delivery icon

pickup icon

Optimizing energy efficiency to perform

This article is written by our Ambassador Guillaume Klein (Personal Coach

To carry out a physical effort, the body uses its energy reserves in order to transmit the necessary fuel to the organism.


It is possible to optimize the use of its reserves, in order to be more efficient during exercise by improving its endurance capacities.

 1) The energy sectors

In order to transmit energy to the body during an effort, the body will use the glycogenic pathway (sugars), the lipid pathway (fats) and to a lesser extent as a last resort, the protein pathway (proteins).

A) The glycogen reserve (sugars):

It is contained in the muscles with approximately 3/4 of the glucose supply from food, and the liver which will provide it with a reserve of approximately 1/4.

  • Muscle glycogen is there to be used directly by our active muscles during an effort, it will be used to execute the contraction.
  • Glycogen from the liver is there to maintain a sufficient level of glucose in the blood, to prevent hypoglycemia and ensure normal brain function.

B) The lipid reserve (fats):

Essentially stored as fatty acids, all of these cells make up adipose tissue called fat.

These reserves in the human body are much greater in quantity than the reserves in the form of glycogen (sugars).

On the other hand, it is more difficult for the body to transform them into energy, since it takes much more oxygen to burn fat than sugars.

It is for this reason that during an intense effort that requires quickly available energy, the body will function mainly on sugars.

C) The protein chain (proteins):

A protein is an assembly of amino acids used by muscle mass, these are building and repair elements of the body, whose primary function is not energy production.

On the other hand, in the event of exhaustion of the reserves, the body will produce energy starting from proteins, by causing a destruction of the muscular fibers.

This is obviously a phenomenon that is counterproductive to performance.

2) Optimizing performance énergétique

The glycogen stock being limited, it is necessary to teach your body to save its sugar reserves, for energy regulation, and an improvement in sports performance.

Physiologically, the goal is to promote lipolysis which is the use of fat to produce energy, and from a psychological point of view how to manage lack and feelings of hunger.

A) Via training:

Specific sessions will allow the establishment of physiological adaptations, so that the body can use fat more as an energy source, limit the consumption of glucose, and the depletion of sugar reserves:

  • Fasting sessions.
  • Long training at low intensity without carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrate recovery delayed after a workout.
  • Twice daily training without sugar refill between the 2 sessions.
  • "Sleep Low" training, carrying out a high intensity session in the evening, followed by a recovery meal without recharging in sugars, and a fasting session the next morning.

Conversely, it is interesting to perform training sessions where we will consume larger amounts of carbohydrates, so as not to get the body used to good digestion and the use of sugars, but also to test the ration. maximum of carbohydrates that we will be able to assimilate per hour of effort.

B) Via a balanced diet every day:

For a healthy and healthy diet, the basic rule is to eat raw, unprocessed products, mostly from organic and local agriculture.

The goal is to have a balanced plate on a daily basis, which will provide a sufficient and qualitative share of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants).

88423279_133954371262889_5883942815691440128_n (1)

Appropriate eating habits will help limit the body's dependence on sugars, thereby promoting more constant and progressive energy, while improving fitness and health.

Quality carbohydrates in suitable quantity:

The glycemic index is a criterion which makes it possible to classify the carbohydrates (sugars) from a qualitative point of view, according to their capacity to raise the glycaemia, i.e. the level of sugar in the blood.

  • The carbohydrates whose digestion is fast and which will therefore strongly increase the blood sugar will have a high GI.
  • Carbohydrates whose digestion is slow and which will have little influence on blood sugar will have a low GI.

This classification was able to highlight certain types of food with a high glycemic index see very high, mainly foods refined and processed by the food industry, and therefore to limit or avoid:

  • White sugar.
  • Fruit juices, sodas, energy drinks…
  • Cakes, cookies, pastries, pastries…
  • Dessert yogurt, dessert cream, ice cream ...
  • Spreads.
  • Refined cereals (white rice, white pasta, white bread…).
  • Breakfast cereals.
  • Aperitif cakes, crisps…
  • Chocolate bars, cereals…

Carbohydrate intakes to favor:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Dried fruits (apricots, figs, prunes ...).
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, beans, etc.).
  • Tubers (sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip ...).
  • Squash (pumpkin, butternut, pumpkin ...).
  • Whole or semi-whole grains and similar (whole rice, basmati rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, oat flakes, etc.).
  • Wholemeal bread (sourdough, integral, multi-grain, seeds, etc.).

Regulate the quantity of portions:

The glycemic index of a food tells us about the quality of carbohydrates, that is to say the speed at which sugar is found in the blood, however it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrates that will contain that food.

