How To Avoid Bonking

Most of us have had this happen to us once or twice. You are nearing the end of your workout or possibly you havent even made it half way through. You have been pushing super hard and all of a sudden, you stand after a wicked set of pushups and you feel like you are about to pass out or puke…Usually I cant tell the difference. Its almost like a mix between the two. This is known as Bonking – and today I am going to show you what Bonking is and how to avoid bonking during a workout.

 

What’s Exactly Happening? – How To Avoid Bonking

There are two primary reasons that you might bonk during a workout:

BLOOD SUGAR: Bonking simply refers to the point at which your glycogen stores have been depleted. Basically its low blood sugar. This is why during an intense workout you may encounter the feeling of hitting a wall, nausea, or feeling like you are going to puke if you did not eat enough in the hours prior to your workout; your system is tapped and it needs to be replenished with carbohydrate sources that have been depleted through the energy you have expended.

DEHYDRATION: There is no doubt that workouts like P90X, Insanity, and Asylum will cause you to sweat. On top of that, these workouts can last more than an hour! If you do not replace the fluids lost during your workout, you could experience nausea – which is one of the key indicators of dehydration. But feeling like throwing up after an intense workout could very well be the result of dehydration as well.

 

My 3 Simple Tricks To Avoid Bonking During A Workout

#1 – Here is a trick that I use quite often when I know that a certain workout is going to push my limits. Just like in the Plyometrics video in P90X – Tony adds a little P90X Recovery Formula to his water before the end of his workout. What this does, is ensure that your glycogen levels dont completely deplete until you feel nauseated or like puking in most cases for me.

#2 – Something else that I do to ensure I dont bonk during a workout is drink 1 scoop of protein whey 30 minutes prior to my workout. I exercise first thing in the morning so its important that I get something in my stomach before my workout. The protein whey is quickly absorbed and doesnt affect your ability to workout with intensity by giving you a cramp or something. Not to mention it goes right to work during your workout on repairing and delivering the necessary essential amino acids to the muscles for optimal repair. Its a common misconception that a protein shake is best AFTER your workout. Its actually better BEFORE your workout. You can read my article on Recovery Formula to learn more about what you should drink post-workout.

#3 – Stay hydrated. Simple as that. Take advantage of the water breaks during the workouts and actually drink some water! I dry and drink 12oz of water during a workout. Its not that hard. I even consume 20oz of water prior to my workouts that gets mixed in with my whey and pre-workout supplement. Its probably the simplest way to avoid bonking, but its also the easiest to neglect.

 

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1 comments
mwjes
mwjes

My first bonk story:  Must've been near my 3rd 30-minute  6 am session with a personal trainer at my gym when I hit a wall of energy. Just couldn't finish the session. He asked if I ate that morning, which my answer must've been that I didn't. Ahh...lesson #? in life? Thanks, Todd, for this post. It answers the nutritional-physiological "why" to fuel before a workout...and during if needed.  Very helpful!