Whether you’ve been an athlete for most of your life or have just started your fitness journey, you’ve probably come across an energy gel or liquid protein supplement before. And you’ve probably formed either a positive or slightly negative relationship with the little packets of goo energy that help to fuel your workouts.
And, if you’re completely new to the endurance game - welcome! You may be surprised to hear that professionals recommend eating at all during a workout.
It’s true - if you’re going to be running, cycling, swimming, or working out for more than 60 minutes, it’s important to replenish your carbohydrates and electrolytes. Even after 30 minutes, your body will start to feel the effects of carb depletion, resulting in fatigue and reduced performance.
The trick is finding the right carb/electrolyte/energy source that will give you the boost you need and absorb quickly without overfilling your stomach. When you’re exercising, most of your blood flow and energy is going to your muscles and extremities, leaving your digestive system with little support. Eating a large snack will only leave you with a heavy stomach. We’ve all felt that pain.
You want to find something bioavailable that will readily absorb and get utilized by your hard-working musculoskeletal system.
So what energy gel and/or goo energy is best for you? Should you use one with protein or just carbs? What about caffeine? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
What is Goo Energy?
Goo energy is another word for gel energy.
Goo energy supplements come in little packets with a rip-off top and are filled with a gel substance that helps you power through your workouts. Ingredients may include carbohydrates, electrolytes, B-vitamins, Beta-Alanine, protein, single amino acids, caffeine, taurine, flavors, etc. Athletes choose their goo energy blend based on their specific needs and preferences.
For our athletes that have made being active a lifestyle, convenient nutrition is key to getting an adequate amount of macros and micros every day. Goo energy packets are extremely lightweight, easy to use, and can be tucked into a pocket or pack to be used during endurance training.
Do I Need Goo Energy?
Goo energy or liquid protein supplements may be beneficial for you if:
- You workout 4-6 times a week
- You engage in endurance exercise, including cycling, running, swimming, etc.
- Your workouts last 60 minutes or longer
- You want to improve your performance
- You want to reduce mid-workout fatigue/burnout
- You are training for a big race/event (marathon, half marathon, triathlon, cycle race, etc)
- You want something lightweight and highly bioavailable for your long workouts
- You are concerned about electrolyte depletion
- You want something to mix up your beverage/supplement routine
Endurance athletes especially are at risk of hyponatremia (low sodium) and hypokalemia (low potassium). Novice runners and cyclists may consume substantial amounts of water, but forget the importance of replenishing lost sodium and potassium. While gel energy helps to prevent/correct any potential electrolyte imbalances, liquid protein will help you get more out of your workout - and body.
What is Liquid Protein?
We know that protein is important to rebuild muscle, boost muscle mass, strengthen muscle tone, and aid in overall healing. Both endurance athletes and those completing resistance-training need protein for optimizing physical performance and recovery.
But most energy gels leave out this ever-important ingredient, fueling your body with just...carbs.
Not any more.
Because you can get the kick you need with an added liquid protein supplement in our Frog Fuel Ultra. These come in portable, ready-to-drink, one-use packets that are easy to down during a workout, and contain a blend of carbs, electrolytes, and hydrolyzed collagen protein. If you like a caffeine shot mid-workout, we also have Frog Fuel Ultra Energized with the same protein/carb blend but an added 80 mg of caffeine.
Benefits of Protein and Carbs Mid-Workout
If you usually drink/eat your protein after a workout, why would you need it mid-run? Are there benefits to having some protein in the middle of your exercise routine instead of at the end?
There have actually been numerous studies reporting benefits of co-ingesting carbohydrates and protein when compared to just carbohydrates alone. Adding protein to the mix helps to reduce post-muscle soreness, enhance mood/energy, restore muscle function, and improve future exercise performance. And, since eating a nice chicken breast mid-run just isn’t an option, our favorite way to do this is with liquid protein.
The icing on the cake? This 2018 study found that carbohydrate-protein supplementation during a marathon improved recovery (soreness, energy, and fatigue) 72 hours post-marathon.
So, you won’t just enhance your current workout, but your future ones as well.
Average fitness-enthusiasts can achieve their nutritional needs before and after a workout and don’t generally need mid-workout nutrition. For our at-home fitness fans or casual gym-goers, a post-workout liquid collagen protein supplement could replace your generic protein shake.
