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Energy comes principally from carbohydrate, fat and protein. In fact, a well-fed individual does not use protein for energy. Carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. During exercise, this glycogen is broken down to gluoces which, along with fat, is used by working muscles to provide energy.
This is ued to increase muscle glycogen stores prior tothe endurance sporting events. It is recommended only for occasional prolonged endurance events and not as a regular dietary pattern. The most common procedure is to consume a high-carbohydrate diet in the form of starchy foods for three or four days before the event. During this time the athlete should undertake only light training. On the day of the event the athlete should have a high-carbohydrate meal no later than three to four hours before the start of the event.
|Inadequate hydration is a major cause of poor performance during physcial activity, especially during hot weather. Water losses are unlikely to occur with short intense bouts of exercise but have been observed in long-distance events such as marathons and cycling. Thirst is not an adequate indication of fluid requirement. Athletes need to discipline themselves to take appropriate fluid replacement. A good rule of thumb is to take in three or more glasses of liquid about three hours before the event. Then take another two glasses about an hour and a half before and continue to take at least two glasses every hour during the event.|
Although water is generally considered to be the best choice for fluid replacement, during prolonged exercise a weak glucose solution will help spare muscle glycogen and delay fatigue.
Iron in red blood cells plays a role in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and in respiration. Therefore an adequate intake of iron is important.