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Carb Loading

rivrrat

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I know that marathon runners, etc, do it, but what about us normal folks? hehe

This weekend I'm going to be boogie boarding my old stomping ground for the first time in years. I'm going to be kicking my way down 26 miles of whitewater on Sat and 13 miles on Sunday. Now, while this kind of activity in the past was "the norm", it isn't any longer. And, when it was the norm - I ate whatever the hell I wanted, whenever the hell I wanted, and as much of it as I wanted because I required massive calories just to keep going. I don't eat that way any longer since I don't do that amount of exercise daily any longer.

What I'm wondering is: Would I benefit from some increased carb intake the next couple of days in light of the marathon and a half of work I'm about to do?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Oh yeah. Any time you're going to do a whole Hell of a lot more activity than your normal, you benefit from carb loading.

If it takes as long to boogieboard 13 miles as it seems like it would, it'd probably be a good idea to load up on fats, too.

Olive oil goes really well with breads and pastas.
 

digsbe

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It all depends on calories. What you want is calories from energy whether it be carbs, fats, or proteins. Calories know no bias. Carbs are specifically good for glycogen reserves and blood sugar, but other than that it isn't super special. Just eat what you need to and measure the calorie intake.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Carb calories enter the system quicker and leave the system quicker. Fat takes longer to digest, so provides reserves that will be available later in the day.
 

ludahai

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I agree with Kormyr... any time I will run a half-marathon on up or any distance duathlon/triathlon I will carbo-load, and for the same reason it will benefit you. It gives you a store of energy your body can access relatively easily. I don't know how long it will take you to do this, but I know many ultra-marathoners will also add some extra fat (ie cheese with their spaghetti) to get them over the long haul of a 100km run...
 

rivrrat

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If I do the full 26 miles tomorrow, it'll take about 8 hours
If I do just the first half, it'll take about 4 - 5 hours.

That's 5 - 8 hours in 60 degree water, kicking my legs pretty much the whole time. LOL

The reason I wondered is because I looked up some info and there was conflicting information. Some info said something about spiking your sugar and insulin too much, some said something about having to workout really, really hard about a week before, while eating NO carbs, (to completely deplete your system) then to carb load 4 days prior and not work out at all for the 3 days prior, etc. I wasn't really talking about something THAT drastic.

I was just thinking more along the lines of doubling or tripling my carb intake yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And I didn't do my normal workout yesterday and won't today. (mainly because I just vamped up my workout and my muscles are actually pretty sore, I figured it best to let them rest before I put a whammy on them tomorrow)

I hadn't really thought about fat intake, but that's a good idea too. I just never worried about such things before because I just naturally consumed all the fuel I needed since I didn't need to worry about my weight. But, I didn't want to get part way down the river and just be zapped. There's no getting off the river early. Once I'm on, I'm committed.

I'm going to bring some power bars with me that have high carbs and high sodium. They're "high endurance" power bars or something. LOL Looked like the easiest way to bring something along to eat in the morning and halfway through.

I just wasn't sure if eating some extra carbs in the days prior would have any benefit since I wasn't going to do the whole "workout to exhaustion, no carbs, then max carbs" thing that some sites suggested.
 

digsbe

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Carb calories enter the system quicker and leave the system quicker. Fat takes longer to digest, so provides reserves that will be available later in the day.
The entry the system quicker, but they don't leave any faster. All excess calories turn to fat, and sugars replenish glycogen reserves (of which typically hold 1500-3000 calories of sugar energy). Once those are filled, it's all fat.
 

Orion

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You can carb load the night before. Your liver will convert most of the glucose to glycogen and store it, as long as you maintain low physical activity. On the day of the activity, eat a high protein, high fat meal to start your day. Protein breaks down more gradually and is converted to energy in a more stable way. Then you'll have an excellent primary energy source in you, and once it's used up, your glycogen stores will kick in. That should carry you the rest of the day.

Is there no way for you to bring a dry bag with some snacks in it?
 

rivrrat

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You can carb load the night before. Your liver will convert most of the glucose to glycogen and store it, as long as you maintain low physical activity. On the day of the activity, eat a high protein, high fat meal to start your day. Protein breaks down more gradually and is converted to energy in a more stable way. Then you'll have an excellent primary energy source in you, and once it's used up, your glycogen stores will kick in. That should carry you the rest of the day.

Is there no way for you to bring a dry bag with some snacks in it?
Most likely we'll go out for breakfast prior, which will likely be eggs and bacon for me. How's that for protein and fat? ;) hehe

I can bring a dry bag, yes, and my friend who is going to be in a raft *might* be bringing a lunch cooler for himself and his friends he's taking down. Especially if we're doing the whole damn 26 miles. Still easiest to bring small, easy to pack, easy to eat stuff. Which is why I grabbed some powerbars. I don't *like* them, but they're quick sources of calories, protein, carbs, and that precious sodium.
 

ludahai

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Since you mentioned rest beforehand, I typically rest for forty hours before a race. I will have a light workout the Friday morning of a Sunday morning race (half-marathon or higher) and then rest. For a short race like a 10km, I am a little more liberal about workouts on the Friday before. For a half- or full- Ironman, I completely rest for two full days. I don't know what your level of fitness is, but you may want to add a day or two to the rest if you are not an accomplished athlete.
 
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