Sporda Karbonhidratların Rolü: Koşu, Bisiklet ve Triatlonlarda Enerjinin Ana Kaynağı

The Role of Carbohydrates in Sports: The Main Source of Energy in Running, Cycling and Triathlons

As in every branch of sports, carbohydrates play a critical role on the performance of athletes in endurance activities such as running, cycling and marathons. In this article, we will discuss the importance of carbohydrate use in sports, its function in our body and how to use it effectively in endurance sports.

What are Carbohydrates and Why Are They Important?

Carbohydrates are our body's main source of energy. They are classified into two main groups: simple (sugars) and complex (starches and fibres). For athletes, carbohydrates are particularly important because they provide quick energy that is easily accessible during intense exercise.

Carbohydrate Use in Endurance Sports

Endurance sports such as running, cycling and marathons require sustained energy for long periods of time. During such activities, the body primarily uses carbohydrate stores. Carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver are used to produce energy during exercise. When glycogen stores are depleted, performance decline and a feeling of fatigue begin. Therefore, it is vital for endurance athletes to include adequate carbohydrates in their diets and replenish these stores before competition or training.

Carbohydrate Loading and Timing

Particularly before long-term endurance events such as marathons, athletes often employ a strategy known as 'carbohydrate loading'. This method aims to maximize glycogen stores by increasing carbohydrate intake a few days before the race. Additionally, consuming carbohydrates at regular intervals during training or competition is important to maintain energy levels and optimize performance.

Choosing the Right Carbohydrate

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. For endurance athletes, complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables) that provide long-term energy release are ideal. During competition or training, simple carbohydrate sources (energy gels, sports drinks) that provide quick energy can be preferred.

Carbs and Hydration

Ensuring adequate hydration along with carbohydrate intake is critical for endurance performance. Since water and electrolytes are necessary for the proper functioning of body functions and supporting energy metabolism, attention should also be paid to fluid intake.

Athlete Products and Usage

Many carbohydrate-based products are available for endurance athletes. These products are designed to be used before, during and after a workout or race and provide energy quickly and effectively.

 Energy Gels: They provide quickly absorbed carbohydrates and are often designed for easy consumption during training or racing. They are available in a variety of flavors and are generally recommended to be taken with water.

 Energy Bars: They provide longer-term energy release and are often consumed before or after training. They may also contain fiber, protein and other nutrients.

 Sports Drinks: In addition to providing hydration, they also provide electrolytes and fast-absorbing carbohydrates. They are especially useful during long endurance events.

 Energy Bars and Candies: They are practical and portable options to provide quick energy. They can be easily consumed during training or racing.


Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy in endurance sports such as running, cycling and marathons. Carbohydrate consumption is important to improve performance and maintain energy levels during exercise. Various carbohydrate-based sports products can help athletes provide energy tailored to their needs. However, determining the right amount and timing for each athlete requires adjustments based on personal experience and needs. Click to review practical carbohydrate sources such as Onthego Progel Blackberry, Wup Carb3+ Lemon, Ingobio Isocarbo and Torq Nutrition Energel Peach which you can find on Enduranlar. Have a nice workout!

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