The word ‘Bonking’ is health-fitness slang and refers to the abrupt physiological response to ‘running out of fuel’ or more specifically ‘running out of carbohydrate’ particularly for athletes running races.
Here is how to avoid bonking:
(1) You burn fuel while running.The faster (or more sporadically) you attempt to run, the faster you burn through your available fuel. You can persevere for longer, if you run at a measured pace. A less than optimal pace will not deplete your energy reserves, i.e., glycogen.
(2) The best way to tackle the problem of fuel is to practice, taking in small amounts of fuel while performing well. You can train your body to burn more fat instead of glycogen at higher speeds. Teach your body to use fuel more efficiently at any pace.
(3) Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for most athletes as it helps in minimizing the risk of early bonking. For instance, in order to maximize your body glycogen accumulation, include dietary carbohydrates or protein products before, during or after the training. Many athletes rely on carb overloading before an event.
(4) For a good athletic performance, water is very essential, as it provides adequate hydration. You can include other energy drinks in case your exercise intensity is far above what water can satisfy, since bonking is a common problem for long duration or high intensity workouts and events.
(5) When fat is burnt with oxygen through the aerobic system, it will help yield 15 times more energy from one gram of carbohydrate. Develop your aerobic system and it will help you draw a higher proportion of your energy from it. Eventually, you’ll last longer without bonking.
(6) Breakfast is the most essential meal of the day and is very crucial on race day as well. You burned most of the carbohydrate supplies overnight, and breakfast is your last opportunity to collect more carbohydrate into your body.
(7) Breaking the food component of your race-day nutrition into more manageable 100 to 150 calorie chunks is a better idea, instead of gulping down the entire meal at one go.