You’ve probably noticed that more elite athletes are claiming increased carbohydrate consumption while racing leads to better performances. That’s because prolonged efforts near threshold burn carbs at a ferocious rate.
However, many of us have painfully discovered that simply eating and drinking more is not the answer. Our bodies absorb glucose at the rate of about 60g/hr (240 calories), and the excess just accumulates in our intestine (often with unpleasant consequences).
Researchers are exploring how carb absorption might be increased, and it turns out that – in efforts lasting more than 2.5 hours — the answer lies in mixing the types of carbs you ingest. For example, combining maltodextrin with fructose (sugar blends often found in popular sports nutrition products) can raise your carb absorption rate to up to 90g/hr.
Food for thought as you experiment with your fueling in the off-season. Learn more about the science here.