notes on carbo-loading

I’ve never really carbo-loaded before. The only running event I’ve partaken in was a 5K, which really didn’t require any carbo-loading. In my search for tips and what sorts of food to eat, I turned to RunnersWorld.com.

I found a couple of good articles about carbo-loading. One was Carbo-loading Rules to Run By. Here are a few notes from that article I found particularly important:

  • Carbo-load for events that will last 90 minutes or longer
  • Drinking carbs helps you feel less bloated & weighed down
  • Be careful of how much fiber you take in
  • Go with low-fat  foods
  • If you need a snack before bed, eat applesauce
  • You should gain 3-4 pounds if you’ve carbo-loaded properly
  • Have a small dinner the night before, but have it carb-heavy
  • Take in 3-5 grams of carbs per pound, especially 2-3 days before the event (that is 524 grams a day for me)

There was also a nice list of food sources for carbs in this article:

  • Starches: bread, pasta, rice, cereal, bagel, oatmeal, pancake, English muffin, tortilla, couscous, low-fat muffin, gnocchi, polenta and quinoa
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, peas, pumpkin, squash, beans and lentils
  • Fruit: bananas, apples, peaches, pears, pineapple, oranges, cherries, mango, kiwi, any form of dried fruit, canned fruit
  • Dairy: flavored low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt
  • Snacks: pretzels, animal crackers, Fig Newtons, low-fat granola bar, low-fat crackers, baked chips, and graham crackers
  • Beverages: flavored low-fat milk, juice, sports drink, Boost or Ensure, low-fat smoothie
  • Sports Bars/Energy Bars: PowerBar Performance Bar, Clif Bar, Honey Stinger Bar (Some sports bars are geared toward high protein, not high carb. These are not the bars to choose when carb loading.)
  • Extras: honey, fruit preserves or jam and maple syrup

The other article, The Right Way to Carbo-load Before a Race, had a bit more science-y sounding info. But what I liked most was this list of a possible day of food (this is for a 150-pound person). So here’s what my days might look like later this week, give or take some stuff. Like the Swedish Fish–I don’t eat sweets, so I’d need something else–or just cut those extra carbs out (too many for me anyways).

  • BREAKFAST
    1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
    1 medium banana (27 g)
    8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
    8 ounces orange juice (26 g)
  • MORNING SNACK
    2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey
    Granola Bars (29 g)
    8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)
  • LUNCH
    1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
    1 sourdough roll (40 g)
    8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
    1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)
  • AFTERNOON SNACK
    1 Clif Bar (42 g)
    8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)
  • DINNER
    1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
    1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)
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