All athletes and fitness enthusiasts know the feeling - as your energy begins to drop, your muscles burn and the prospect of going on is a little daunting. Bonking or ‘hitting the wall’ - in short - is brought on by low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and simply running out of ‘fuel’ for your body and brain.
Before you can consider ways to banish the bonk, you must first understand what your body is going through in these perilous times.
The body converts food to fuel through several different energy pathways. Each energy pathway that attempts to provide fuels for long-distance exercise relies on adequate and continuous supplies of glucose (energy) to keep your muscles contracting.
The body naturally produces glucose, but as you can imagine, these resources run out quickly. If you set off on a 15k run, your body is not automatically prepared (would be nice if were though right?).
Glycogen (another form of energy) that is stored in your muscle cells takes over once your glucose has been used. This is a far greater source of energy that can carry most people through a 90-minute workout just fine.
During high-intensity endurance exercise be it a 4-hour bike race, triathlon or a Hardmoors race, the body can quickly use up all its homemade energy resources and then - you feel the bonk! This period of energy loss can be both physically and mentally exhausting.
Two obvious ways to avoid the bonk are:
1) Don’t outdo your body’s resources, only exercise to the capabilities of your energy levels
2) Don’t consume sports nutrition that offers high energy impact over a very short period of time
At Chia Charge, we use the natural benefits of the chia seed to create fuel food that not only exemplifies your bodies resources - but does so over a long and period of time. That's right, long lasting energy WITHOUT the bonk. The secret? A combination of fast and slow energy release.
The whole seeds retain moisture and control the rate at which you absorb it in your stomach releasing great energy, slowly.
Chia seeds are extremely absorbent and expand up to ten times their original size when soaked in water or consumed. Because of this, chia seeds slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning the body is able to slowly transform carbs into longer lasting body fuel. This regulation carbohydrate release also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds alone are low in Carbohydrates so you need to to maintain a balanced diet to help fully utilise the power of the seed.
Unlike other sports nutrition, we have created recipes that contain both fast acting carbohydrates and more complex carbohydrates that will sustain your energy levels after the initial benefits of the simple sugars wear off.
The golden syrup and brown sugar in our flapjacks will give you immediate benefits in a manageable burst while the oats and chia seeds will provide slower burning carbs. The sea salt flakes also help electrolyte replacement.