Yes! Finally a a great excuse to eat soooo much bread and pasta… and cookies… I hope.
I have an 8 hour relay bike race this weekend. I have done a few and ALWAYS feel so tired after just two laps. This time, I am aiming for 3, totalling 30km, and this time, I am making a conscious effort to eat a lot of carbs leading up to the race.
So, why carb load? Because your body can only store enough glycogen/energy for 90 minutes of exercise (which happens to be about 2 laps of this bike race, and when I get tired). There are sports drinks and gels (gross) that can give you a temporary spike in energy, but the best approach is to carb load 3 days before an event to maximize energy.
How many carbs should I eat? You’ll have to do the math on this one. On an average day a person would eat 5-7g/kg of body weight. On a carb loading day, up it to 8-10g/kg of body weight.
What to eat you ask? For meals, eat a lot of whole grains; bread with peanut butter, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, chicken and brown rice. For a snack, think a bit simpler; bread and honey, energy bars, and rice cakes with jam. The sugary bits gives the quick boost you might need during the race or between laps. Add protein to your meals in order to slow the digestion of carbs. This makes them last longer, which is good for endurance type events.
Here is where I got my information, and you can learn more,
I want to eat carbs without wanting to kill myself! -The Holiday