How To Carb Load
Carb loading can mean the difference between a personal record and a DNF (Did Not Finish). Many athletes train for months to compete in endurance sports. Knowing how to properly carb load is scientifically proven to delay fatigue and improve performance. What is carb load? And how do I “Top-Off my fuel tank” before a big race?
“Old School” Carb-Loading
A whole generation of endurance athletes learned to carb load by starving the body of carbs for a few days and then flooding the body with carbs 2-3 days before the race. This strategy does produce the desired outcome of increasing glycogen stores in the body, but recently, there have been new ways to produce the same results without such drastic measures. Altering your diet dramatically the week before a big race can be disastrous. Learn how to carb load with proven consistent results without dramatically changing your diet.
“New School” Carb-Loading
Recent studies have shown a similar outcome by reducing your training load by half the week before your race and keeping your diet the same. Your body will naturally convert the extra carbohydrates to stored glycogen in your muscles and liver due to the drop in training. The day before your race it’s important to do a short 5-10 min high intensity workout followed by a high carbohydrate meal soon after. The day before the race should be the only day you intentionally eat more carbs and cut out all fat and most of the protein. Aim for 60-70% carbs the day before the competition and try to eat at least 7 grams of carbs per kilogram the day before the race. Also don’t forget to fuel during the race if your body will tolerate it. This is how to carb load and top off your glycogen supply before a race and avoid “Hitting The Wall”.