Τρίτη, 22 Μαΐου 2012

How to create Your Carbo-Load Plan

                                     

Ever hear of “hitting the wall”? That’s when a runner's or swimmer's body shuts down mentally and physically. The cause is often from depleted carb stores. There’s just nothing left in the tank; it’s important to keep these stores refueled during the race by drinking sports drink and/or ingesting other quick carbs such as energy gels, chews, about every 30 to 45 minutes during the race.
During this three day-period before race day, your carbohydrate intake should increase to 70 to 80 percent of your total daily caloric intake. That doesn’t mean you’re taking in more calories, it just means that of the calories you’re taking in, 70 to 80 percent need to be comprised of carbs.
Not all carbs are alike, knowing the differences and eating the right kinds at the right time during the carb-loading phase can make the difference. Complex carbs are comprised of unrefined whole grain foods such as whole grain breads, legumes, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. Simple carbs are foods made of refined and/or processed grains such as white bread, regular pasta, white rice, packaged cookies, cakes, and doughnuts. Fruits are technically simple carbs too, but they’re very nutrient dense. Keep in mind that eating a banana will provide quick energy because your body will process it very quickly, while a low-fat bran muffin will sustain your energy needs a lot longer.
There are however, some good rules of thumb to follow. The first rule of thumb is to test your nutrition well in advance. It's best to try new foods when you're not in training. If you are training, it's best to test new things early on so you'll know ahead of time what does and doesn't work for you. Then stick to what you know works when it's close to race day. Now that you know the different types of carbs, you need to know when to eat them.
Day 1: The first day of the carb-load should consist mainly of complex carbs (i.e., whole grain breads and whole wheat or whole grain pasta). By loading up on complex carbs the first day, you have time for them to be processed and voided well before race day.
Day 2: Taper off the complex carbs and switch over to simple carbs. Be careful though. Don't load up on tons of fruit and the like, if you're not used to eating lots of fruit. Also avoid loading up on simple carbs that contain a lot of saturated fat (cookies, doughnuts, pastries). The extra fat will slow down digestion and make you feel sluggish.
Day 3:  Eat your last major meal 12 to 15 hours prior to the race. This meal should be comprised of easily digestible foods that will pass through your system before the race. This is the time many runners turn to a big plate of pasta. Avoid heavy cream sauces and stick with basic marinara sauce.
Hinted tip: Each gram of carbs can store 3 grams of water. So, to make sure you get complete carb storage, drink four to eight glasses of water each day. You may gain a pound or two (2.2-4.4 kg) during this carb-loading phase, but most of this extra weight is water and can actually help you stay well-hydrated during the race. And don’t worry, you'll sweat out those extra “water pounds” during the race.
Do not forget: Test your nutrition well in advance. Avoid tests during the race. Even the most successful experiments, had the last trials many days before!
                                        
   Katerina Chremou Ms, Nutritionist (by Active.com)


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