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What is it?
Carbohydrate loading is a method that has been used for at
least 20 years now by marathon runners and other
The idea behind carb loading is that you would eat a huge
amount of carbohydrates, usually complex carbohydrates
in the 1218 hours before competition.
Carbohydrate loading can improve your performance during
highintensity endurance exercise.
Use this strategy to prepare for a marathon, triathlon or
another endurance event.
When completing 90 minutes or more of highintensity
exercise, carboloading (carbohydrate loading) may improve
What are carbohydrates?
The food you eat contains carbohydrates, protein and fat.
These nutrients supply the calories your body uses for
energy. Although your body needs all three nutrients,
carbohydrates are your body's primary source of
Carbohydrates are found in grains, vegetables and legumes
(beans and peas). They are also found in sugar and sweets,
including fruit and dairy products.
Each gram of carbohydrate contains four calories.
During digestion, your body converts carbohydrates into
sugar. The sugar enters your bloodstream and is transferred
to individual cells to provide energy.
Your body may not immediately need all of this sugar, however.
So it stores the extra sugar in your liver and muscles.
This stored sugar is called glycogen.
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Your muscles normally store only small amounts of
If you start exercising at high intensity, such as when running
or swimming, and you continue for more than 60 to 90
minutes, your muscles run out of glycogen.
As a result, your stamina and performance diminish.
Carbohydrate loading works by forcing your body to store
more glycogen. You taper the amount of exercise you're
doing before a highendurance event to conserve your body's
stores of glycogen.
You eat significantly more carbohydrates.…read more
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Load up on carbohydrates.
Increase the amount of carbohydrates such as
wholegrain pastas and breads in your diet so that they
make up 60 percent to 70 percent of the calories you eat.
Even if you've loaded up on carbohydrates, you still need to keep
them coming while you're exercising to maintain your blood
sugar levels. Try to drink 5 to 8 ounces of a
carbohydratecontaining sports drink every 15 minutes
while you're exercising drink more if it's hot outside.…read more