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Q: How long does carbo-loading take? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: How long does carbo-loading take?
Category: Sports and Recreation > Training
Asked by: sherpaj-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 20 May 2004 20:47 PDT
Expires: 19 Jun 2004 20:47 PDT
Question ID: 349774
How long does carbo-loading take?

Can someone just load the night before, the week before?
What is the minimal amount need to carbo load.  Is a small portion of
pasta each evening enough, or do I have to eat it 3 times a day for a
week, and gain 10 pounds of body fat?

thanx in advnce
Subject: Re: How long does carbo-loading take?
Answered By: willie-ga on 21 May 2004 03:01 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, and thanks for the question

According to the Health Journal Site on Carbo Loading site at
"Sports nutritionists recommend increasing carbohydrate intake to at
least nine to 10 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (70 percent of
dietary kilocalories) two to three days before an event.

"This can be achieved by altering your training load and diet over a
seven day period before the race. Moderate training and normal diet
should be followed for the first four days. For the remaining three
days, low to moderate intensity exercise and a high carbohydrate diet
should be followed.

The Health Journal site also contains a food plan for carbo loading here:


The site at Columbia University's Health Question and Answer service ( )
says this about carbo loading:

During carbo average sized woman needs at least 300 -
400 grams of carbohydrate, and an average sized man needs 500 - 600
grams or more. Considering that a medium-sized apple contains 20
grams, a medium-sized banana has 27 grams, and one cup of cooked
broccoli has 9 grams, you'd have to consume an enormous quantity of
food (if you stuck to fruit and vegetables). In addition, the fiber in
such large amounts would cause gas and discomfort. Some people
experience diarrhea with very high fruit intake. If you carbo load
with only refined grains, you run the risk of becoming constipated. A
more sound approach would involve choosing from a variety of
carbohydrate sources. A combination of whole and refined grains,
fruits, vegetables, and some sugars is generally recommended to ensure
an adequate, healthful, and comfortable intake of carbohydrate. If you
are tapering your exercise, you need fewer calories than during the
days when you were still training.


The Triathalon training site at has two good pieces of

Eat tried-and-true foods.
If you drastically change your food choices (such as carbo-load by
eating several extra bananas), you may end up with intestinal
distress. Simply eat a comfortable portion of the tried-and-true
carbohydrates you've enjoyed during training. You need not stuff
yourself! If you will be traveling to a far-away event, plan ahead so
you can maintain a familiar eating schedule despite a crazy travel

Eat a moderate amount of fiber.
If you stuff yourself with lots of white bread, bagels, crackers,
pasta and other foods made with refined white flour, you may end up
constipated. Include enough fiber to promote regular bowel movements
but not too much fiber or you'll have the opposite problem! Moderate
amounts of whole-wheat bread, bran cereal, fruits and vegetables are
generally good choices. (If you are concerned about diarrhea, limit
your intake of high-fiber foods and instead consume more of the
refined breads and pastas

You'll find some carbo loading recipes here:


You should also be aware that there are some things to keep in mind if
you're planning to carbo load:

There are several things to keep in mind when you carbohydrate load. 
The Carbo Loading Protocol site at
has this to say:

- The exercise to deplete your glycogen stores must be the same as
your own competitive event, because glycogen stores are specific to
the muscle groups used.
- It is essential that you decrease your training the three days prior
to the triathlon. Too much running during this period will reduce your
glycogen stores and defeat the purpose of the entire process.
- There are several side effects of carbohydrate loading that may make
it inappropriate for some people. For each gram of glycogen stored,
additional water is stored. Some people note a feeling of stiffness
and heaviness associated with the increased glycogen storage. Once you
start exercising, however, these sensations will work out.
- If you have heart disease, diabetes and/or high blood triglycerides,
you may have problems if you carbohydrate load. When in doubt, check
with your doctor before attempting this regimen.
- Remember that carbohydrate loading will only help for continuous
exercise lasting more than 90 minutes. Greater than usual muscle
glycogen stores won't enable you to exercise harder during shorter
duration exercise.

Hope that answers your question, but please ask for clarification
before rating if anything is confusing


Google searches used
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"carbo loading" marathon running
"carb loading" diet
sherpaj-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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