82nd Podcast

In this episode of the Podcast It's a long road we will talk in general about nutrition, the energy we need, how it is created, while finally we will refer to the replenishment of liquids and energy and how this is achieved. 


Hello my friends

One of the most important things in human beings is undoubtedly food. THE diet it has been our culture for thousands of years and reflects the culture of each country. It brings us together, it gives culinary identity to different countries worldwide, it makes us happy or unhappy, it is socialization, it supports economies, it highlights people and much more. Some foods - or culinary traditions - are particularly important for the culture of each person and there is a special relationship between food and culture. On a visit to a new place, one of the first things we want to do is to try local products and recipes, while it is closely associated with many religious institutions and almost all religions. We also associate food with pleasant moments, even with our childhood memories, since many times food strongly characterizes our entire temperament. But what is food after all? Why do we need it?

Of course, if we isolate everything I mentioned before, then really the food for the only thing that exists is like body fuel us and nothing else. It is the fuel of the most complex machine in existence which is none other than the human body.

Of course today if we consider that some of us do or have one healthy diet, then how healthy it is and in what way and where did these foods that we consume even theoretically healthy come from, is a long story that needs another chapter that maybe at some point I will make a separate episode that will also be in the field I work in and is about globalization and the food quality.

Of course, the question that arises is whether or not we are eating properly and the second and most important is how much food our body needs on a daily basis. There are some laws in nature and one of them is the principle of conservation of energy.

Every cell out of the trillions we have in our body needs energy and it gets it from glucose, which is actually the most important carbohydrate found in plants and the most abundant simple saccharide on the planet. The cells I mentioned before use it as the primary source of energy and as a means of metabolism. It is used as a source of energy by most organisms, from bacteria to humans, where it is the main source of energy for the human body and the primary source of the brain. When glucose, for example, is low, psychological processes that require mental effort are reduced.

Thus, through the most complex system that exists on earth, which we said is the human body, and through the digestive system, and more specifically the intestine, our organism extracts the glucose through foods. The intestine where in essence could be characterized as a state-of-the-art factory where all the processes are done to give fuel to all the functions of our body. It is a tube, a filter where the extraction of glucose begins. It is a container of acid where everything melts. In a few words and in summary from the little I know and have read, since I am not a doctor, then from the fluid that has been created, through the small intestine, glucose is extracted, absorbed by the lining of the intestine and now goes into the blood. And from there, with the help of oxygen, not always, of course, we have the body's fuel.

Food gives us energy even if we are still and our body for all its processes needs a lot of energy, but above all the right energy. As far as we runners are concerned, but also those who do sports in general, then the energy levels we need rise significantly and especially during periods of intense training and long races and especially Ultra Distances, where the body reaches the levels of total collapse. Especially in these competitions, food intake is particularly important and the sugar needed by the body must be taken at the right time, but on the other hand not in excessive doses, because we will have opposite results such as not digesting the food. This is of course because during exercise, digestion slows down, so yes, food is important, but too much food can be destructive.

All runners experience pain at some point Marathon runners but the Ultras always almost reach their limit, especially after the infamous 32nd kilometer, where the natural glycogen stores they dry up and the collapse occurs, since the organism, in order to protect the rest of the processes, especially the brain, throws the fuses and we have the infamous wall.

So here we come, and before the collapse occurs and the tank of our organism is emptied, to refuel it earlier to avoid the worst. It's not so much the download of calories, as the channeling of sugar into the blood as quickly as possible. In other words, it is important to keep a rudimentary supply protocol so that we are also safe. For example, you don't need to be thirsty to hydrate, nor do you need to get dizzy to refuel. Either way it's too late and the game is lost. On the other hand to be precise and more correct and because every body has its own needs, everything must be studied and processed by the experts, like our trainers for example and tested in a training session.

Because my own body behaves differently when it eats and at the same time runs from someone else's and it behaves differently again when it consumes brand X Gel from someone else who consuming the same package may have significant issues up to abandonment.

During a match, all our systems work at full capacity and in particular harmony with each other. There is a channel of communication between all of us organs that especially in cases of intense stress some systems to help others in a magical way underfunction giving priority to others that are more basic and necessary at that moment. And since we ourselves push our bodies to the limits, we are also responsible for supporting them.

The consumption of energy liquids or gel it is important because during such long exercises our body is emptied of energy, electrolytes, fat, carbohydrates and other general nutrients. Each runner should gain their own experience to find the best composition of sports nutrition before, during and after, since another mistake many runners make is not eating properly after training.

The individual energy need during endurance sports it varies from person to person and depends on many different factors and circumstances. First of all it has to do with the person himself and his characteristics such as age, weight, height and gender. The type of competition or exercise, the performance and the pace – intensity we will have, and the weather are some equally basic elements. Of course, neither insufficient nor excessive nutrition is needed, since in any case during a race we do not try to replace all the lost calories, nor all the lost fluids during the exercise, because this will bring about other bad results such as possibly muscle cramps, symptoms of hyponatremia but also swelling, diarrhea and vomiting.

