people - athletes, persons with a regular physical workout program and
people-on-the-go-rely on carbohydrates for essential body fuel. They usually
charge up with bread, pasta and rice, more popularly known as
loading, also known as carbs-boosting or super-compensation, aims to prevent the
onset of exhaustion during intense workout or endurance events. Carbo-loading
increases the glycogen stores of the muscles, which increases endurance
potential during continuous physical exercise. If completed properly,
carbo-loading can almost double the normal amount of stored carbohydrates (and
therefore, doubles the amount of energy).
the body needs a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for energy,
carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. Simple carbohydrates,
which are digested faster then complex carbohydrates, are found in fruits, most
vegetables, milk, table or brow sugar and honey. Complex carbohydrates, on the
other hand, are found in starchy foods like bread, pasta, bagels, rice, legumes
and other grain products and vegetables. These foods break down slowly during
digestions, giving the body a time-released source of energy.
products like bread, cereals and pasta are excellent sources of complex
carbohydrates that are ideal for carbo-loading. Aside from being a major source
of complex carbohydrates, wheat foods are also rich in fiber, iron, B vitamins
and are generally low in fat.
digestion, the body converts carbohydrates into sugar. The sugar enters the
bloodstream and is absorbed by the cells to provide energy. However, the body
may not immediately need all of this sugar so it stores the extra sugar in the
liver and muscles. This stored sugar is the liver and muscles. This stored sugar
is called glycogen.
to the Wheat Foods Council, sports nutritionists recommend that athletes
increase their carbohydrate intake by as much as 60 to 75 percent of their total
calories in the form of carbohydrates, as early as two days before a sports
event. This can be achieved by altering the athlete's training load and diet
over a seven-day period before the game. Moderate training and normal diet
should be followed for the first four days. For the remaining three days, low to
moderate intensity exercise and a high carbohydrate diet should be followed.
also means reducing training load and resting the muscles to allow them to
become completely loaded with glycogen. Since you want to start the race with as
much glycogen as possible, engaging in low to moderate intensity exercise is as
important as eating in the process of super-compensation.
Wheat Foods Council explains that all individuals vary in the way they digest
food because of variations in age, metabolism, training status and gender. For
competing athletes or simply active individuals, carbohydrates are always a
better choice than fats or proteins because they empty from the stomach faster.
Once the glycogen in the muscles is depleted after 1 ½ to 2 hours or prolonged
exercise, a high carbohydrate diet is again recommended to replenish the
glycogen reserve. Grain products such as bagel, tortilla, pasta and bread are
excellent choices to refuel the body.