If a food has a high GI but is consumed only in a small portion, it will have less impact on blood sugar than a food with a low GI but consumed in large portion.


By consuming a portion of whole rice 3 times larger than a normal portion of white rice, the glycemic load will be higher with whole rice and will have more impact on the glycemia balance.

Daily carbohydrate requirements:

Recommendation according to the activity of the day:

From 3 to 5g per kilo of body weight per day.

Recommendation for an athlete according to the intensity and duration of the activity:

From 5 to 10g per kilo of body weight per day.


For a sportsman of 70 kg = 350 to 700 G of carbohydrates / day.

Examples of 50g carbohydrate servings:

  • 100g of bread.
  • 200g of cooked pasta.
  • 200g cooked rice.
  • 250g of cooked lentils.
  • 250g of sweet potato.
  • 250g of potato.
  • 80g rolled oats.
  • 40g corn flakes cereal.
  • 3 fruit yogurts.
  • 60g of raisins.
  • 2 bananas.
  • 3 apples.
  • 2 parts of apple pie.
  • 2 slices of pizza.
  • 100g of crisps.
  • 40g of candy.
  • 50cl of fruit juice.
  • 50cl of sodas.
  • 2 tablespoons of honey.
  • 2 tablespoons of agave syrup.

The goal is not to be in the permanent calculation, but to become familiar with the portions to consume, and we can see that with certain foods the amount of carbohydrates can quickly increase, especially with processed products.

In practice :

  • Consume quality carbohydrates by favoring foods with a low or moderate glycemic index.
  • Regulate the amount of carbohydrates according to needs and energy expenditure.
  • Concentrate carbohydrate intake around sporting activities, especially after exercise to take advantage of the metabolic window to best recharge the body's energy reserves, but also during certain long and intense efforts.

Quality lipids in suitable quantity:

We tend to demonize fat in the diet because it is often associated with weight gain, cholesterol and the emergence of cardiovascular disease.

For an athlete the intake of lipids is essential to have a sufficient energy reserve, and to optimize the general functioning of the organism.

It is the quantity and quality in the choice of consumption of lipid intake that will be decisive, and which will have to be integrated into an overall dietary balance.

The imbalance in the balance of fatty acids linked to the context of modern food:

  • Excess intake of saturated fatty acids (butter, dairy, cheese, cold meats, red meat, palm oil, etc.) and industrial trans fatty acids (margarines, prepared meals, industrial pizzas, crisps, cakes, cookies, pastries, pastries , spreads…).
  • High consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids (sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, animal products from industrial farming, etc.).

The solutions : 

  • Avoid industrial trans fatty acids.
  • Limit the consumption of saturated fat.
  • Reduce the amount of Omega 6.
  • Increase the proportion of Omega 3.

Omega 3 are the so-called "good fats", it is the increase in their consumption that will restore the balance of the balance of fatty acids.

On a daily basis, for a balanced fatty acid balance:

  • 50% monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, rapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, avocado, almond, pecan, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio…).
  • 20 to 25% saturated fatty acids (butter, dairy, cheese, cold meats, red meat, palm oil…).
  • 20 to 25% polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega 6 (sunflower oil, grape seed oil, corn oil, animal products from industrial farming ...) + Omega 3 (rapeseed oil, walnut oil, camelina oil, oil flaxseed, hemp oil, nuts, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, tuna, purslane, spinach, lamb's lettuce, lentils, split peas, dry beans, animal products from organic farming fed naturally ...) with a ratio of 3 Omega 6 to 1 Omega 3.

Daily lipid requirements:

From 1,2 to 1,5 g per kg of body weight per day with an amount of about 3 g of omega 3.


For a person weighing 70 kg = 84 g to 105 g of lipids per day.

Examples of lipid intake:

  • 100g of sardines about 10g of lipids.
  • 100g of minced steak about 15g of fat.
  • 100g of chicken fillet about 1g of fat.
  • 100g of tofu about 8g of lipids.
  • 30g of dry sausage about 10g of lipids.
  • 1 egg about 6g of lipids.
  • 10g of butter about 8g of lipids.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil about 15g of lipids.
  • 30g of nuts about 20g of lipids.
  • 30g of feta about 6g of lipids.

In practice :

Have a sufficient quantitative ration of lipids on a daily basis, by increasing the proportion of Omega 3 quality fats.

Every day :

  • Minimum 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin omega 3 oil (rapeseed, flax, walnuts, camelina…) from a first raw cold pressing, seasoning on food.
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of seeds (ground flax, hemp, chia, etc.) per meal.
  • At least 30 to 60g of a mixture of nuts and almonds.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables to fill up on antioxidants and protect good fatty acids.
  • Cooking with gentle steam to avoid the destruction of Omega 3.

