Fueling Endurance Sports for Optimal Performance

Author: Molly Morgan, RDN, CDN, CSSD | August 31, 2020


Fueling Endurance Sports for Optimal Performance

When it comes to fueling endurance events – like long-distance running, triathlons and other distance events– there are many important nutritional factors to consider. From adjusting daily energy and carbohydrate intake to how to properly recovery, click on the link to the handout below for some tips to maximize your training.

Fueling Endurance Sports for Optimal Performance

In this handout you will learn about:

  • Daily Energy Needs – More Training Means More Calories
  • Carbohydrates – The Primary Fuel For Endurance Sports
  • Why Should You Consume Carbohydrates During Exercise?
  • How Many Carbohydrates Should You Consume During Endurance Exercise?
  • Refueling With Carbohydrates AFTER Exercise

Here is my favorite recovery recipe. It’s an easy and delicious Peanut Butter (PB) Chocolate Banana Shake! Something quick and easy, like a smoothie or a shake, can deliver a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fluids.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Refueling Shake
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup 1% chocolate milk
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Directions:

1.) Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until icy and smooth.

Tip: Buy a bunch of bananas, peel and place in a container in the freezer to add to refueling shakes!

Nutrition Facts: 470 calories, 19 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 300 milligrams sodium, 63 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 44 grams sugar (from both glucose and fructose), 18 grams protein

There are many nutrition strategies on how to properly fuel and refuel for endurance training and competition that go beyond those discussed here. However, a solid hydration plan and a customized daily intake plan can all be helpful to maximize your performance. For additional help building a strong, individualized nutrition plan that supports your training efforts, consider consulting with a local sports dietitian.


American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.