Whats the Deal with Carb Loading?


Some coaches and trainers have recently stated that the pre-event pasta dinner is a no go deal. It turns out that this practice is not as efficient as once believed. Whats the deal with carb loading now?

It seems that the Keto Diet has replaced it. This is where a low-carb, high-fat meal is used to create better fuel for the body. This is revolutionary, if not controversial. The theory is that if a person eats like this he or she will trick the body into burning fat and giving the body more power.

A study concluded that almost all of a runner’s energy was powered by carbs which is why it makes little sense that fat would have much to do with this. Yet, researchers from the Australian Catholic University’s Centre for Exercise and Nutrition did another study regarding using fat as a source of fuel.

In the study, they fed men either a carb-heavy or a carb-free meal before, during, and after running a 13-mile race. They were asked to run a bit slower than their best marathon times. During the study, the researchers also gave the participants a substance that blocks the body from using fat.

After the study was concluded it was determined that no matter what the runners had to eat, the carbs gave them almost 100 percent of the energy they used. This meant that keeping off the carbs did not make their bodies use fat. It did not affect their performance at all which adds more proof that for long workouts the body will resort to using glycogen.

One of the study’s researchers stated that the body needs to use carbs for performance. If athletes do not have adequate levels of glycogen in their muscles prior to a big event, they have less fuel at their disposal. If this is the case, the body will have to depend on fat stores and this will inhibit the performance.

It turns out that the amount of carbs needed prior to an event do vary based on the person. The requirements will depend on the person’s body mass, the duration of the activity and the timing of working out around eating meals.

As such, anyone working out should be mindful of getting as many carbs as possible depending on the amount of training they do. If training increases, so should the carbs and not the fats.


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