Don't let indigestion ruin your big day. In this article we explore some of the reasons why we get indigestion during training and racing - and suggest some simple steps you can take to make sure your nutrition is working with you, not against you.
An upset stomach is the No. 1 complaint about sport nutrition.
There are a number of reasons why particular products may not suit us individually, however the most common reason for stomach discomfort is the way traditional sports nutrition delivers energy - i.e. rapidly using simple sugars.
The fastest way to deliver energy to our working muscles is to use ingredients that match natural blood sugar (glucose) or can be quickly processed by the liver (fructose). These ingredients pass rapidly through our digestive system, through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream or liver - the "rapid absorption" promised by many sports nutrition brands.
One of the most immediate downsides of this "rapid absorption" is the impact on our digestive system. Depending on the sensitivity of our stomach our intestines can react badly to the sudden influx of a large quantity of simple sugars as they cross the intestinal wall into the blood stream.
At best it's a feeling of discomfort and at worst it can lead to cramps or pains which undermine the weeks and months of training we have endured ahead of our target event.
What's The Solution?
The first thing to understand is we don't actually need energy delivered "rapidly" for the vast majority of our training and racing. For sure, there are times when things go wrong and we need a "boost" however this should be the exception rather than the rule.
Assuming you have a reasonable diet and have trained correctly you will have built up sufficient stores of energy in your muscles and liver to support your effort. The sole purpose of your sports nutrition energy product should be to supplement those resources - topping them up to extend your time at moderate to high intensity effort levels.
If you consume your sports nutrition in liquid form then this can be easily and effectively done without the stomach upset by switching to a complex carbohydrate energy source such as Elivar Endure or Hydrate Plus.
You're still getting your energy - complex carbohydrates ultimately break down into glucose or fructose. The big difference is they do so slowly, producing a more manageable rate of absorption across our intestinal wall which in turn results in a significant and noticeable reduction in stomach discomfort. Allowing you to focus on your effort not your stomach!
What Should I Do Next?
Grab yourself a Weekend Endurance Pack - contains a sample of each of the flavours of our Award-winning Endure, Hydrate Plus and Recover.
All for only £12.99. Go Get One Now.
Make the switch to Elivar. No More Stomach Upsets or Your Money Back!
Riding the route of the Giro D'Italia would be a challenge for most normal cyclists. 3,400 km over 21 stages between the 5-28th May. But what if you were 77 years old? Well, meet Mick Ives.