2 to 3 times a week:

  • Oily, fresh or canned fish preferably in glass jars, favoring sardines, mackerel, anchovies containing less heavy metals than salmon or tuna.

To limit or avoid:

  • Fatty meats (cold meats, fatty beef, pork, mutton, lamb…).
  • Dairy and industrial fats (butter, margarine, fatty cheese, cream, etc.).
  • Processed products (ready meals, industrial pizzas, crisps, cakes, cookies, pastries, pastries, spreads, etc.).

Quality proteins in suitable quantities:

Even if the primary function of proteins is not the production of energy, they are building and repair elements of the organism, which act in synergy with the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and lipids), and that it is essential to integrate into the overall food balance, to ensure the proper functioning of the body.

Daily protein requirements:

Recommendation for an athlete (endurance and maintenance of muscle mass):

From 1,2 to 1,7g per kilo of body weight per day.


For an athlete weighing 70 kg = 84 to 119 g of protein per day.

The main sources of protein: 

Protein is found everywhere in the diet, on a more or less large scale depending on the food consumed, and it is necessary to have a varied supply to synthesize in a broad way all the essential and non-essential amino acids that we need. .

  • Animal protein : meats, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products.
  • Vegetable proteins : cereals and similar, legumes, algae, oilseeds, nuts, seeds, fruits, dried fruits, mushrooms, etc.

Examples of protein intake:

  • 100g of tuna about 25g of protein.
  • 100g of chicken about 20g of protein.
  • 100g of lactofermented tofu about 20g of protein.
  • 1 egg about 7g of protein.
  • 1 goat's milk yogurt 125g about 7g of protein.
  • 100g of lentils cooked about 8g of protein.
  • 100g of whole rice cooked about 3g of protein.
  • 50g of oatmeal about 6g of protein.
  • 30g of almonds about 7g of protein.
  • 100g of banana about 1g of protein.
  • 10g of spirulina about 6g of protein.

In practice :

  • Ensure a sufficient amount of protein per day according to the recommendations in g per kilo of body weight.
  • Having a protein ration after physical effort to promote muscle reconstruction.
  • Vary the intake of animal and vegetable proteins to have a wide range of amino acids.
  • Always accompany your protein sources with a sufficient quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to respect the principle of acid-base balance.

Micronutrients in large quantities:

Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements) provide the body with the elements necessary for its functioning, but also many antioxidants that will fight against oxidative stress and therefore improve the body's immune response for preserved health. , and improved recovery.

Fruits and vegetables as the main source:

Vegetables can be eaten to the full, and fruit intake in a reasonable way at a rate of 3 to 5 per day depending on physical activity.

They will balance the acidity of the body, and their high fiber content helps regulate intestinal transit and feelings of hunger.

C) Via digestive rest phases:

With the practice of intermittent fasting, this may be an effective solution to promote the use of fat as an energy source, but also to enjoy various benefits:

  • Optimization of glycemic balance.
  • Satiety and weight regulation.
  • Decreased inflammation.

The man is completely adapted to carry out phases of fasting or caloric restriction, it is the emergence of our modern rhythms of life which codified the food with the installation of a regular structure in the catch of our daily meals.

Taking the example of our Palaeolithic ancestors, fasting phases were common, as they had to rely on the food they could find in the wild, and did not have access to an almost immediate supply of food, such as for us today.

On the psychological level, intermittent fasting is also a tool allowing to better manage the lack and the feelings of appetites.

In practice :

Preferably on a day of rest without training, with a 16h phase of fasting to get more benefits:

  • A dinner taken the day before before 20 p.m. or 21 p.m.
  • No breakfast the next morning.
  • A first full meal at lunch at 12 p.m. or 13 p.m.
  • An optional snack at 16 or 17 p.m.
  • A second full meal during dinner at 20 p.m. or 21 p.m.

During the 8h feeding phase, you will need a qualitative and sufficient nutritional balance, allowing you to meet basic energy needs.

D) Via an adapted diet during exercise

For a duration of effort of between 1h30 and 2h depending on the type of physical activity, drinking water is more than enough, and the use of energy intake is not necessary.

For a duration of effort greater than 2 hours, it is possible to consider the consumption of energy substrates.


An individual strategy:

It is essential to give the right fuel to your body, because just like a car is the essence of our engine.

There are common rules for optimizing nutrition at best during a long effort, however each person has their own mode of operation.

Factors to take into consideration to modulate the organization and composition of food:

  • The type and level of intensity of the sporting activity.
  • Tolerance and individual digestive sensitivity.
  • Feelings, tastes and desires.

