There are many tips that are out there when it comes to preparing yourself for a sporting event, but there are a few myths to avoid to be on top of your game.
There are many tips that are out there when it comes to preparing yourself for a sporting event, but there are five myths to avoid to be on top of your game.
1. Eat as much pasta as you can the night before the event
We have all been to that event where the pre-banquet pasta dinner is normally part of the entry price package. The problem with consuming too much pasta the night before a big event is that the body can only absorb X-amount of carbs – what you then find is a lot of food is still sitting in the stomach come race start and this creates that bloated feeling and additional gastrointestinal distress. The recommendation is to consume the carbohydrates gradually over the course of the 6 days prior to race day.
2. You will gain weight
This much is true but its more water weight add-ons than actual weight gain from fat. Don’t stand on the scale leading into race day, this might ease your frustration and discomfort levels. By the end of race day, you should be back feeling completely normal. Water weight will not slow you down on race day and can help you stay hydrated during the race itself.
3. I can now eat all the junk food I want
As we know, junk food does not do much for performance or our bodies in general so why load up on pizza, creamy pasta, doughnuts, and ice-cream just because they are rich in carbohydrates? Rather opt for whole carbs from quinoa, brown rice, fruit, sweet potatoes and legumes as additional sources of foods rich in carbohydrates.
4. You need to consume a ton of calories
If carbo-loading is done the right way, this should not result in any fat weight gain at all. Keep your calorie intake close to normal by eating more carbs and fewer fats. Keep your protein intake as per normal as this will ensure the muscles are recovered, strong, and ready to go come race day.
5. You can carbo-load for short events as well
We all naturally have glycogen stores (energy) within the muscle and any event that takes less than 60 minutes or so will not significantly reduce those glycogen stores. So, don’t go to all the effort of a carbo-loading protocol if you are not going to require additional energy supply. Short events do not need carb-loading.
There are a few ways in which to carry out a carbo-loading protocol. What is important to remember is that we are not all the same and will react differently. No two athletes are the same so its highly recommended you do this in training a few times before embarking on it come the all-important race week.