Tag Archives: carb cycling

I Wrote a Thing About Carb Loading…

A friend of mine recently did Coast to Coast – that’s a 140 mile (225km) bike ride.  He asked me to put something together for what he could take with him to eat over the 2 day ride – I put together a little thing for him – from 8 days prior to his event.

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This is what I wrote:

Carb loading to help performance

Carbs, broken down to the most simplistic are simple & complex.  Simple are sugars & complex are starches & fibre. Simple carbs are from milk, table sugar, fruit sugar & honey.  Complex carbs are from whole grains, vegetables, seeds, cereals & potatoes.

Complex carbs are better to eat than fats, as storing fat doesn’t require energy, whereas converting carbs to fat does.  Eg:  300 cal of carb, converted to fat equals 270 carbs, whereas 300cal of fat is still 300cal

Blood sugar & insulin levels spike when you eat carbs, how fast depends on what you’ve eaten. There’s stuff about eating low GI foods, to help aid athletes.  Anything lower that 55 on the GI index is low GI, above 70 is high GI & everything else is middle GI.

Low GI examples: grains, pasta, noodles, low-fat dairy & nuts.

High GI: White bread, white rice, instant mash, biscuits, cake etc.

Low GI, ideally should be consumed 2-4 hours before endurance exercise.  High GI will give you a boost, but it’s short lived & could produce temporary hypoglycemia.

Lower GI improves satisfaction feelings after eating & can help control weight too.

 

I guess, you really wanna know how much you should eat as well though?  Ha.  So, basically the more you weigh, the more glycogen stores you have (this is stuff that is stored in your muscles & is released during exercise – so storing it is goooooood for endurance)

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1-3 hours a day of cycling equates to 7-12g per KG of bodyweight

Over 4 hours a day equates to 12g per KG of bodyweight.

So, if you weigh 80kg for example & are doing 2 hours a day, you need around 10g per kilo, or around 800g of carb per day (800g in calories is 3200)

My info suggests carb loading 7 days prior to an event, there are three different options for this (& it involves tapering off your training for that week)

YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT – but if you carb load correctly, it’s glycogen being stored in your muscles ready for your epic cycle.

Carb loading, combined with rest & sleep has been proved to decrease fatigue by 20% & improve performance by 3%

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Classic carb loading:

Day 1:

Normal Training

Normal Diet

 

Day 2:

Prolonged/exhaustive exercise

LOW carb diet

 

Day 3:

Tapered Training

Low Carb

 

Day 4:

Tapered Training

Low Carb

 

Day 5:

Tapered Training

High carb

 

Day 6:

As day 5

 

Day 7:

As day 5

 

Day 8: EVENT.

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Modified carb loading:

Day 1:

Endurance Training

Normal Diet

 

Day 2:

Tapered Training

Moderate carb diet

 

Day 3:

Tapered Training

Low Carb

 

Day 4:

As day 3

 

Day 5:

Tapered Training

High carb

 

Day 6:

As day 5

 

Day 7:

As day 5

 

Day 8: EVENT.

******************************

Modern Carb Loading:

 

Day 1:

Tapered Training

Normal Diet

 

Day 2:

Tapered Training

LOW carb diet

 

Day 3:

Tapered Training

Low Carb

 

Day 4:

Tapered Training

Low Carb

 

Day 5:

Tapered Training

High carb

 

Day 6:

As day 5

 

Day 7:

Warm up & 3 minute high intensity

High carb – 10g per KG of BW
Day 8: EVENT.

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So yeah, that was what I wrote for him.

I’ve never attempted carb loading myself (I’ve done carb cycling in the past) but perhaps at some point in the future what I wrote for him, may come in handy for myself!

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Week 1 – 6 of Intermittent Fasting

So, do you guys remember through the past few posts of mine I’ve mentioned a change in my diet?  Yeah.  I’ve been fasting for the past 11 weeks, however my blog post was getting quite long so I decided to break it up.

This is part one

I’ve been looking at changes to my diet, not faddy changes or “Do this for xx weeks & drop x dress size”, no.  Something that is right for me. For life. Probably….hopefully.  I did Dukan a few years ago,but it wasn’t feasible to do something like that long term; even though everything I read about it said that you could – I personally felt that it wasn’t.  I looked in to IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) but, still being a n00b to all things macro it sounded epically complicated.  A colleague of mine told me about Lean Gains, so I looked in to it….It also didn’t feel 100% right, but I pursued this path & finally (after discussing it with Andy) settled on Intermittent Fasting.  I chose to eat between 2pm & 10pm – meaning my 7:30am gym sessions would be fasted.

May the fourth.  Day 1 of IF.

I have my BCAA, prepped 4 days worth of food stuffs & Omega 3 supplements.  I’ve read countless articles on-line about it & have sought the advice of Andy, my PT as well as a colleague who has been on an IFplan for some time.

