Sports Nutrition Review 1-1, Pre-Competition Carbohydrate Loading

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Nutrition, Review Topics | 0 comments

On the practice exam, I missed four of the seven questions regarding nutrition.  It’s funny, because aside from my normal day job, this website, and my other activities I spend a good deal of time reading about nutrition related topics and consider myself well educated on the topic.  Some of this knowledge was useful in answering the questions, but many of the questions were geared towards nutrition as it pertains to athletics.

Also, there are a fair number of nutritional philosophies outlined in the CSCS Exam preparation materials that I simply do not agree with.  That’s largely irrelevant however, as the goal is to pass the exam.  Onward to the material!

Pre-Competition Carbohydrate Loading

Studies have demonstrated that an effective technique for increasing muscle glycogen stores before an endurance event, is to taper activity for the week prior to the event combined with a high carbohydrate diet for the three days immediately prior.  This has been shown to increase glycogen stores by 20-40%.  I haven’t covered what glycogen is yet, but it’s the storage form of carbohydrate that is stored in muscles and liver.  Read more about it here.

The recommended quantity of carbohydrates is 8-10g per kg of body weight.

So a 150lb marathon runner would load each day 544 – 680 grams of carbohydrate each day, or around 2176 – 2720 calories of carbohydrates.  This is around 6-8 lbs of potatoes, 20 bananas, or 12 cups of cooked pasta.

First convert 150lbs to kilograms by dividing by 2.2.  Then multiply this number by 8 & 10 to get your grams, and by 4 to get your calories.

This can seem like an excessive amount of carbohydrates, and some athletes poorly digest an excessive amount of carbohydrates so personalization may be necessary.

If you understand macronutrients, focus on remembering “8-10 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight”.

When the question comes up on the CSCS Exam, you will then likely be able to deduce the answer if you remembered the above quotation.


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