Triathlons are grueling events that test the physical and mental limits of even the most seasoned athletes. Comprised of swimming, biking, and running, triathlons require athletes to sustain high levels of intensity and endurance over long periods of time. One of the key ways to ensure that you have the energy and endurance to complete a triathlon is by fueling your body with the right nutrients, including gels.
Gels are portable packets of concentrated carbohydrates that are designed to provide a quick burst of energy during endurance events. They are easy to carry and can be taken on the go, making them a convenient option for triathletes.
One important detail that many athletes overlook is making sure they are using gels that contain both fructose and glucose. Gels that contain both fructose and glucose help improve the body's ability to absorb higher amounts of carbohydrates per hour. When taken during exercise, gels with a combination of fructose and glucose can be absorbed more quickly and efficiently than gels with just glucose or just fructose. This can help increase the availability of energy to working muscles, improving performance.
There are a few other key reasons why gels are important during triathlons:
They provide a quick source of energy: Gels are designed to be quickly absorbed by the body, providing a rapid burst of energy. This is especially important during triathlons, where athletes need to sustain high levels of intensity and endurance.
They can help prevent bonking: "Bonking" is a term used to describe the sudden depletion of energy that can occur during endurance events. This can lead to a sharp drop in performance and can be difficult to recover from. By fueling your body with gels, you can help prevent bonking and maintain a consistent level of energy throughout the triathlon.
They can help maintain optimal blood sugar levels: During endurance events, it is important to maintain optimal blood sugar levels to ensure that the body has enough energy to perform at its best. Gels can help maintain these levels, making them a crucial part of any triathlete's nutrition plan.
In summary, gels are an important part of any triathlete's nutrition plan. They provide a quick source of energy, can help prevent bonking, and help maintain optimal blood sugar levels. Gels with a combination of fructose and glucose can also improve the body's ability to absorb and utilize carbohydrates. Make sure to include gels in your training and race day nutrition plan to ensure that you have the energy and endurance needed to successfully complete a triathlon.
Here are 2 of our favorite gel brands that our team uses in training and on race day.