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07/02/22 3

Energy products for sportsmen without calories

Energy products for sportsmen without calories. But do they exist?

The big chimera in the sports world, particularly running, are calorie-free sports energy products. We find this demand on forums, social media and reviews in the major consumer ecommerce stores. This is a big misunderstanding!

Energy products for runners and cyclists

Many people take up running or cycling for weight control or to lose weight. Endurance sports are also referred to as fatigue sports and are very energy-intensive. Roughly speaking, we can say that running consumes 0.9 kilocalories per kilometre, multiplied by your weight.

  • 9*Km*body_weight

Obviously, this is an approximate and extremely variable value. It changes depending on how demanding the track is, the speed and individual performance (aerobic capacity, BPM, VO2max etc.), but it is a good approximation for understanding one’s energy expenditure.

There are many different approaches to calculating these values, especially in cycling where many parameters besides distance and weight (wattage and speed for example) are easily obtained. One of these is Margaria’s formula.  But for simplicity’s sake, we can say that endurance sports generate more or less the value described above.

Exhausting workouts and calorie-restricted diets

Here, many see running as a way to ‘burn off’ that Sunday lunch. But a binge can easily represent an excess of 1200-2000 kilocycles and not everyone is able to run 20 or 30 kilometres in a single session. We would be well on our way to completing a marathon otherwise!

The urge to overdo it immediately calls attention to sports nutrition supplements as a means of boosting oneself and doing more. But there are no energy products without calories, unless they are stimulants, mineral salts (very useful when sweating heavily) or preworkout based on Arginine, Carnitine, Beta-Alanine, Carnosine etc. The choice of a salt, amino acid or stimulant product such as caffeine can be a good ploy depending on the context, but if we are untrained, or have suddenly reduced calorie intake (the typical punitive fasting to avoid) it is not the case to undertake performances outside our normal circuit.

There are no shortcuts

If you want to lose weight, sport must help generate the calorie deficit and improve muscle tone (the setpoint), for the rest you need a balanced diet and do-it-yourself should be avoided. Energy products without calories do not exist, nor do shortcuts. The use of energy supplements is not forbidden and helps us cycle carbohydrates or sugars (from the diet) at the time of greatest need: not everyone is able to train fasting and many incur injuries or poor performance, therefore counterproductive.

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