Fuel for the Body

May 02, 2011

Submitted by: Chris Mitchell, GroupX instructor @ O2 Brennan and O2 Falls

Below is an article from Runners World (May 2011 issue) with some very interesting options for fuel during an endurance workout (whether in the gym or outside of it):


Spring's here, and chances are you're logging longer runs. So it's important to have a smart midrun fueling strategy to keep your energy high. Start by eating a prerun meal that consists of a couple hundred calories (up to 500) two to three hours before your run. If you run for one to two hours, consume 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise. Run longer than that and you'll need 60 to 90 grams per hour. Luckily, runners have plenty of options for fueling up on the road, including sports drinks, energy gels, and energy bars. But when you don't have your go-to product handy, these alternatives will keep you just as energized so you can finish your run feeling strong.


Products like Gatorade supply 14 to 18 grams of carbs per eight ounces and often contain several carb types, such as glucose and fructose, which speed energy absorption. Most also have electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance.

Mix 8 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/3 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon lime juice in 24 ounces of water.


One gel has 22 to 29 grams of carbs—usually from multiple sources—along with electrolytes. Take these with water to speed delivery of energy into your system.

Mild-tasting and easy to swallow, jelly packs (those mini jams found at diners) contain 13 grams of carbs and provide two types of sugar.


These bite-sized, candylike products contain about five grams of carbs per chew. You can eat chews a few at a time, making it easy to customize your energy intake.

Old-fashioned gumdrops contain about four grams of carbs per candy. Take 10 with you for a hit of midrun energy.


Caffeine-boosted gels and chews contain 50 to 100 milligrams of caffeine per packet. The caffeine jolt helps boost your energy and may prolong endurance.

A can of Starbucks Doubleshot (made from espresso, milk, and sugar) supplies 130 milligrams of caffeine. Unlike gels and chews, it's not overly sweet.


Products like PowerBar and Clif Bar supply 22 to 45 grams of carbohydrate, plus a good dose of protein, which will keep your stomach from growling on runs.

Two hearty fig bars supply 90 calories and 22 grams of carbohydrate from flour, figs, and sugar.

  • Road Food

New, tasty midrun fuel will energize your workouts


CLIF C BARS Small and soft, these tasty bars (flavors include cherry pomegranate, blueberry, and raspberry) are made from dried fruit, juice, and nuts. Each contains 130 calories, 25 g carbs, and 4.5 g fat. clifbar.com <http://www.clifbar.com/>

HONEY STINGER WAFFLES These honey-filled "waffles" are thin and slightly crisp. One contains 160 calories, 21 g carbs, and 7 g fat. honeystinger.com <http://www.honeystinger.com/>

GREATER THAN This sports drink is made with coconut water and sugar. It supplies 30 calories and 7 g carbs per eight ounces (half of regular sports drinks) but contains extra electrolytes. drinkgt.com <http://www.drinkgt.com/>

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