Carbohydrate loading diet is meant for athletes. It a way to store more energy before a game, so that it improves performance.
Carbohydrates are the biggest source of energy and fuel for your body. They are then converted to glucose, which is the prime pool of energy that your body utilizes to perform daily tasks. Carbohydrates are also used by our brain to form energy, which is used by performing any strenuous mental activity. Consuming complex carbs helps in accelerating your metabolic rate, which in turn speeds up the process of burning calories. The concept of a carbohydrate diet is used by several athletes to store up energy before a big day. This kind of diet helps in performing better and maintains a good level of energy till the end of the game.
Concept of Carbohydrate Loading
Carbohydrate loading strategy is used by athletes to increase their levels of glucose prior to a game. This is not just about changing the diet, but also about changing training routines. This helps in increasing the endurance levels, stamina and glucose levels (which is a direct source of energy for the body). The carbohydrate loading procedure stretches over seven days. On day 1 and 2, the athlete is supposed to perform intense exercises to deplete the energy levels. For days 2-3 dietary carbs are reduced and intensity of exercises is also lowered. Then just 3-4 days before the event, dietary carbs are increased to send a signal to the muscles to take in as much glycogen as they can to compensate for the carbs that have been lost in the previous days.
The other method prescribes eating a carb rich meal just for three days before the event and reducing physical activity to store energy. This is very popular carbohydrate loading formula which mainly includes list of high carbohydrate foods. This diet aims to build your stamina and endurance for the game. This diet plan will prevent you from getting fatigued during the game and provide you with enough energy all through the innings. This has to be followed for three to four days in a row before the actual day.
|Carbohydrate Loading Diet Plan|
|Breakfast||Begin your day with three bowls of high carbohydrate cereals mixed with 1½ cup of milk. Supplement it with a banana and a glass of orange juice.|
|Lunch||Two white bread sandwiches with fried chicken and any other desired filling. One tub of yogurt and one glass of smoothie. You can use any fruit of your choice to make the smoothie.|
|Snack||The hunger in between the meals can be satiated with a glass of milkshake and some cookies.|
|Dinner||Allow yourself a sumptuous dinner of pasta cooked in cheese and milk. Supplement it with some garlic bread and two glasses of fruit juice of your choice|
Loading carbohydrates in your system will give the all the energy you need to perform the task. However, this kind of diet comes with a few cons too. If you aren’t used to having a lot of carbs then it can cause indigestion, leading to problems such as gases and belching. It may also result in stomach cramps, loose stools and bloating, which may hamper your performance. Eating a lot of carbohydrates can also lead to weight gain. They can also tamper your blood sugar levels, which in turn can prove you unfit for the competition. This diet isn’t a prescribed one for every athlete. As every body type is different, the dietary intake differs too. Thus, get in touch with a dietitian to know what is the suitable diet for you.