The Truth About Carb-Loading And Why You’re Doing It Wrong

CARB-LOADING DONE RIGHT:

While it is true that carbohydrate-loading or “carb-loading” can help an endurance athlete store energy (glycogen) in advance of an endurance event– you are probably doing it wrong.  For years, athletes have used a carb-loading strategy to prepare for big events.  The only problem?  They carb-load the night before their big event.  This strategy often backfires because the carbs don’t have enough time to properly absorb into an athlete’s system to act as fuel.  Instead, some athletes wind up feeling sluggish during the race.  
The purpose of carb-loading is to stock up on foods that will provide you energy in the long-run once your normal, natural energy sources become depleted.  Just like caffeine is a short-term energy boost, carbs are a long-term game plan.  Think of carb-loading as your end of race strategy.  You’ll also need a mid-term plan (energy sources during your event if it’s super long… looking at you 2017 Spartan Tahoe Beast).  You want to start your race with energy, sustain your energy, and have enough energy to get your second wind to sustain your race all the way to the finish line.
 
Ideally, carb-loading should be implemented in the days leading up to your event, not the night before.  We’ve all been guilty of it.  We’re all looking for anything to help us make it through a big race.  But, it’s time for a change in the way we carb-load.  It is most beneficial when done 3-4 days in advance of your big endurance event.  Be sure to cut back on foods high in fat while carb-loading and taper your training to allow for the carb-loading to work effectively.  Tapering is also important during this process because you don’t want to burn off all the energy you’re storing up before your event!
 
Another big mistake is thinking you have to eat pasta to carb-load.  Wrong again.  To see a sample carb-loading game plan and to get other carb-loading ideas, follow the source link below.
 
Source: Mayo Clinic
 
Let us know your carb-loading strategy in the comments below! Happy racing, OCR Community!

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