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What is a Bonk During Exercise?

By Elizabeth Jarrard on July 3, 2014

What is a Bonk During Exercise?

What is the BONK?

Having a bonk during exercise can easily be translated into hitting a wall (“bonk”) in the middle of a race or hard workout. Your body has limited reserves of electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep you going the distance—until those stores run out. Fueling properly during a workout can mean the difference between feeling great and feeling like you’re about to kneel over or the difference between winning and losing. Here’s the lowdown on what you need, and two easy ways to get that—through Vega Sport® Hydrator and Vega Sport® Protein Bars.

How to Avoid the Bonk

Replenish Your Electrolytes

Your body’s first source of fuel is glucose stored in your muscles (muscle glycogen), but when you’re working out for more than 45 minutes, your body begins to deplete those stores. During a workout, you need to replenish and energize with food that provides both instant and sustained energy that’s clean burning and easily digestible—such as simple carbohydrates. Jeukendrup AE. (2004). Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise and Performance. Nutrition. 20:669–677.

Simple carbohydrates from fruit are often the easiest do digest when running or doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you are cycling or hiking for a long duration, you may also want to add in some plant-based protein and fats (such as from nuts and seeds) to help prolong the release of energy from carbohydrates.

Use a Hydration Powder

Using a hydration powder will help you keep your electrolytes and energy stores where they need to be for you to perform at your best for longer.  Vega Sport® Hydrator provides sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium to bring those electrolytes up.  We love mixing a scoop into a shaker cup to keep us going from start to finish.

Eat Protein Bars for Longer Workouts

Vega Sport® Protein Bar has pea and brown rice protein which slowly break down in your stomach to keep you satiated for longer.  It also boasts tart cherry in the bar helps support recovery and 3.5g of BCAA to support your muscles post workout. If you are able to digest a higher protein and fat snack, while cycling, hiker or rock climbing, then you may decide to eat that instead of just an electrolyte drink.

Developed for easy on-the-run digestion and featuring whole food ingredients, Vega Sport® Hydrator and Vega Sport® Protein Bar don’t contain any refined sugars or maltodextrin (a common sweetener that can cause stomach upset for many athletes).

How do you avoid the bonk during exercise?

Elizabeth Jarrard

Elizabeth Jarrard is a registered dietitian in Denver, CO who specializes in medical nutrition therapy and plant-based nutrition. She educates clients and consumers on how to optimize their health through nutrition.
Elizabeth Jarrard