Carbohydrate-loading involves increasing the amount of carbohydrates one eats several days before a high-intensity sporting event, while scaling back on one’s activity level, said senior dietitian Joanna Tan from Changi General Hospital.The goal is to stock up on carbohydrates in muscles – known as muscle glycogen – which would be depleted in the race.
That said, consuming a meal high in carbohydrates the night before an event does help to increase the storage of muscle glycogen and enhance exercise performance.
Three days before an event, most athletes should consume between 8g and 12g of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight each day.
If an athlete weighs 60kg, the estimated carbohydrate intake will be between 480g and 720g. If he has four pieces of white bread with one tablespoon of jam, a medium-sized banana and a 250ml cup of low-fat milk for breakfast, he would already have obtained 105g of carbs.
They are encouraged to try out this eating regimen well before important competitions to ensure that they are comfortable with the food choices and their quantities.
Text by Mind & Body, Straits Times. Image: IStockPhoto