I am excited to share with you a fantastic article that was written by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD in the recent June 2012 issue of Bicycling Magazine. On pg 39, there is a "how to" section on creating the perfect smoothie to meet your needs. As a lover of smoothies, it was a privilege to provide a quote in this article (pg 38). I invite you to purchase this issue or subscribe to the magazine (check out the website as well, here).
It's the beginning of the month so you know what that means....another article of mine in the monthly FREE Iron Girl newsletter! I know this topic gets a lot of discussion so I am happy to share my thoughts. Enjoy!
Is Carb Loading Necessary?
-Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N
A somewhat ritualistic approach for many endurance athletes, the typical pre-race "pasta party" needs little explanation for its purpose. Scientifically proven to boost endurance in events lasting more than two hours in duration, loading strategies vary but the premise remains the same. Effective to increase and saturate muscle glycogen stores in order to reduce risk of exercise-induced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and prolong endurance by reducing chance for fatigue, a balanced "carb-rich" diet, while tapering for a big event, may certainly put your body at a competitive advantage on race day.
Carbohydrate selection and timing are key on the days preceding a race. There is no reason to fear the foods that belong in the category "carbohydrates." For a balanced diet of 50-60% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and 25-30% fat should encourage stable blood sugar levels and provide several opportunities to "fill" your muscles with glycogen on race week. As you taper your training volume, remind yourself that your body is constantly "fueling" for race day and experimentation, racing distance/time, fitness and racing intensity will contribute to how you nutritionally prepare for your race day.
Carbs extend far beyond bagels and pasta. Fruits, veggies, dairy, whole grains and starches are groups of endless options that can be used to fuel your lifestyle. Here's a sample diet (not including water, which should be consumed throughout the day), showing how you can responsibly enjoy a "carb-rich", balanced diet on the 1-2 days preceding your race:
½ cup oats
3 eggs (1 whole, 2 whites)
½ cup berries
1 cup nonfat milk
1 slice toast
½ tbsp nut butter
Total: 510 calories, 68g carbohydrate, 14g fat, 34 protein
¼ cup trail mix (nuts, raisins, cheerios, pretzels)
1 cup mixed veggies
2 cups vegetable soup
1 cup brown rice
3 ounces lean animal or plant based protein (ex. chicken or tofu)
Total (using chicken breast): 558 calories, 88g carbohydrate, 6g fat, 37g protein
1 medium piece fruit
½ cup non-fat yogurt
¼ cup granola or cereal
½ small banana + 2 tsp nut butter
Conventional: 2 cups whole grain pasta with meatless sauce
Dinner salad with ½ tbsp oil
Total: 595 calories, 101g carbohydrate, 13g fat, 18g protein
Atypical: Sweet or baked potato with 2-3 ounces lean animal protein (or plant based)
Dinner salad with ½ tbsp oil
1 whole grain roll w/ 2 tsp butter
Total: (using 3 ounces cooked tempeh for protein, 8 ounce sweet potato): 610 calories, 77g carbohydrate, 26g fat, 25g protein
Post dinner snack (optional):
5 dates or 1 package raisins
Total meal calories (not counting snack suggestions): 1763 calories, 266g carbohydrates (60% calories from carbs), 45g fat (23% calories from fat), 80g protein (18% calories from protein)
Marni works as a PRN Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Medical Center Beaches and is the owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC. Marni is a Registered Dietitian, holding a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and holds a certification by the American Dietetic Association in Adult Weight Management. As an elite endurance athlete, Marni recently won the 2012 Iron Girl Half Marathon and she is a Level-1 USAT Coach and a 5x Ironman and 2x Ironman Worldchampionship finisher. Marn is a 110% play harder, Hammer Nutrition and Oakley Women ambassador. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Fitness Magazine, Bicyling magazine, The Florida Times-Union Shorelines, Lava Magazine, Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to IronGirl.com, USAT multisport zone and Lava online.