The rules to be respected in the choice of energy intake:

  • Healthy products with the simplest and natural ingredients possible.
  • Carbohydrates of quality and quantity adapted to the effort to provide.

The different energy substrates:

  • Energy bar

Adapted to long efforts, it is assimilated more slowly by the body, and can contain an interesting amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Use products that contain natural ingredients, with unrefined sugars with a moderate glycemic index, a protein intake, fatty acids, but also vitamins and minerals.

  • Energy gel

Very concentrated in carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, it is assimilated quickly by the body, but over a long effort it is rather a drawback.

Indeed, it can lead to blood sugar spikes, it provides only very few vitamins and minerals, and often causes digestive disorders by its acidity.

It is more suitable for a short test which requires a supply of sugars available more quickly, however it can be used on an ad hoc basis over a long effort in the event of a large drop in energy or at the end of the test.

To be properly assimilated, the energy gel must be absorbed with water.

  • Exercise drink

It must be isotonic, that is to say with the same concentration as the blood to allow better absorption, avoid digestive disorders and dehydration.

It must contain quality carbohydrates to allow a regular and progressive supply of sugars to the body.

A reasonable amount of unrefined sugars per serving, about 30g to 40g of carbohydrates per 500ml is more than enough.

Vitamins and minerals to optimize the use of carbohydrates, muscle function, fight against the acidity of the body, and compensate for the loss of sweat.

  • Homemade preparation

The homemade preparations will allow you to cut gels, bars and energy drinks with monotony.

For example on long efforts, it is wise to consume salty foods and various preparations, to allow the body to have different and varied contributions (sandwich, sweet potato mash, rice, fruit, dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruit…).

In practice over a long effort:

A range being around an intake of 30 to 90g of carbohydrates per hour (exercise drink + food intake) depending on needs, individual tolerance, intensity and nature of the effort.

  • Use energy products with sugars with a low to moderate glycemic index to avoid blood sugar spikes and ensure progressive energy.
  • Preferably an energy bar richer in proteins and essential fatty acids, and less rich in carbohydrates.
  • A regular frequency in food intake (approximately every 20 to 30 minutes) to ensure the regulation of the sugar level.
  • Ensure good hydration throughout the effort to compensate for losses related to the phenomenon of sweat, and facilitate the assimilation of ingested carbohydrates. Mix water and energy drink in frequent small sips at the rate of 300 to 500ml every hour depending on weather conditions and individual needs.

At the end of a long effort, particularly in competition, the possibility of consuming carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index and easily assimilated, on the one hand in order to cope with the exhaustion of the glycogen stock, maintain a state of alertness, concentration and performance until the end of the effort, on the other hand to minimize the digestive work of the body.

For an average intake of around 60g of carbohydrates per hour of effort:

  • 1 energy bar + energy drink dosed at 40g of carbohydrates.
  • The ¾ of a banana + energy drink dosed with 40g of carbohydrates.
  • 1 energy gel 20g + energy drink dosed with 40g of carbohydrates.
  • 30g of dates + energy drink dosed with 40g of carbohydrates.

Beware of too much carbohydrate intake:

The whole food consumed must remain within a certain standard (from 30 to 90g of carbohydrates per hour of effort), so as not to overload the body with too much carbohydrate intake, which would not be assimilated by the body , causing gastric problems or dehydration.

It is important to accustom the intestine to receive carbohydrates on exertion, in order to find its ideal contribution, making it possible to provide the energy necessary for achieving performance and optimizing digestive comfort.


In order to optimize energy efficiency to improve performance and endurance capacity, the objective is to limit dependence on carbohydrates, while promoting the use of fat as an energy source.

On the one hand via a specific training strategy, and on the other hand via a diet adapted to daily life and during exercise, allowing the implementation of physiological and psychological adaptations.



His Blog:

His email address: Do not hesitate to contact him.


Guillaume's selection:

Baouw - Full Discovery Pack
Baouw - Full Discovery Pack
Paleo Crunch - Energy Bars - Mix Pack
Paleo Crunch - Energy Bars - Mix Pack
Paleo Crunch - Organic Vegan Recovery Bar (48g) - Bilberry
Paleo Crunch - Organic Vegan Recovery Bar (48g) - Bilberry
Chill Bar MINI Pack (8x40g) - Cranberries Almonds
Chill Bar MINI Pack (8x40g) - Cranberries Almonds
BIO Box Energy Drink (10x20g) - taste of your choice (€ 1,25 / sachet)
BIO Box Energy Drink (10x20g) - taste of your choice (€ 1,25 / sachet)
View uses cookies to provide the best user experience. Please accept cookies to continue exploring our site
Thank you, it's saved!