in athletic performance and any damage caused by hyperthermia (heat stroke).
Reintegration: Water or Saline Supplements?
Water is essential but contrary to popular belief, it is absorbed more slowly than a hypo-isotonic solution.
Saline supplements: Hypertonic, Isotonic and Hypotonic
- Hypertonic supplements: these are drinks whose concentration, consisting of carbohydrates and mineral salts, determines an osmotic pressure, ie an attraction of liquids, higher than that of plasma. They require a very long time to assimilate in the intestine.
- Isotonic supplements: these are drinks whose concentration determines an osmotic pressure equal to that of plasma. They require average assimilation times in the intestine.
- Hypotonic supplements: these are drinks whose concentration determines an osmotic pressure lower than that of plasma. These are the drinks that absolutely require the shortest assimilation times in the intestine.
During physical activity, practitioners must aim to replenish the water and mineral salts lost through a calibrated supply of different elements. This reintegration becomes absolutely necessary when the water loss with sweating reaches 2.5 / 3 liters, a threshold that is easily reached in endurance sports.
Magnesium and Potassium: the most important salts for muscle functioning
The lack of even one of these minerals can lead to decreased performance, and can cause important symptoms such as muscle fatigue, nausea, muscle tremors, cramps and cardiovascular collapse.
Potassium is found mainly in intracellular fluids, it regulates cellular reactions useful for the conductivity of the nervous stimulus, heart rhythm, osmotic pressure, acid-base balance and water retention. The alteration of the potassium content in the body can also cause disorders of muscle function.
Magnesium is an integral part of the metabolic systems (glycolysis; citric acid cycle; respiratory chain) and its deficiency can cause the onset of muscle tremor and cramps.
Tips for replenishing liquids and mineral salts
The reintegration must take place on the basis of the actual loss of liquids and must preferably take place after physical exertion. In all those endurance sports in which physical effort exceeds 60 minutes in duration, reintegration can also take place during, possibly in fractional administrations.
The best reintegration is obtained by taking drinks with a low concentration of dissolved salts and sugars (hypotonic-isotonic).
First of all, saline supplementation becomes essential during long-lasting sports performances (long distance running, sports lasting more than 60 ', marathon, triathlon, etc.), while it is completely useless in very short races such as sprint races. Even more important are the environmental factors since the losses of mineral salts increase considerably when practicing sports in hot and humid environments.
• Mineral Plus: is an isotonic saline product, designed for a complete reintegration of liquids and salts lost during and after physical exertion through sweating, in particular sodium, magnesium and potassium; preventing, among other things, the onset of muscle cramps. It is also added with maltodextrin and dextrose to promote immediate and gradual energy recovery.
• Sali Minerali Effervescenti: produced in tablets, it has been studied to favor a complete reintegration of liquids and salts lost through sweating, specifically Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium. In addition, the presence in the product of Carbohydrates and Vitamin C also allows for better energy recovery, avoiding the onset of cramps.
• Magnesio e Potassio MG+K: is a practical product designed for saline electrolyte balance, that is, to replenish liquids and salts lost during and after physical exertion, preventing, among other things, the onset of muscle cramps. It is recommended to use it for at least one hour after the start of physical activity, when the need for saline rehydration becomes essential for physical balance.
• Carbo Sprint MG+K: is a complete supplement for athletes who need ready energy and power. In addition to maltodextrins, a form of energy with fast absorption and gradual release, ideal for those who practice endurance sports, this product contains Magnesium and Potassium, substances useful for normal muscle function. It is therefore a complete product, which guarantees the athlete an immediate and medium-term energy supply.