Bread, pizzas and pastas are the big three when it comes to carb loading and we have to say that these are great, if unhealthy, choices when you’re on carb loading mode. Yes, indeed, there are times when carb loading is essential in your fitness journey but before you go into carb-induced coma, of a sort, here are a few things to know. (If you’re willing to pay for the Anytime Fitness prices for personal training, you will know more from your personal trainer)
Carb Loading Defined
Basically, carb loading means eating plenty of carb-rich foods as a means to boost stamina and, thus, it’s popular among endurance athletes. When you load up on carbs, you are maximizing the quantity of glycogen available in the liver and muscles. You are then increasing the time to fatigue – in other words, how long before you become tired from the strenuous activity – and enhancing your performance.
Note: The glycogen in the liver and muscles are stored as carbohydrates, a major source of physical energy. But too much carbs can also cause sluggishness and lethargy, among others.
Carb Loading Uses
Keep in mind that carb loading should ideally only be done in preparation for endurance activities lasting more than 90 minutes. For this reason, it’s a popular strategy for cyclists, runners, and marathoners as well as for rugby and football players.
Again, the emphasis here is on endurance activities lasting 90 minutes and above. If you’re running for just 30 minutes, then carb loading isn’t recommended although it’s still important to eat healthy carbs no matter your activities for the day. As with all tips on diet and exercise, moderation is the key to carb consumption.
Carb Loading Calculation
The latest carb loading guidelines recommend eating about 10 to 12 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight in the 36 to 48 hours before the strenuous activity. But the actual amount can vary depending on your carb-loading regimen; always ask a nutritionist for advice, if you’re in doubt, since too much carbs isn’t good either.
Keep in mind, too, that carbs should be the major part of each meal consumed prior to any endurance exercise. These should, in fact, make up 60 to 70 percent of the total number of calories, as concerning as that may sound to people on a low-carb diet.
About 1 to 4 hours before the endurance activity, you have to eat between 1 and 4 grams of complex carbs and other carb-rich protein source for every kilogram of bodyweight. You will then not feel hungry before the activity, such as a marathon.
We suggest low-glycemic index foods since these have little impact on blood glucose levels. We also suggest eating starchy carbs like rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread while avoiding sugary drinks, fruits and other sweet snacks.
Don’t worry about carb loading making you fatter because it won’t for as long as you’re engaged in an endurance activity afterwards. Your body will burn off the calories during the strenuous exercise while also using the carbs as fuel. If you’re training for an endurance event, such as a marathon, you should consider training in a gym, too, especially on the cardio machines. If you aren’t a member of a gym yet, you may want to consider Anytime Fitness, and we promise you that the Anytime Fitness prices are within reach, too.