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Dovresti mangiare carboidrati dopo aver corso di notte? –17 Gennaio 2022

Molti corridori si chiedono se dovrebbero mangiare carboidrati dopo una corsa notturna. Da un lato, i carboidrati aiutano i tuoi muscoli a recuperare in modo da poter raggiungere costantemente i tuoi obiettivi di allenamento. D’altra parte, mangiare dopo una corsa di notte potrebbe disturba il tuo sonno, che compromette il recupero. Inoltre, lo zucchero è un carboidrato, che può impedirti di sentirti assonnato nonostante tu sia appena andato a correre di notte.

Per rispondere alla domanda su cosa mangiare dopo una corsa notturna, continua a leggere per capire come il tuo corpo elabora i macronutrienti (macro in breve) di carboidrati, grassi e proteine.

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Il tuo corpo ha bisogno di carboidrati per fornirgli energia ed è bravo a usarli in modo efficiente. Il grasso, invece, richiede sempre molto ossigeno. Inoltre, il grasso impiega il doppio del tempo per fornire la stessa quantità di energia dei carboidrati. Ecco perché dobbiamo ridurre il nostro ritmo per bruciare i grassi durante la corsa, in modo che il nostro corpo possa stare al passo con il processo di ossidazione e non si stanchi. Noterai che sei nella zona brucia grassi quando la tua respirazione rallenta. Se il tuo respiro è veloce e superficiale, il tuo corpo non sta bruciando il grasso che potrebbe.

corsa serale in città

Questo è anche quando inizia a far male. Potresti sorprenderti a pensare che il divano sia terribilmente comodo in questo momento. O la domanda “Cosa diavolo sto facendo?” continua a saltarti in testa. Ma una volta superati questi ostacoli mentali, le cose inizieranno a diventare più facili.

Il tuo corpo immagazzina carboidrati sotto forma di glicogeno nel fegato e nei muscoli. Sono importanti riserve di energia, soprattutto per i corridori ambiziosi. Più glicogeno hai immagazzinato nei tuoi muscoli, meglio e più a lungo possono funzionare.

In generale, il seguente rapporto di nutrienti è raccomandato per gli atleti di resistenza:

Carboidrati 55-65%
Proteina
10-15%
Grasso
25-30%

The Role of Carbs After A Run

Carbs are your muscles’ fuel. The macronutrient is very important for runners looking to enhance their performance (for instance, for a marathon) – not only before workouts, but also after you finish running. If you refill your glycogen stores right after a run, your body will recover faster. This helps your body adapt better to a new or harder workout and builds up your immune system faster again after your training. The more often or intensely you train, the more important a diet rich in carbohydrates is for your recovery.

Activity Carb intake
Light < 1 hour/day 3-5 g kg/day
Moderate  > 1 hour/day 5-7 g kg/day
High 1-3 hour/day 7-10 g kg/day
Very high > 4-5 hour/day 10-12 g kg/day

When and How Many Carbs to Eat After a Run

The best time for your body to replenish its glycogen stores is within the first 30 minutes after your workout. Consume about 0.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. For a 65 kg woman this should be about 30 g of carbohydrates.

30 g of carbohydrates can be in the form of: 

  • one medium banana
  • 5 dates
  • 1 slice of bread with jam
  • 40 g of granola with 200 ml of cow’s milk

These carbohydrates (simple carbs) are easy to digest, and the body absorbs them quickly. After 30 minutes, the window starts to gradually close, and your body is no longer able to absorb carbs as efficiently and quickly.

Keep in mind:

You don’t need to eat carbohydrates after a short run (5 to 10 km), because the glycogen stores have not been depleted.

What to Eat After a Run at Night

An hour after your run, you should eat a full meal with carbs, protein and fat. To be more exact, your meal should contain a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. Carbs are still important at this point, but your body also needs protein to build muscles. Too much of this macronutrient, however, can interfere with efficient absorption of carbohydrates and disturb your body’s fluid balance.

A good post-run meal is loaded sweet potato skins.

sweet potato skins as a source of carbs after an evening run

What to Eat After a Run at Night if You Want to Lose Weight

Runners whose top priority is to lose weight should try to avoid eating too many carbs. This applies particularly to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs are necessary as part of a balanced diet, as we shall see below. Short endurance runs (like 5K runs) do not deplete our glycogen stores – so you don’t need to replenish them during your run (for example, with isotonic sports drinks) or right after the run. The best thing to drink after short runs is water. 

Eat a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, as described above one to two hours after your run. But at the end of the day, if you are looking to lose weight, what matters is a negative energy balance (approx. 500 calories/day). This means you should burn more calories than you consume.

Eat Complex Carbs After a Run at Night

Runners looking to lose weight need to pay attention to what they eat, as well as their training. The best thing for you to eat is complex carbohydrates (along with high quality protein and healthy fats). These not only keep you feeling full longer, but they provide you with plenty of additional important minerals and vitamins for your metabolism and immune system. Complex carbohydrates are found, for instance, in whole-grain products (like pasta and bread) and brown rice. Whole-grain foods include all the original parts (bran, germ, and endosperm) as well as all their nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are obtained by removing the outside and only keeping the endosperm. Other foods containing complex carbohydrates are potatoes with the skin on them, legumes, and vegetables.

Where are different types of carbohydrates found?

Complex Carbs to Refuel After a Run at Night

Complex Carbs take longer to digest and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fiber that boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system:

  • Whole grains and products incl. pasta, bread, and rolls
  • Potatoes with the skin on them
  • Brown rice
  • Beans, lentils and peas
  • Vegetables, 100% vegetable juice
  • Fruit

Avoid Simple Carbs After a Run at Night

are a quick source of energy because they are digested rapidly. They cause your blood sugar and your insulin levels to rise:

  • pastry flour and products, cakes, cookies, bread, and rolls
  • white pasta
  • soft drinks
  • sugar and sweets
  • alcohol

Do You Need Carbs After a Run at Night?

Yes and no. A high-carb snack will refill empty glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after a long run (over 10 km). The ideal ratio of carbs to protein in a post-run meal is 3:1 for optimal recovery.

The bottom line: eat carbs after night runs to prioritize recovery. Minimize eating carbs after runs at night if that is part of your weight loss strategy.

***

Vikishop

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