Carbohydrate Needs

During heavy training you must increase your kcal intake, especially from carbohydrates (CHO), to meet your energy demands. Failure to do so may result in:

♦ Chronic muscular fatigue.

♦ A feeling of staleness.

♦ Weight and muscle mass loss.

CHO for Endurance Training

The endurance capacity of an individual on a high-CHO diet is approximately 3 times greater than on a high-fat diet. When CHO intake is low, several days of rigorous training will deplete muscle CHO (glycogen) stores and eventually impair performance. CHO should supply 60 -65% of your total daily kcal intake. Keep a dietary log for a few days to see if your CHO intake is adequate.

Worksheet 11-1. Calculate Your Daily CHO Needs

Your EER*

Your EER*

You should eat to kcal from CHO per day.

kcal from CHO per day.

kcals from CHO daily.

* Your estimated energy requirement (EER) was calculated in Chapter 1, Worksheet 1-2. To calculate grams of CHO see Worksheet 2-1.

CHO Loading

CHO Loading, or glycogen supercompensation, is a regimen that combines diet and exercise to "pack" more CHO (glycogen) into muscle. It is used by endurance athletes to optimize physical performance during prolonged endurance events. CHO loading is unnecessary for individuals who eat according to the dietary guidelines outlined in Chapter 3 and whose CHO intakes are within the range calculated in Worksheet 11-1.

CHO for Strength Training

CHO are required for strength training because the exercises rely on muscle glycogen stores for energy. CHO should supply 55-60% of your total daily caloric intake. This is slightly lower than the requirements for endurance activities (see Worksheet 11-1) because the total amount of energy expended is less.

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