Regardless of how much research I put here about the importance of carbs, there are a few of you who will stick to Keto, gluten-free, and Paleo ways. Just remember - sweet potatoes are still carbs, so are fruits and rice. High-intensity exercise needs carbohydrates. If you’re stuck on keto - just remember that fats are used as a substrate during endurance activity. So you’ll be better off running a marathon than competing at a CrossFit competition.
Protein, Fats, and Water
Dietary protein helps our muscles grow and recover. Good fats reduce inflammation and feed the structure of our cells, especially our neurons. Focus on getting in enough protein first, and adjust your fat-to-carb ratio depending on how hard you’re training that day.
During high-intensity training, shoot for 40-50% of your diet from carbs, 40% from protein, and 10-20% from fats. On your days off, you can add in a little more fat and dial the carbs back, as you won’t need them for immediate energy.
Of course, hydration is one of the most critical factors of work capacity. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association officially recommends 500-600ml of fluids 3 hours before a competition, and 200-300 ml taken 10-20 min before.
Notice we said fluids, so not just water. Electrolytes help replace what’s lost during sweat, which is critical to performance. Without sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other electrolytes, our muscles can’t contract properly. We run the risk of cramping, and suffer cognitive decline as a result of dehydration.
FINAL TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Finally, a little extra supplementation could give you an edge. There are countless supplements to choose from but selecting a supplement like Cardio Surge Energy and/or Glyco-Muscle Fueler will go a long way in boosting your work capacity over more traditional “workout supplements”.
There’s lots of research around many of the ingredients used in Cardio Surge Energy which shows they assist with work capacity in one way or another. From improving oxygen utilization, supporting circulation to buffer lactic acid during exercise, the benefits will show in your performance. As a reminder - lactic acid builds up in your muscles during anaerobic activity. When the environment gets too acidic, you feel “the burn”, and performance decreases drastically.
As mentioned in the previous section, carbohydrates are a large part of nutrition and supporting performance. On days you’re training hard or during a day of competition, carbohydrates from regular might not be enough. That’s when a high-quality carbohydrate supplement like Glyco-Muscle Fueler could be your best option. In combination with regular anaerobic conditioning, you can improve your scores to beat the competition.
In order to improve your work capacity, start with training the right energy systems. Increase the volume, intensity, and density on at least a weekly basis, eventually reaching your desired outcomes. Look at some of the recent Open or Games workouts and think backward. And don’t forget to feed the beast - your body will thank you.