If eating a lot of carbohydrates is now seen as a bad thing, why is it important to load up on carbs before a big race?
Carbohydrates provide us with the fuel that we need when we are expending lots of energy. If you want to achieve the best results possible then you should consider ‘carb’ loading. The body stores enough glycogen (carbohydrates) for at least an hour and half, sometimes longer depending on how lean you are.
When you have a race that is going to last for a few hours, you should certainly stock up on carbs, you don’t want to be losing energy half-way through.
What to Eat When Carb Loading
Carb loading doesn’t mean filling up on chips or eating take-aways, there are certain carbohydrates that you need.
- White Bread
- White Noodles
- White Rice
- Low-Fibre Cereals
- Bagels (add peanut butter)
- Bananas, blueberries and other fruit
- Pancakes (add maple syrup)
- Low Fat Energy Bars
- Fruit Smoothies
Obviously, it is important to add other food groups as well, such as protein.
What to Avoid
- You should avoid eating carbs that have a high amount of starch when you start carb loading. The reason for this being that if your body isn’t used to eating carbs then you might not feel too good after.
- Never eat more than you need, you don’t want to start a race feeling bloated.
- Don’t eat sugary carbs such as cakes and biscuits. When there is a rapid increase of blood sugar, your body will stabilise your blood sugar levels by converting it to fat.