Fuel it up

Fuel it up

Now we all know that eating too many sugars (simple carbohydrates) are bad for you.  They are more inclined to store up in fat cells, make you sluggish and can cause diseases such as strokes and heart attacks which we all want to stay away from.  But they are just so tasty!  I mean come on you must have sat down with a bar of chocolate and thought I could live on this all night long!  Yes you could live on it all night long but you keep doing this and you will end up with a 6 pack but a 6 pack of rolls not rock hard muscles!  But surely simple sugars must have their uses on this planet.  I mean everything was put here for a reason and to fulfil a purpose.  I’m sounding like Morpheus here!  So why are simple sugars so good for you when they can be so dangerous for you? 

The simple answer is…glucose.  Glucose my friends is a very important sugar that the body needs for energy conversion.  Everything you eat is broken down in to glucose to be used as energy at that present time or be stored as glycogen in your muscles or liver to be used for later on.  Depending on what you eat, the body takes different amounts of time breaking down foods to give us glucose and then this in turn can fuel our work outs, and this is what I want to be talking about..fuelling our work outs with simple sugars.

For people who are serious about their training and for those especially trying to develop power and explosive strength then eating simply sugars prior to a work out can help you go a long way.  The reason is that if you eat simple sugars, the body takes a lot less time in breaking the ingredients down in to their constituents such as glucose.  So say you eat a banana which is comprised of mainly simple sugars such as glucose and fructose, the body will break this down and use the glucose instantly.  This process takes a lot longer than if you ate a heavier meal consisting of proteins and fats.  Reason being it takes lots of energy to break down fats and proteins in to glucose to be used and this in turn takes time.  When you consume glucose, the body then turns that in to pyruvate which can either convert in to lactate or acetyl coQ10 depending on the intensity of the exercise.  Remember guys lactate is our friend not our enemy as it prevents cramps from occurring so don’t go hating on lactate, it’s the H+ ions which we don’t like.  So what happens next when you get lactate (the feeling of cramps)?  The body then flushes that lactate out and then converts it to pyruvate for instant energy to be used again or glycogen to be stored in our muscles for later use.  But without sugars, this process would not occur and we would fatigue a lot quicker.    

So with the above in mind, feel free to eat your sugars prior to a work out, this will give you instant energy and will deliver some decent amount of electrolytes to fuel your exercising.  To any of you reading this, I mean eat in moderation NOT scoff down 2 jars of nutella and a fudge cake; this sort of defeats the object of sugars helping your work out.  So sorry for all you sweet tooth people, you will just have to limit yourselves.  Trust me, simple sugars can help a great deal especially when carrying out power work outs.  Reason is that when doing power and explosive sessions, your body relies predominantly on glucose as its primarily fuel and its creatine stores.  However, your ATP/PC system can only run for about 8-10 seconds before it needs to refuel but your glycolysis system runs a lot longer.  So when you carry out exercises such as jumping squats, clapping press ups, hitting the bag or even doing a circuit, this system is a primary one which is being targeted.  Therefore, it just makes sense that the instant sugar you aid your muscles with the longer and harder you can train.  Remember, it’s not just water your body needs but sugars too as we all know now from our little (hope not so boring) science lesson earlier on that our energy systems need glucose to operate especially when doing weights, explosive and power work.  I literally finished a work out 20 minutes ago and prior to that, I had honey and peanut cereal with Greek yoghurt with 4 squares of dark chocolate and half a boost.  Now that may not seem quite a lot to a lot of you but that’s all you need to fuel a good work out.  I gave it 30-45 minutes and carried out my explosive leg session which consisted of 3 exercises back to back and 1 minute rest in between.  Now I know from experience that if I didn’t eat that sugar I would have still completed that session but it would have taken longer and I would have struggled a bit more too.  So the idea of me consuming that instant sugar was to fuel my muscles with ammunition to help me power through the intense interval training.

So let me reiterate – Eat your simple sugars which you can get from fruits, dark chocolates, honey, peanuts, peanut butter, jelly beans, skittles, muffins etc within reason and only if you are going to undergo a hefty, killer of a session which will leave your ass mopping the floor with sweat once the session is over.  Remember people, simple sugars will aid in topping your glycogen stores for your work out and will help with performance.  Go on FUEL UP!!