In this edition of Eat and Run, we learn that carbo loading is easier than advertised and some tricks to make the common pre-race practice even more effective.
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Carbo Loading Made Easy Hi. It’s Dr. John Berardi here with Competitor.com. And today, I’d like to talk about Carbo Loading Made Easy. In the past, carb loading required a two to seven-day period in which carbohydrate intakes was increased in conjunction with the tapering of exercised activity. And all that strategy still can be effective. The recent carb loading protocols have been shown to be even simpler and more effective. Research from Universities of Western Australia has shown that a short bout of super maximal exercise done 24 hours before race and followed by a high carbohydrate intake can lead to glyclogen store as high as or even higher than those achieved with longer carb loading reading times. Here’s how you can take advantage of this research. 24 hours before racing, before that 30-minute long training interval at intensities about 30 percent higher than your re-O² peak. Of course, if you’re a runner, you’d be running and if you’re a cyclist, it would be a cycling session. Then, at the end of three-minute interval, do an all-out 30-second exercise sprint. So your total exercise time here is about three and a half minutes. Then for your next 24-hours, you are focused on getting about 10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass. If you are a 150-pound runner or 68 kilograms, that means you’d shoot for about 680 grams of carbohydrate during this time. Now that amount of carbohydrate is no joke, you really have to eat up, focusing on carbohydrate-dense foods. Of course, you don’t want to sickly eat carbs, make sure you’re also including a little protein and a little fat with each meal. Now, if you’re someone with the hearty appetite, there should be no problem at all. Simply eat six meal during the 24-hour pre-race period and make sure each meal contains 100 to 120 grams of carbs. Well, what’s that look like? Two medium baked potatoes, yams, or sweet potatoes, and that’s about 120 grams. Two whole grain bagels, again 120 grams. A cup of dry whole grain rice -- another 120 grams, a cup of whole grain pasta, that’s another 120. Now, if you simply cannot get down all of that food, a second strategy although I do prefer first if possible is to sit on a higher carbohydrate sports drink between meals. One of my favorites is called Surge Workout -- this is it right here. So, this product is great for sipping between meals. It’s got a matrix that slow digesting carbohydrates, amino acids, and a host of acid buffers. This type of drink can help you reach your carb goals while helping boost next day performance as well. Either way, when a big race is coming up, be sure you get those carbs in you. In the meantime, continue to eat well and train hard. And I’ll see you next time on Eat & Run.