Q&A with Alex Cook, sports dietitian and UKA athletics coach:
What is glucose and why do our bodies need it?
Glucose is a simple sugar and a component of many carbohydrates. It is the most important sugar in the human body and is vital for physical and mental activity as glucose is the primary source of energy for all brain function.
When complex carbohydrates are broken down in the body, glucose remains and is used in the body for energy. If it is not used immediately, it is stored for use later on.
Why do our bodies need more glucose when training / exercising?
Glucose is classified as a carbohydrate, which our bodies need for fuel when exercising. The amount of glucose your body needs will differ from person to person, however it also depends on the intensity, duration and frequency of your work-outs. For example, the more intense your exercise is, the more glucose your body will need so it’s important to think about your pre-workout nutrition to get the most out of your session.
If glucose is a form of sugar, how does it differ from other sugars?
Glucose is classified as a carbohydrate which plays a vital role during exercise. Glucose is termed as a simple sugar (simple meaning they only have one or two sugars in their configuration). This means it is absorbed quicker when digested and provides energy faster than complex carbohydrates that have to be broken down to a glucose counterpart before it can be used as energy in the body.
What is the recommended amount of glucose your body needs before exercise?
In simple terms, the more exercise you do the more carbohydrate you need in your diet to fuel and recover from it. Recommendations range from 1-4g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight, 1-4 hours before exercise.
What are the benefits of a glucose supplement?
In an ideal world we can power our exercise from 3 balanced meals a day and pre and post exercise snacks. However, sometimes life just gets in the way and we can find ourselves with low energy before we hit the gym. Having a high energy snack, such as a glucose supplement, before we exercise will perk us up and make sure energy levels are high enough to get us through the session. However, if you do find yourself regularly low on energy before you exercise, take a look at your meal timing and balance and see if there are changes you need to make.
Lift Glucose Chews (RRP £0.89) and Lift Glucose Shots (RRP £1.55) are available from Amazon, Boots and most major retailers