Carb-Loading Made Easy!
• Complex Carbs (100% whole grain breads and pasta) should be ingested the 1st day, then transition to simple carbs during the 2nd day of carb-loading.)
• Avoid complex carbs on the 3rd day of carb-loading; stick mainly with simple carbs (but don't try anything new you haven't tried during your training).
• Raise the total percentage of daily carbs from 60-70% to 70-80% during the three carb-loading days. (Remember that your overall total calorie intake should remain about the same, so to increase the % of carbs, cut back a little on the protein % and fat %.)
• Bananas and salty pretzels eaten during your carb-load will ensure that you haven't depleted your sodium and potassium levels from the additional hydration during carb-loading.
• Last big meal should be 12-15hrs prior to the race start.
• Over hydration can be just as bad (if not worse) than dehydration because it can deplete vital electrolytes. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the carb-loading phase, but no need to drink excessive amounts.
• A light high-carb breakfast 2-3 hours before the race is wise and should consist of about 300 calories. (A little protein in fine, but stay away from the fat. Both take longer to digest and can make you feel sluggish during your run.)
• Don't be alarmed if you gain a few pounds. It's mostly water retention from the extra carbs. You'll sweat out the extra pounds during the race.