How to… Make your own gym fuel

shutterstock_100258562_0

Sports drinks and energy bars needn’t break the bank. Sarah Ivory explains why making your own is cheap, easy and healthy.

Step 1 – Know your gym fuels It’s important to know what you want from your fuel before you get cooking. Most sports products fall into the following categories:

Energy drinks, gels and bars, which supply carbohydrate, in the form of glycogen, to your hard-working muscles. Research suggests that your muscles can store enough glycogen to fuel a 90-minute workout – so longer sessions will require additional carbohydrate fuel.

Electrolyte drinks, which replace nutrients lost through sweat by providing the body with water and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Many energy drinks also contain some form of electrolyte fuel.

Recovery drinks and bars, which mix carbs and protein to rebuild muscle fibres broken during training. Studies suggest it’s best to have recovery fuel less than 30 minutes after training.