Carb loading is a big waste of time

Of course I’ve been convinced of this for a while now. There are several articles posted here on this blog pointing to research that shows that a high carb diet is completely unnecessary for sports performance.

Check out:

Why high carb diets don’t make any sense even for athletes

Do athletes really need a high carb diet?

The advantages of increased fat utilisation on performance for elite athletes

Art De Vany has been blogging about this very issue today over on his blog. Art’s blog is one of the most popular on the net so I’m sure you have all seen it, but just in case there is anyone who hasn’t I can’t recommend it highly enough. You can find it here.

Art says in a review of a paper called Muscle glycogen repletion after high-intensity intermittent exercise. by J. Appl. Physiol.: Respirat. Environ. Exercise Physiol. 4

This experiment concludes that supplementing with additional carbohydrate does NOT increase glycogen resynthesis after high intensity, intermittent exercise. Within 24 hours all subjects restored their glycogen to its pre-exercise level. There was no difference between those consuming 2500 calories of carbohydrate in addition to the regular meals and those who ate normally…..

Six normal subjects were studied after exhaustive, high-intensity intermittent exercise on a cycle ergometer. Subjects PC and CW (Table 1) were highly trained oarsmen, whereas the others, though active in daily training programs were not felt to reflect the same level of fitness. Work loads estimated for each subject approximately 140% of their maximal aerobic power. Subjects attempted to pedal for 1-min intervals with 3-min rest periods between, and continued until 30 s of exercise could no longer be maintained. Venous blood was sampled for lactate and glucose analysis. Muscle biopsies were extracted from the quadriceps before and immediately after exercise and at 2-, 5, 12-, and 24-h intervals thereafter for total glycogen analysis. Three subjects consumed a mixed controlled diet (approx. 3,100 kcal) during the 24 h after exercise, and three consumed the same diet plus an additional 2,50O/kcal carbohydrate. Following exercise, glycogen concentration had dropped to a mean value of approximately 28% of its preexercise value. After 2h, it had recovered to 39%, at 5h to 53%, at 12 h to 67%, and at 24 h to 102% of its pre-exercise value, with no difference in resynthesis rate between the two groups. It was concluded that, following glycogen depletion through intense intermittent exercise, complete recovery to preexercise values may be accomplished within 24 h; and that within this time period, the rate of resynthesis cannot be accelerated by a higher than normal carbohydrate intake.


About thegymmonkey

I'm a fitness junkie,interested in injury rehab and get back into competition. View all posts by thegymmonkey

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