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The importance of carb loading for endurance sports

What is carb loading?

Carb loading literally means loading up on carbohydrates and is especially important during longer, higher-intensity efforts. In doing so, you will replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles in the run-up to an important event. This will ensure that you arrive at the start full of energy and avoid the bonk towards the end of the race.

During training and daily tasks (even while sleeping), you consume energy. Heavy training will deplete your muscles. Your muscles are where glycogen is stored and glycogen is the first supply of energy your body will draw on during exercise.

For shorter workouts up to an hour and a half, you don't need to stack carbohydrates & can get enough energy from burning fat.

When to carb load?

Luckily, you don't need to stack carbohydrates before every workout or race. It is especially recommended for endurance athletes to do this during endurance challenges where you where you do at least 3 hours of sport, such as a marathon, triathlon, gran fondo, ...

There is no need to eat overflowing plates for days on end. It is sufficient to carb load 1 day before race day. 2 days (or longer) is also possible, but its effect has not been scientifically proven.
Stop carb loading about an hour and a half before the event. This way, you will give your body maximum energy before the start.

How to carb load?

Make sure your breakfast, lunch and dinner consist of carbohydrates as much as possible. Try to avoid fibre and fats, as these will stress your stomach, which now has to do a good job of digesting those carbohydrates smoothly and recharging your energy battery.

Typical ingredients for such meals are: white pasta, white rice, pancakes or white bread with sweet toppings, ...
However, there is an additional challenge: you need to take in 7 to 10g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight. So someone weighing 70kg needs to consume 490 to 700g of carbohydrates. That's a lot.

SANAS carboloader

SANAS Carboloader to the rescue

You may be able to get a lot of carbohydrates from your regular meals, but this will still not be enough. Carbohydrate-rich snacks (such as gingerbread, bananas, etc.) will be needed to completely replenish your supply. But, even then, you'll have to eat a lot of food again.

An alternative to this is a carbohydrate-rich drink such as our SANAS Carboloader.

1 water bottle of 500ml Carboloader provides you with 70g of carbohydrates*. Drink these slowly over time, no need to pour them in at once. 

Besides, this way of carb-loading has an additional advantage: your fluid balance is also further replenished ;-)

* equivalent of 4 slices of white bread, 390g uncooked potatoes or 100g dry pasta




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