Butcher's Dog! Regular
outdoor fitness tips from the canine on creatine. Cold wet
nose and glossy coat guaranteed.
What To Eat On The
Stumped by nutritonal attrition, confused
by carbohydrates - here's some handy advice to keep your
guts turning over and your motor running
Eat In Advance
If you're off on a big day out, it's too
late once you've already started. Initially you're actually
walking or climbing on the food you've tucked away the
night before and for breakfast. Your best option is a
load of complex carbohydrates like pasta or rice -
hence marathon 'pasta parties' the night before the event.
For breakfast, something like porridge or
oatmeal along with a banana is ideal or, if you can face it,
pasta or rice maybe with an egg on top. Yum... You'll be
keeping your glycogen reserves topped up and making sure you
start with a full tank. Avoid alcohol, it may have carbs in
it, but it's also diuretic and the way the body processes it
Drink Carefully - Avoid Soft
We've run a lot of articles about
hydration - see below - but the key is to drink little
and often. If you start feeling thirsty, you're already
dehydrated and quite low levels of dehydration will have a
serious impact on your physical performance. We like, wait
for it, water. Avoid soft drinks, they contain huge
amounts of sugar and the concentration means they're
absorbed slower than pure water.
If you use an energy drink, keep the mix
levels relatively dilute, possibly less than the
manufacturer suggests. If it's really hot and you're working
hard, losing a lot of sweat, consider an electrolyte
replacement drink. Losing key minerals like potassium,
sodium and magnesium can have a big impact on your
Snack On Carbohydrate
You need to replenish your glycogen
reserves as you exercise, so snack as you go. The ideal
recipe, surprisingly enough, is the one used in many
energy bars. Low fat, lots of complex, slowly
absorbed carbohydrates and a small amount of protein.
Unfortunately energy bars aren't cheap.
As an alternative, look at things like
cereal bars and, our favourite fig rolls. Fruit,
fresh or dry, is also good. Ditto trail mix with some nuts
thrown in as well, also a good source of electrolytes.
Watch out for high fat stuff - fat takes ages to process and
slows down your absorption of other foods at the same time.
Flapjacks may look healthy, but many have a really high 20
per-cent plus fat content. Try and keep fat levels at around
10 per-cent or less.
If you don't fancy those, sandwiches with
honey and banana work well, or try peanut butter and
Sweets and chocolate and some
biscuits are packed with simple carbohydrates which means
they'll give you a rapid sugar rush followed by a
corresponding sugar low and your body's insulin levels kick
in. Not good for steady progress but useful if you're 30
minutes from the end of your trek and dead on your
Again with lunch, avoid large helpings of
fatty food and lots of protein. That burger and chips may
look great, but it'll take ages to digest, so if you must
eat them, eat them once you've finished. If you've done the
high fat lunch thing, you'll be familiar with the feeling of
it sitting in your stomach for the rest of the day. And hey,
that's what it's doing.
You're better off with a sandwich or
roll, preferably wholemeal, with, say ham, cheese,
chicken, or some other source of protein. Alternatively,
pre-made pasta salad works well. Top off with some fruit or
an energy bar and it'll help fuel you all
The Fat Phenomenon.
You have enough stored fat to keep you
going for several days and, over long, low level endurance
days, the body will burn some of it. Strangely though, at a
certain point, the body stops the fat burning mechanism,
despite there being loads left. Oddly, taking some fat on
board at this point will kick start the mechanism again,
despite the fat taking ages to digest. If you're an alpine
mountaineer, it's worth necking a couple of spoons of, say,
olive oil if you've been going all day and feel exhausted.
Strange but true. Less applicable for a Sunday afternoon
trudge across Kinder though...
If you've been gunning it, there's a
window of around 30 minutes after you stop
exercising, when your body is gagging for carbohydrates.
Feed it quick and your crucial liver and muscle glycogen
levels will recover more quickly. You don't need to eat a
full meal at this point, but mixing some protein in with the
carbohydrate will speed up the rate at which it's absorbed.
Four Jaffa cakes should do the trick, a baked potato with
cheese maybe or a chicken bagel. Try it, it
Get some fluid down your neck as well.
Later, it's important to eat some protein, think about ten
per-cent of your diet, to help muscle rebuilding, so it's
off down the pub for a nice juicy steak...
So, next time you're out, try following
some of the above guidelines. It really does make a
difference and'll help you enjoy your day a little
Yours with canine wisdom
The Butcher's Dog