8 hours ago
Are you a competitive athlete/CrossFitter?
What are you doing to maximise your performance?
You can train as hard as you like, but if you’re not properly fuelled up on competition day, you won’t be able to perform at your best. This is where carbohydrate loading comes in.
What is it?
Carbohydrate loading or “carbo loading” as it is also known, is when we purposefully over eat carbohydrates (in a calorie surplus), in order to fill up our muscle glycogen stores as much as possible. This gives us the maximum amount of available energy for exercise. In total we can store between 400 and 800g of glycogen at a time - this is a huge amount, but our stores won’t be full to capacity unless we go through a carbohydrate loading phase.
When do I do it?
Carbo loading should be done for 1-3 days before competition, when training is tapered or you are resting. While carbohydrate loading we want to be eating as much carbohydrate as possible, whilst keeping fat to an absolute minimum. Without getting too scientific about it, this is because even if we are in a calorie surplus, our bodies will not readily convert carbohydrates eaten into body fat, preferring to burn or store the energy as glycogen instead. Fat eaten alongside the carbs, however, will be stored very readily as fat tissue.
How do I do it?
In short, eat as much high carbohydrate food as possible! This might sound easy, but it needs to be as low in fat as possible. A lot of the high carb foods we all love, also tend to have some (or a lot) of fat, which is what makes them so nice. The exception to this is sweets and sugary drinks, which are ideal as they are often 100% carbohydrate and 0% fat (the only time I will advocate a high sugar diet!). Stick to the types of foods/drink shown, plus a variety of fruit and veg and a moderate amount of protein (you will not lose your gainz in 3 days). Each product shown has between 0 and 0.8g of fat per serving.
Happy Carb Loading.
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