However, for endurance athletes who are logging a lot of miles every week, a carbohydrate-protein blend during a workout can really help to reduce fatigue, improve performance, and reduce muscle breakdown.
Serious athletes should also consider a blend that includes beta-alanine and citrulline malate. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that buffers H+ during high-intensity exercise, which in turn reduces the acidic effects of the workout on your skeletal muscles. Citrulline malate is an organic salt that is a combination of the amino acid citrulline and malic acid and has been studied for its ability to improve athletic performance and also relieve post-workout muscle soreness.
Protein specifically helps to prevent muscle breakdown, which will lead to greater muscle adaptation during your training (over the long term). The recommended dose for protein is no more than 15 grams per hour (5 per hour if the workout is longer than 2 hours).
Carbohydrates provide an immediate energy source, thus relieving mid-workout fatigue and improving performance capacity. If you are taking your carbs with protein, you only need about 35-45 grams per hour. If taking carbs without protein, you may need up to 60-80 grams an hour.
Other than protein and carbs, the only other things you should be consuming during a long workout are water and electrolytes. Avoid fats, as these are difficult to digest (remember your digestion is slowed significantly during a workout).
How Much Protein Do I Need As An Endurance Athlete?
It is important to note that endurance athletes require more protein than non-endurance athletes.
The protein requirements for endurance-trained athletes varies slightly depending on the source but is generally between 1.2-1.65 grams per kilogram per day. To find your weight in kilograms, simply take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2, and then multiply by 1.2 and 1.65 to discover your recommended daily protein intake.
For example, an individual weighing 154 pounds (70 kg) would need between 84 and 115 grams of protein every day for optimum function and recovery. This number may vary based on your personal workout regimen, lifestyle, body type, gender, etc.
As an athlete, you know your body better than anyone, so experiment and find out what helps you to feel the best. To find a more exact number, you can also work with a sports nutritionist or dietician.
How Many Carbohydrates Do I Need As An Endurance Athlete?
It’s no secret that athletes burn more calories than the average person and that they also require a great deal more energy on training days. The 2019 recommendation for carbohydrates for endurance athletes is between 5-12 grams per kilogram per day, depending on how many hours you are exercising. More specifically broken down, the recommendation is:
- 1 hour workout: 5-7 g/kg/day
- 3 hour workout: 6-10 g/kg/day
- 4 hour workout: 8-12 g/kg/day
The Best Goo Energy and Liquid Protein Supplements
There are a lot of supplements available on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which one will do the job for you. For endurance athletes, we recommend something with both high-quality protein and carbohydrates that you can take during your long workouts. If you want something with an additional energy boost, we’ve got that too!
Frog Fuel Ultra contains the optimal blend of protein and carbs to supercharge your workout. We made this product with four main factors in mind:
- Power- Beta-alanine is an amino acid that has been studied extensively for its role in muscle endurance and high-intensity exercise. We added it to our blend along with simple carbohydrates in order to boost your power.
- Energy- Endurance athletes burn calories like nobody’s business, so we added 10 grams of complex and simple carbohydrates to boost energy and reduce fatigue.
- Endurance- During long-distance training, you need to replenish electrolytes in order to maintain good health and optimum function. This blend contains 50mg of potassium and 20mg sodium.
- Recovery- Along with high-quality hydrolyzed collagen protein for recovery, we also mixed in citrulline malate, which has been found to reduce muscle soreness by 40%-90%.
All of our blends contain hydrolyzed collagen protein, which was found in an independent study to be absorbed within 15 minutes of consumption, a winner when compared to protein absorption rates of other protein sources.
Our Frog Fuel Ultra Energized blend contains the same ingredients as the Frog Fuel Ultra, but with 80 mg of caffeine for that extra energy boost during a strenuous training session.
Either one gives you the boost you need for a better workout and greater endurance. And all our products contain medical-grade ingredients that have undergone independent testing. Our world champion athletes see amazing results when it comes to faster recovery times and muscle performance but also when it comes to building more bone density to ensure their bodies keep going longer with fewer injuries - that’s the collagen doing its job.
So, whether you just need a pick-me-up for your Monday morning run or a reliable fuel source to crush your PR on the upcoming marathon, Frog Fuel is here to help you achieve your peak performance.