September 30, 2013

Ah sugar!!

What a simple yet complex thing sugar is?


Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen combined to form a compound that stores energy. Plants convert sunlight energy to sugars, we consume sugars and release that energy which fuels our molecular activity

I'm not doing a science paper, but that's one of the basic circles of life. Capture, convert, store, release. Energy just goes around the circle from one form to another, neither lost or gained though it feels like it in a long run!!

Everyone reacts differently, so I'm speaking about this from a personal point of view. If it resonates with you, I hope you can take something from it, otherwise, just store in in that bank of useless information that we all have! :)

I've always fought a spare tyre around my middle. I train like a divil and watch my diet but it won't go. I'm not advocating a  "Lose 8lbs in 5 days!!" conversion and most certainly would never entertain the concept. Instead I have progressively changed little things about my lifestyle.

I've an inordinately sweet tooth. Always had, always will.

I now manage it. By cutting sources of sugar from my diet over the past 2 years I can balance the odd treat dessert (usually homemade crumble) without feeling guilty or the need to run 20 miles afterwards.

Lots of people speak about energy gels and energy drinks in the sense that they get this amazing 'lift', they feel the body react to the sugars. I don't get it. The same with coffee, I don't get palpitations, buzz and likewise no withdraws when I take a break from it for a few weeks.

Now the body needs fuel, the sugar is just a fuel and is perfect for refuelling on the go during a long training session or race. It's light, portable, easily dissolved, easily consumed and packed full of energy.

Reading around the subject, I've self taught, that sugar spikes insulin response which triggers cortisol response which causes the body to store energy as fat.
Your body is under stress during exercise, fast sugar triggers more stress response, which triggers more fat storage or in fact restricts fat burning meaning you don't get any leaner through higher volume exercise.

Here's a good blog piece I found on the subject Hormones & Stress: Cortisol

Anyway this led me to think more about my body and reading more Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald advocating fuelling (correctly) before, during and after to minimise the stress response while others, Optimum Nutrition for Sport  have a more holistic consideration regarding mixing up fuel sources and training the body through adaptations to responses.

As mentioned on this blog almost a year ago (Stop Playing with your Food) I've adopted a bit of both worlds to suit me.

My main diet is protein rich (relative to how I used to eat) and a typical day would begin with porridge made on water ( sometimes a drizzle of maple syrup ), black pot coffee, some fruit in the morning and ideally dinner at lunchtime mid afternoon. (Usually meat and root veg, often just meat and no spuds). I'd often snack on mixed nuts and drink plenty of water.

This means I know there are no wild fluctuations in my blood sugars and with midday fuelling I can train in the evening / night. I can fuel with a gel before / early in session and after training I will have a recovery shake.
Elivar Products for the over 35's (Birth Cert required)

What I'm leading to is my recent discovery of a new product on the Irish market, Elivar.
A nutrition brand tailored for over 35's which initially (being honest) had me laughing before I realised: A) I'm long past that age group and B) this is the link I've been missing.

Using +Agave #9 gels sourced in +Amphibian King West meant I was already using low GI sugars, controlling my body's blood sugar and avoiding stress response. (Agave is widely used in nutritional products for diabetics and Agave#9 is ideal for any #diabetic sports person to use)

Now using #ElivarEndure I can fuel my long endurance training sessions where longevity is more important that explosive power or speed. The blend of protein and slow release isomaltose ensure that I can go the distance and coupled with a handful of gels I can be certain that my body gets all the fuel it needs. (See my recent long training session as an example)

Having an #ElivarRecover shake immediately after a hard or long session will help set me up for the next day and subsequent sessions:

Most recovery products have a 3:1 ratio of high glycaemic index carbs: whey protein, but as you get older you need a higher proportion of protein to recover effectively. That’s why Elivar Recover has a 1:1 ratio – and for sustained recovery a blend of fast releasing whey and slow releasing casein. This creates a longer recovery “window” to get you to your next session in better shape and with less pain.

Enter a new period of training, fuelling and recovery for me as I explore the options that Elivar provide me.

Contact the compnay for a FREE sample or pop into me at Amphibian King Limerick for more information.

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