Carbohydrate-Loading Diet

master.k.m.us.CarbohydrateLoadingDiet Taste of the Season

The Basics

Carbohydrates are the most efficient fuel for energy production. They can also be stored as glycogen in muscles and the liver, functioning as a readily available energy source for prolonged, strenuous exercise. For these reasons, carbohydrates may be the most important nutrient for sports performance.

The diet has two stages:

  • Depletion—The athlete performs the sport to the point of exhaustion to deplete stored carbos in specific muscles. Then the athlete follows a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for three days.
  • Carbo-loading—A high-carbohydrate diet (400 to 600 grams of carbohydrate per day) is eaten for three days while training is reduced.

Modified versions of this diet eliminate the depletion stage, or require a smaller amount of carbohydrate to be eaten, and appear to produce similarly effective results.

Ready, set, go! Follow the advice of a trained exercise expert when using this diet. Emphasize whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and carbohydrate-replacement beverages. Reduce intake of fatty foods to achieve a relatively high-carbohydrate diet.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.