Forum home Mountain biking forum Health, fitness & training

Carb Loading

RanklesRankles Posts: 144
edited February 2012 in Health, fitness & training
What are your opinions on carb loading? In the ever clashing world of diet and fitness tips I'm confused by this one.

I've been on a general fitness, weight loss and strength training program for a year and have seen great improvements in body fat %, strength and stamina. I did all this with a high protein low carb general diet.

I have seen massive improvements in my cycling and am happy with the diet. Whilst my trainer recommends carb loading for events (despite also being on a high protein diet generally) I am confused by the science. If the muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen, and this needs replenishing frequently with 36g carbs an hour or so, surely well timed pre ride meals and snacks are more than enough, and carb loading for days in advance are just excessive?

Posts

  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    I agree. It sounds like bollocks to me aswell. A good breakfast or tea the night before is all you need. The njsut eat sensibly whilst you're riding.
  • Rankles wrote:
    If the muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen, and this needs replenishing frequently with 36g carbs an hour or so, surely well timed pre ride meals and snacks are more than enough, and carb loading for days in advance are just excessive?

    +1 agree with your summary and the response from styxd is always how I've approached bigger rides.
    Current bike: 2014 Kinesis Racelight T2 - built by my good self!
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    styxd wrote:
    I agree. It sounds like bollocks to me aswell. A good breakfast or tea the night before is all you need. The njsut eat sensibly whilst you're riding.
    Pretty much this. Porridge ftw :)
  • Noel PTNoel PT Posts: 627
    It gives some people comfort in knowing they are prepared. Mental vs physical....who knows. But it cant hurt especially considering it means you hydrating loads!
  • Carbo loading is very worthwhile if you are racing for more than 4 hours IMO.

    Taken from http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/08/ ... trategies/

    "Carb loading is more than just eating pasta the night before a race. In my work with triathletes and cyclists I find very few eat enough to do it properly. The studies here compared proper carb loading to a more moderate carbohydrate intake. There’s three good ones that used TT measures – a 90 minute steady state with a 16km TT, a 2 hour steady state (with interspersed sprints) and 60 minute TT (distance covered in one hour), and a one-off 70km TT. The performance benefits of proper carb loading were 3.3%, 4.1% and 4.0% respectively. That equated to nearly a five minute savings in a 70km TT."
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    Usain Bolt ate some chicken nuggets and watched some T.V. before beating the new world record...
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
    De Rosa R838
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    I do carb load, but only for sub threshold events, where a high proportion of the fuel is stored fats, so generally if it's >3-4 hours I will carb load.
  • RanklesRankles Posts: 144
    I found this article http://www.marathontraining.com/articles/art_39th.htm

    It explains some of the science behind it and gives examples, although it seems that for two hour or so races it would have no effect, for four - six hour events you'd probably have enough gels and drinks on you to make do just fine and therefore maybe it's useful for 12 and 24 hour races?

    The way it explains it, it would be like filling your car with fuel before a long journey, as opposed to filling it half way and stopping every couple of hours to fill up. As long as there are petrol stations on the way, you shouldn't really have an issue...
  • agg25agg25 Posts: 619
    Rushmore wrote:
    Usain Bolt ate some chicken nuggets and watched some T.V. before beating the new world record...

    I would hope you'd know the difference between a 10 second sprint and a 4+ hour cycling event.
Sign In or Register to comment.