Carbohydrate Loading and Ergogenic Aids to Improve Endurance Performance

Carbohydrate Loading: – Loading period 3 days prior to race. I don’t recommend a full depletion diet (days 4-6 before comp) of predominantly protein foods as it can leave you lethargic and irritable which may not be a good thing psychologically speaking before a major event. Most sports scientists and nutritionists no longer recommend the depletion program for this very reason. However I usually have a predominantly protein diet the day before I start my 3 days of carb loading.

When carb loading I tend to recommend carbohydrates mainly from food like rice, potatoes, vegetables and sago in preference to wheat products, as they tend to digest better in most people. This doesn’t mean don’t have any pasta or bread but include a variety of these carbohydrate sources.

Go for bland types of meals rather than rich and fatty meals as they take longer to digest and increase your chances of feeling bloated, which often can happen when you are carbing up.

Meal replacement drinks are an excellent source of carbohydrates, proteins and other essential nutrients and are best taken between meals during the loading phase. They are usually very palatable and easily digested which is an important consideration as the goal is to maximize your carbohydrate intake whilst not making yourself feel sick.

Don’t forget to keep up your intake of fruits and vegetables as they help provide your body with the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) that it needs to function at an optimum level.

Below is a list of Ergogenic Aids and Nutritional Supplements that I use as part of my supplemental regime. The ones marked with a * are ones that I only use specifically for a marathon race or some other endurance event (usually over 2 hours) like the Avon Descent. The ones which haven’t been marked are ones that I use regularly to ensure I am providing my body with the best nutrition possible to aid recovery, boost my immune system and for general wellbeing.

From an article by Ramon Andersson.

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