Demystifying Sports Nutrition

Carbo-loading Is A Myth

“We have to give a lot more thought to how energy and mass are distributed,” says Benardot. “Unless you start thinking about how nutrients are parsed out over the course of a day, bad things happen.”

Carbo-loading, or depleting glycogen stores in the week or two before an endurance event and then eating a high amount of carbohydrates the few days before the race doesn’t work because your muscles can only store a finite amount of carbohydrates. According to Austin, if you consume your usual amount of at least 50 percent of total daily intake from carbs, glycogen stores will be saturated. In the week before the race, Austin recommends replacing high-fiber foods with low-residue foods: For example, eat white pasta instead of quinoa.

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