Spring racing season is in full swing. However, although most endurance athletes have heard about carbohydrate loading and know that it’s something they should do prior to events, most fail to actually properly carbohydrate load.
Carbohydrate loading refers to the practice of maximizing carbohydrate stores prior to a competition that would deplete these stores, which is generally events lasting longer than 90 minutes. Carbohydrate loading can be achieved by consuming 10-12 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight in the 2-3 days prior to the event.
This increased carbohydrate consumption is accompanied with a decreased fat and protein consumption. This is where many athletes go wrong. For instance, they order alfredo pasta or a cheese and meat loaded lasagna, which while it contains carbohydrates, is very high in fat. Most athletes will also find it beneficial to select lower fibre options to help prevent GI issues on race days. This may mean going against nutrition advice that has likely been drilled into your brain such as selecting white breads over whole wheat bread or passing on the veggies.
So what are some good high carbohydrate meals to eat in the days leading up to an endurance event? Read on for my top 5 meals and snacks that will top your carbohydrate stores for race day.
- Bagel with jam and a banana and orange juice
- Pancakes topped with blueberries and maple syrup
- Oatmeal made with milk with fruit mixed and a cup of orange juice
- Spaghetti with tomato sauce and a dinner roll
- Sandwich with turkey deli meat and homemade fruit smoothie
- Mango and pretzel sticks
- Low fibre cereal with milk
- Slice of toast with jam
- Chocolate milk and a banana
- Dried fruit and animal crackers
With all the hard work you’ve put into training, make sure that your nutrition plan will help you reach your race day goals.
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