The holiday season is upon us, which means the sugar content in our diets will be on the rise. No complaints here; sugar is delicious! Plus, as runners, we can get away with eating a lot more than our non-running friends.
When we run, as most runners know, glycogen (chains of carbs stored in our muscles) is our primary source of fuel. Not only that, the percentage of our energy that comes from this source goes up as the intensity of our running goes up. After a run, the sugar we ingest first goes towards replenishing that depleted glycogen, and thus does not contribute to fat in the same magnitude when compared somebody who had NOT gone for a glycogen depleting run.
I have written about fueling with carbohydrates in the past HERE. If you go for a run, and you don’t have enough glycogen, your pace is at the mercy of the rate of fat metabolism (much slower than carb metabolism). When our glycogen is gone, our energy and pace plummets- otherwise known as bonking. So, when we forget to eat carbs, can we make up for it last minute by downing a box of cookies?