Carbo Loading

Carbohydrate loading is commonly referred to as carbo loading. Carbo loading or Glycogen storage refers to storing carbohydrates in the body to fuel the long run using carbohydrates as opposed to fats.

Foods rich in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice etc. are typically consumed by runners before race day to fuel the body for long runs.

How the body works

The body uses a proportion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to burn energy. Carbohydrates are sugar and they perform the function of storing and transporting energy. The body uses protein to repair and rebuild the muscle tissue.

Why carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are the most efficient form of fuel available to burn. As you increase the intensity of your runs, the body uses more and more carbohydrates.

How to store carbohydrates

Eating a high carbohydrate diet stores carbohydrates in the body. Research has shown that a high carbohydrate diet will store twice as much glycogen as compared to a high protein diet.

Before the long run

  • Eat food with high amount of carbohydrates the night before the long run. Practice different types of foods to see which ones work best for your body

During the long run

Carbohydrate loading is generally performed by runners by having a high carb diet for a few days before an endurance event like a half-marathon or marathon. Glycogen storage prevents runners from hitting the wall during the course of the race.

High intensity effort will use up all the glycogen supply much sooner.

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