The Role of Nutrition Boosting Athletic Performance

The Role of Nutrition Boosting Athletic Performance

The Role GU Nutrition Plays in Boosting Athletic Performance 

Whether you’re tearing up the trails or hitting the gym, every workout is a chance to be your best. The right nutrition and hydration plan is your secret weapon. We’re diving into how sports nutrition can supercharge your athletic performance.

How Does Nutrition Affect Athletic Performance? 

“Providing the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right time can dramatically improve athletic performance and make hard efforts feel more manageable. Plus, proper fueling sets you up for success both during and after your workout, helping provide the body with what it needs to recover from exercise.” - Roxanne Vogel, GU Nutrition and Performance Research Manager

Nutrition is more than what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A solid performance nutrition strategy includes fine tuning what you have before, during, and after your workouts. The right plan can boost your energy, speed up recovery, and fortify your strength, keeping you going strong and ready to crush it again tomorrow.

All About GU’s Holistic Performance Nutrition System

At GU Energy, we’ve crafted products with athletes in mind, offering solutions for every stage of your workout. Before activity, topping off glycogen stores with a quick, digestible source of energy provides a strong start. During your workout, staying fueled with carbohydrates and hydrated with electrolytes is key to maintaining performance. After your workout, ensure you replenish both protein and carbs to help you bounce back faster. When practiced consistently, this routine of performance nutrition enhances your overall recovery and readiness to train.

Carbohydrates are essential for athletes, serving as the primary source of energy during high-intensity and endurance activities. They help replace glycogen stores, delay fatigue, and enhance overall performance. Research indicates that carbohydrate intake before and during exercise significantly improves endurance and performance.

Simple Carbohydrates: Quick Energy Boost

Simple carbohydrates are easily digested, giving you a rapid burst of energy when you need it most. However, if not combined with complex carbs, they can also lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can be challenging for endurance athletes.

Complex Carbohydrates: Steady Energy Source

Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down, offering a more sustained energy release. These offer long-lasting fuel for endurance pursuits.

For that continuous energy surge, GU products feature both complex and simple carbohydrates. This combination fuels your body effectively and efficiently, providing both immediate and sustained energy for your athletic endeavors.

Products with Carbohydrates:

  • Energy Gels: Packed with 21-23g of carbohydrates per serving, these gels offer quick, effective, and sustained energy. Take one 5 minutes before activity, and then every 45 minutes along the way.
  • Energy Chews: With 22g of carbohydrates per serving, these bite-sized chews provide energy and key nutrients to keep you fueled before and during activity.
  • Liquid Energy: Delivering 19-21g of carbohydrates in a smooth, drinkable form, Liquid Gels are ideal for quick energy before and during activity.
  • Stroopwafels: Each serving provides 21-23g of carbohydrates, perfect as a tasty energy source before or during workouts.
  • Roctane Energy Drink: With hydration and carbohydrates in one, each serving of Roctane Energy Drink contains 59-60g of carbohydrates, perfect for before or during longer, more intense efforts.

When to Take Carbohydrates:

  1. Before Activity:
    • Have an Energy Gel, Energy Stroopwafel, or serving of Energy Chews 5 minutes before starting your workout to top off energy stores.
  2. During Activity:
    • Consume 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour during activity. For longer efforts lasting over 2.5 hours you can aim for up to 90g of carbohydrates per hour.

What Athletes Say:

According to ultra marathon runner and GU Energy athlete, Max King, “...the best thing about GU products for me is the combo of both maltodextrin and fructose that absorbs quickly through two different non-competing pathways. I get fuel faster and can maintain performance longer because of it.”

Hydration: Staying Power for Peak Performance

Hydration is crucial for maintaining peak performance. Proper hydration prevents cramps, regulates body temperature, and keeps your performance on point. Studies show that dehydration can significantly impair athletic performance, while adequate hydration enhances it. GU's hydration products contain the electrolytes sodium and potassium, ensuring you stay in top form, both physically and mentally, by supporting these vital functions:

Keep Cool

Replacing the water lost through sweat helps regulate your body temperature and helps avoid heat-related issues like heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and cramps. GU’s Hydration Drink Tabs deliver essential electrolytes to keep you hydrated and performing at your best.

Power Your Muscles

Hydration is key for muscle function, including your heart.  In fact, your muscles are nearly 75% water! GU’s Roctane Energy Drink provides a powerful blend of electrolytes, amino acids, and carbs to support your muscles during intense efforts.

Sharpen Your Mind

Hydration keeps your brain functioning optimally. Dehydration can impair mood and concentration and can also lead to headaches and irritability.

GU Energy Products for Hydration:

  • Roctane Energy Drink: This carbohydrate-intensive drink provides 320mg of sodium per serving, essential for hydration and maintaining electrolyte balance during intense efforts.
  • Hydration Drink Tabs: These tabs offer a refreshing, slightly effervescent boost to water with vital electrolytes and only 10 calories per serving, perfect for maintaining adequate hydration before, during, or after exercise.
  • Energy Gels, Chews, and Stroopwafels: All contain sodium to aid in hydration and replenish the primary electrolyte lost in sweat.

When to Hydrate:

  1. Before Activity:
    • Hydration Drink Tabs: Consume one serving 30-60 minutes before exercise to ensure you're starting hydrated and ready.
  2. During Activity:
  3. After Activity:
    • Roctane Protein Recovery Drink Mix: Consume one serving 30-60 minutes after training to rehydrate and replenish the nutrients and electrolytes depleted during exercise.
    • Hydration Drink Tabs: Continue drinking to stay hydrated and aid recovery.

What Athletes Say:

“I know I run best off Roctane Gels. For Leadville, I’m going to attempt a mix of solid food and Roctane for about 40-50 miles then switch to Roctane Gel for the remainder, getting in about 300 calories per hour. I’ll use Roctane Electrolyte caps at a rate of about two capsules per hour as well throughout the race,” said ultra-marathoner Max King in an interview with the Leadville Race Series.

Protein: The Pit Crew for Your Muscles

Post-exercise, your muscles need repair, and proteins act as the mechanics they need. Protein intake after a workout increases muscle protein synthesis, aiding in recovery and adaptation. When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids, the essential building blocks your muscles need to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. These amino acids are then used to create new proteins, ensuring you come back stronger after every workout. Think of GU’s Roctane Protein Recovery Drink Mix as a dedicated pit crew, rebuilding and preparing you for the next race.

GU Energy Products with Protein:

  • Roctane Protein Recovery Drink Mix: Each serving delivers 20g of high-quality whey protein, ideal for muscle repair and rebuilding after activity. It also includes 30g of carbohydrates to replenish liver and muscle glycogen stores.

When to Take Protein:

  1. After Activity:

Frequently Asked Performance Nutrition Questions 

Q: How does nutrition affect sports performance?

A: Proper nutrition provides the energy needed for workouts, aids in recovery, and supports overall health. Carbohydrates fuel exercise, proteins repair muscles, and hydrating with electrolytes helps maintain fluid balance.

Q: Are GU performance supplements suitable for all athletes?

A: Our supplements are designed for a wide range of athletes, including runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and all fitness enthusiasts. They cater to various dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegan, and kosher options. Some of our products contain caffeine and are therefore not recommended for children.

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