Guide to carbo loading
A modern approach to carbohydrate loading for cyclists
Carbo Loading for endurance cyclists
Current (2005) theory with regards carboloading is a lot simpler and easier that it used to be. The protocol listed below is based on the recommendations of Ed Bourke, based on a study conducted by Dr Timothy Fairchild at the University of Western Australia. The abstract of Dr Fairchild's paper is at the end of this tip.
Here's the plan :
After a normal taper and normal training diet (around 7 grams of carbohydrate per kg of lean body mass), on the day prior to the target event, have a 10-15 minute E1 warmup, then ride for 150 seconds at E3 then sprint for 30 seconds. Then have as 10-15 minute E1 warmdown.
Then, eat 11grams per kilo of lean body mass carbohydrate (high GI), starting within the first 20 minutes after the training ride, over the next 24 hours.
So how much food is this?
For a 70kg lean rider, 11 grams/kg is 770 grams of carbohydrate. In useful figures, say weatbix, which are ~65% carbohydrate, that's around 1.2 kilograms of weetbix! Or, jelly snakes, which are about 80% carbs, that's 960grams (almost a kilogram!) of jelly snakes - that's 4 packets of them. A -lot- of sugar. Baked beans, around 19% carbs, 4.3 kg of baked beans (urg, I'm not riding in your slipstream!). San Remo pasta is 74% carbohydrate, so that's around 1.1kg of pasta (raw, dry). As pasta puts on a bit over twice its weight in water, to get all that carbohdrate from pasta would mean eating about 2.5kg of cooked pasta.
ReferenceRapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 34(6):980-986, June 2002.
FAIRCHILD, TIMOTHY J.; FLETCHER, STEVE; STEELE, PETER; GOODMAN, CARMEL; DAWSON, BRIAN; FOURNIER, PAUL A.
FAIRCHILD, T. J., S. FLETCHER, P. STEELE, C. GOODMAN, B. DAWSON, and P. A. FOURNIER. Rapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 980-986, 2002.
Purpose: One limitation shared by all published carbohydrate-loading regimens is that 2-6 d are required for the attainment of supranormal muscle glycogen levels. Because high rates of glycogen resynthesis are reported during recovery from exercise of near-maximal intensity and that these rates could in theory allow muscle to attain supranormal glycogen levels in less than 24 h, the purpose of this study was to examine whether a combination of a short bout of high-intensity exercise with 1 d of a high-carbohydrate intake offers the basis for an improved carbohydrate-loading regimen.
Methods: Seven endurance-trained athletes cycled for 150 s at 130% VO2peak followed by 30 s of all-out cycling. During the following 24 h, each subject was asked to ingest 12 g per kg of lean body mass (the equivalent of 10.3 g per kg body mass) of high-carbohydrate foods with a high glycemic index.
Results: Muscle glycogen increased from preloading levels (+/- SE) of 109.1 +/- 8.2 to 198.2 +/- 13.1 mmol per kg wet weight within only 24 h, these levels being comparable to or higher than those reported by others over a 2- to 6-d regimen. Densitometric analysis of muscle sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff not only corroborated these findings but also indicated that after 24 h of high-carbohydrate intake, glycogen stores reached similar levels in Type I, IIa, and IIb muscle fibers.
Conclusion: This study shows that a combination of a short-term bout of high-intensity exercise followed by a high-carbohydrate intake enables athletes to attain supranormal muscle glycogen levels within only 24 h.
(C)2002The American College of Sports Medicine