You’ve just finished your five and a half mile run around town, and you’re feeling great. Tomorrow, you’ll be heading out with some friends to hike a lengthy portion of the Appalachian Trail up to McAfee Knob, but how can you make sure you’ll have enough pep in your step to get you to the top?
Loading Up on Carbs
Carbohydrates are the key.
According to the second edition of Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness: Functional Exercise and Nutrition for Every Body, the replacement of body glycogen stores is important if you have been involved in intense exercise lasting for more than an hour or if you have been engaging in endurance activities that often last for more than a few hours.
Glycogen replacement can be quickly achieved if extra carbohydrates are consumed as soon as possible after exercising. This will ensure a quick recovery, especially if you avoid significant activity for at least eight hours following said exercise.
The sooner you refuel, the faster you’ll recover. Thus, eating within 30 minutes of exercising is ideal. And, as is noted in one of our previous blogs, you’ll want to refuel with at least 15 grams of carbs.
However, you can also continue to replenish glycogen during endurance and outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking by eating snacks and meals with a moderate to high glycemic index after a workout.
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