Carb-loading, what is it and what are the advantages?

10 August 2020

Carb-loading, what is it and what are the advantages?

Carb-loading, what is it and what are the advantages?

Carb-loading, short for carbohydrate loading, appeared in the late 1960s and until then the method has suffered changes. Is considered a pre-competition strategy, where the significant increase in carbohydrate consumption is used to improve sports performance by increasing energy levels and preventing fatigue.

This is a strategy used before an endurance competition, as it can significantly raise glycogen levels above normal values (50 to 100% increase). The main benefits of carb-loading are to boost endurance and performance as well as allowing athletes to be able to perform the tests for longer.

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The protocols has suffered some changes and each athlete chooses the carb-loading method according to their metabolism. The Carb-loading method most used today is:

• Carrying out a long workout, before the week of competition, accompanied by a diet consisting of 50 to 60% of carbohydrates. Throughout the week there should be a gradual decrease in the intensity and duration of training;
• In the 3 days before the event, you should start the carbohydrate loading phase, changing the diet to a 70% carbohydrate composition, reducing this way the percentage of protein and fat;
• On the day before the competition, low-intensity training should be performed or there should be no exercise to allow the body to store more muscle glycogen.

The days when carbohydrate consumption remains high serves to recover muscle glycogen, thereby improving performance and reducing muscle wasting. In addition, it can improve hormonal function (leptin and ghrelin) that regulate satiety and appetite, thus helping in the management of body weight.

On the other hand, on days when food is low in carbohydrates, there is an improvement in metabolic flexibility and the body's ability to burn fat (as an energy source) in the long term. Another factor that improves significantly with this restriction is insulin sensitivity, an important marker.

To help you supplement your carbohydrate load, on carb-loading days, we have available Waxy Maize from Rocksprint, a supplement produced with a special type of starch, which is called waxy corn. It is an innovative carbohydrate that allows instant energy to be obtained, free of fats, free of gluten and does not cause swelling or fluid retention.

This supplement has multiple benefits:
- Provides instant energy;
- Ergogenic effect: stimulates the will and the ability to train;
- Improves the absorption of nutrients (Creatine, Arginine, B-Alanine);
- Improves recovery after intense training;
- Fast muscle nutrition.

Although the reports are very positive in relation to the mechanisms of carb-loading and there are several professionals that recommend the method, it should always be done individually with a health professional who knows your goals and health in general.

Any questions, book your Online Counseling, completely free.

By Adriana Martins, Nutritionist

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