For example and what has to do with him pace and the person, me in a recent marathon race that I ran as support for another athlete, my intensities were particularly low since my pace corresponded to an aerobic-relaxed pace, where I mainly burned fat so even though I ran 4 hours and 10 minutes in a row, there was no need to take any energy gel, only water and isotonic drink and this especially because of the high temperatures it had. Heat, humidity and intensity of exercise largely determine the rate of perspiration.

A general and simple replenishment protocol for Marathon races for most runners and under normal conditions is to consume energy gels every 30 minutes with up to 200ml of water every 20 minutes. In addition, sodium and potassium are necessary to assimilate the carbohydrates but also for the proper functioning of the muscular system. The numbers are indicative and as we said, they also have to do with other factors, since for example a lighter athlete can use less fluids in cool weather and more fluids a heavier athlete in very hot weather.

Now as for the gels prefer those that contain complex carbohydrates rather than those based primarily on simple sugars ending in -ose which are both inefficient fuels for exercise and have limited absorption. That's why you should always look at the label with the ingredients and not the one with the price.

But don't forget the basic thing that some people even confuse. Another thing are electrolytes such as salt-sticks and isotonic drinks and other energy-carbohydrates such as for example gels or foods such as bananas, bars, etc. Both categories should be taken correctly and a protocol for replenishment of both should be in place.

The sufficient hydration, carbohydrate and electrolyte intake play an important role in athletes' performance. Dehydration corresponding to 2-3% body weight loss has been shown to reduce performance. Carbohydrate intake should be at least 1 g/kg/hour: that is 70 g of carbohydrates per hour for a 70 kg athlete.

Therefore, the correct one replenishment of electrolytes during exercise is a very important issue. Electrolyte replenishment does not mean sodium chloride replenishment. Sodium chloride or commonly salt is indeed an important component for replenishing electrolytes, but it does not meet all requirements. To function properly, our body needs replenishment of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. The rate at which electrolytes are lost varies from person to person, but also has to do with factors such as weather conditions.

Now for the post workout meal which is just as important as all the rest it should be as a general guideline a 3:1 to 4:1 mix of carbs and protein

The correct choice of nutritional calories after any form of exercise is essential for health and training development. Proper muscle recovery is undoubtedly critical after an intense workout.

The run in addition to being very beneficial for our body, it is also an activity that creates stress on the body, destroying muscles and depleting energy reserves. The body uses stored energy, muscle glycogen, to fuel physical activity, so replenish these nutrients post-workout. This post-workout replenishment is a protective mechanism that prevents further damage to the body.

Personally, and depending on the scope and intensity of the training, I will drink a scoop of protein within the first 30 minutes after the end of the exercise, while a little later a slice of wholemeal bread with tahini or peanut butter and honey , some rice milk, chocolate milk, a banana or other fruit, yogurt with cereal. Of course not all of these together, but we said it has to do with the intensity and duration of training.

However, the general finding is that we are bombarded with food and it is difficult to resist, especially with the ease with which you can have something at your door in a few minutes, but also with the abundance of products that you can find on the supermarket shelves. Nowadays there is an oversupply of food so that we are in a constant resistance not to eat something or not to order something. It's hard I'm not saying. But have you thought before entering into a temptation, how you will feel afterwards?

However, you should keep in mind and pay close attention to the hidden calories, which are often the ones that do the damage. Some extra biscuits that are all advertised on the supermarket shelves as healthy and with less sugar or protein or oats, etc. they are often the ones that do the damage.

One of the biggest advantages and the biggest profit that sport gives you is that it puts you in the hole to have a healthier life, because you understand it yourself that it's a shame and you don't feel good when, for example, you do an intense tiring workout and then you eat whatever you want. Most of the time you don't do it and you feel sorry for yourself for the great effort you made and you don't want all that you experienced during the intense training to go wrong.

The run activates the metabolism. During exercise we create an oxidative stress in our body and it makes sense to give it the best that mother nature has to offer. Our body is like a good car. Is it possible that someone who has a good car does not take care of it by putting good gas in it, good parts and keeping it clean? Of course, he will take care of it and give him the best he can and according to his financial capabilities.

As for her diet neither I nor anyone else will give you the magic recipe for eating well and being healthy. More or less we all know what is good and what is not. Just focus on high-quality foods from natural sources such as legumes, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, preferably whole grains, eggs and low-fat yogurt.

But in general we eat much more than we need. You will be surprised when you visit a nutritional scientist like a nutritionist and ask them to come up with a personalized diet plan, not to lose weight, but to stay fit, cope with your intense sports and professional daily activity and just eat healthy. The amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates you will see will be much less than what you had in mind and were used to on a daily basis.

The truth is that we need it all. Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, antioxidants. Everything in proportion must be present in our diet. For example, a reduced intake of proteins and carbohydrates results in a decrease in muscle mass, while a reduced intake of vitamins can increase the possibility of injuries and also cause a malfunction in the metabolism.

Thank you so much for listening to me!

Until next time, Be well be healthy and always do what we love and what makes us feel good.


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