What does it really mean to CARB-LOAD?
When athletes think of carb loading, they often think of shoveling as much pasta as they can into their pie-hole at a pre-race dinner event. What they don’t realize, is that this tactic is setting them up for a miserable race. The main goal of carb-loading is to maximize the storage of glycogen in our muscles and liver, as fuel for our race. More importantly, we want to do this without overwhelming our digestive system in the process. We’re all desperately attempting to avoid “hitting the wall”, when training or racing for an extended duration (90+ minutes for most). So, how do carbohydrates help us avoid the elusive wall? Glycogen is made from carbohydrates and stored in your muscles as fuel. “Hitting the wall” simply means that you’ve run out of muscle glycogen and your body is now using fat for fuel. Sounds great, right? It is, except that you’ll slow down and feel sluggish and heavy. Welcome to Bonktown.