Benefits of Using Glucose Tablets During Long Runs and Races
Many runners know the benefits of a high-carbohydrate breakfast on the morning of a race. However, sometimes the glucose from this food is not enough for the distance, the focus required or the performance required to do your best. Glucose tablets during long runs can have a serious impact on your performance.
What Does Glucose Do?
Glucose is a simple sugar and the main source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed into the blood and transported to cells in the body.
The cells then metabolise the glucose by causing a reaction with oxygen to produce energy. Unused glucose is mainly stored in muscles and in the liver as glycogen to be accessed when blood sugar is depleted.
During exercise, your body draws on these glycogen stores to keep producing energy once the glucose from food is used. If this glycogen is also used up, for example during long races or intense exercise longer than 30 minutes, the muscle cells will no longer have the energy to work.
What are Glucose tablets?
Glucose tablets are small, chewable tablets made with glucose in the simplest form. People use glucose tablets to raise blood glucose quickly, as the glucose can be absorbed straight from the mouth. After taking glucose tablets, blood glucose can rise in minutes, whereas glucose from food takes at least 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the carbohydrates.
When glycogen stores run out, during a long-distance race, quick-acting glucose tablets can fill the gap. Many athletes use glucose supplements to delay fatigue and sustain high performance right to the end.
Other sources of Glucose for Runners
Some runners don’t like the texture of glucose tablets, so it’s important to find the best source of glucose for your needs.
Glucose drinks are another glucose supplement that can be carried on long runs, giving you a much-needed boost to access that extra 5% and overcome exhaustion.
Benefits of Glucose for Runners
There are many reasons runners, triathletes and other endurance sportspersons use glucose. Here you can find a list of the main benefits of glucose for athletes.
To generate energy, all cells need a supply of glucose. The glucose is either delivered from the digestive system in the bloodstream or, in the case of muscle cells, metabolised from glycogen stores. The most common process of turning glucose into energy is known as aerobic respiration and is illustrated as:
Glucose + Oxygen → Energy + Heat + Carbon Dioxide.
When the glucose runs out, there is no way for muscles to make energy, so the body cannot keep going as needed. Without glucose, runners cannot perform at their best, so many carry glucose tablets to keep energy stores up during long races.
2. Avoid ‘hitting the wall’
Fatigue affects more than just the muscles. Endurance athletes need to train their brains and minds as well as their bodies to remain psychologically engaged and positive about the race. When blood sugar is too low, this positive attitude is difficult to maintain. As well as energy for physical activity, glucose is used by brain cells to fuel mental activity. Chewable glucose tablets can help bring you back to peak mental performance and get through to the end of your run.
3. Help post-run recovery
Replenishing glycogen stores after a long run or intense workout is important for muscle recovery. Some trainers recommend athletes take glucose just after intense exercise, as well as before, to give muscles enough fuel to start repairing themselves immediately.
Long-distance running requires focus and a positive mental attitude. Glucose in the blood can increase serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, supporting concentration and mood and decreasing stress.
5. Precise amounts of Glucose
While food, energy bars and drinks contain carbohydrates, glucose tablets contain a precise dose of glucose. During training, athletes can experiment with different doses to calculate the right amount to help them through a challenging race. Glucose tablets provide repeatable results as the amount of glucose absorbed does not vary. Lift Glucose chews contain 3.7g of glucose and 15 calories per tablet, while Lift Glucose juice shots contain 15g of glucose and 57 calories.
Fast-Acting Glucose for Runners
Finding a supplement that is portable enough to run with can be a challenge. Luckily, Lift Glucose tablets are available in a lightweight, sturdy tube that fits easily into a pocket or pouch. These chewable, flavoured glucose tablets provide fast-acting glucose for when you need a boost of blood sugar.