I. AM. READY.

Well, sort of.  I’ve read that IF can whack female hormones out of balance & if you’re completely ravenous you SHOULD eat because that’s your body’s way of alerting you to something being really wrong. (something to do with the instinct to be able to carry life & whathaveyou) also, I’ve decided to learn my macros as I go. I know what they should be, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with food that I instantly know whether I need more protein or more carbs, etc.

I got a little peckish around 11am, but didn’t give in. I got myself a huge cup of water & chugged those til it got to 2pm…..the start of my eating window!!  I easily blasted through 1,000 calories at lunch & felt quite, quite stuffed.  Returned home after work & ate some Greek yoghurt with nuts/seeds/oats and had my dinner an hour later.

I’m below my calorie intake for the day, but not by much.  I could quite easily only eat 1,000 calories in a day before, so being at 2,000+ today is a pretty big deal.  I still feel full.

Measurements:

  • Underbust: 29
  • Waist 32.5
  • high hip 37
  • hip 41
  • thigh 20.5
  • calf 15
  • bicep 10.5

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Day 2 – quick update.  Still felt full when I went to bed, woke up & wasn’t hungry.  However, slept longer than I’d have liked to. Not sure if I was too tired or whether it was a weird side effect of LG.

Day 6 -weighed myself in the gym yesterday, showing a 3kg (6lb) loss.

Week 2:

Hunger still kicking in at around the 11:30am, however most days I have stayed strong – only nibbling on a smidge of protein if I felt like my stomach was gonna eat itself.

I’ve not used My Fitness Pal this week to track macros, I’ve not used anything & I know I need to rectify this.  MFP has been too inaccurate due to needing different levels of calories on training and non-training days.

I did go to the gym one morning without previously having BCAA’s – which I will never do again!  I had to admit defeat and stop training because everything just felt too heavy.

Eating seems to be falling in to a slight pattern:

Training:

2pm Breakfast

4pm Lunch

6:30pm Snack

8pm Dinner

Non Training:

2pm: Lunch

5pm: Snack

7pm: Dinner

Week 3:

My hunger pangs have gradually started to take longer to appear, ranging to mostly after 12pm now.  Tiredness subsiding & training getting back to normal in the gym.

ended up ravenous one morning, so ate when I woke & then didn’t touch food for about 9 hours.

Week 4:

Towards the end of the week I’ve started to get tired again, I’ve not tracked my macros this week (oops) which I know I should have, however I know the tiredness is due to not eating properly, so from tomorrow (start of week 5) I’ll be on more structure (hopefully)

Week 5:

The weeks seem to be flying though. This week – tracking macros a little better than I have been, I’ve lost about 10lb since I started too!  Strength training is starting to normalise as well – not back up to weights on a few moves but not as bad as it has been, sought advice from a different PT as I wondered if it was psychosomatic but he said it’s most likely to be the lack of calories on a morning; which I guess makes sense.

Week 6:

Macro counting religiously didn’t last long, I still check it from time to time, but I tend to focus on what I’m eating – I weigh my foods out when portioning for work & ensure to include good carbs in every meal.

Weight training is/was getting back to normal – I seem to be balancing out now my body is getting used to training fasted….mostly.  i have a new programme as well.  This week has not been good for training though, I’ve not had as much training time as I’d have liked, but it’s almost a new week!

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I told a few people what I was doing & I got some really, really mixed reactions.  Some were supportive but a lot were confused as to why I was doing it.  I don’t need to justify my eating habits to anyone, & I definitely do not need the opinions of others thrust down my throat about why I shouldn’t do it, cos “I don’t need to lose weight” it’s not about weight loss & it never has been.  I struggled to get up early enough to eat a decent breakfast prior to going to the gym on a morning.  This way I can grab an extra half hour’s sleep, drink my BCAA while I cycle & then drink my bodyweight in coffee/water until my feeding window.

The science behind IF is just:

 Fasting can accelerate fat loss by creating a favourable metabolic environment for the mobilisation and burning of fatty acids. Such environment is characterised by lower insulin (the “storage” hormone) and higher growth hormone levels. In addition, exercising in a fasted state can further enhance the fat-burning effect.  A favourable metabolic environment means you have the potential to burn fat. The degree to which you actually do depends on a number of factors, including your body’s ability to run on fat rather that “sugar” (or glucose, the preferred source of energy).

**Weeks 7-12 will be published in early August, due to having minor spinal surgery next week.**

A mild image spam for you with special thanks to Andy for the deadlift pic (taken between May 5th & end of June)

*I’m aware most images are of my back – however, that’s been my main focus for strength, so shut up!*

If you would like to know more about IF,  http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting is a great start