Thought I would do an audit of my nutrition as I’m definitely not fat adapted in the way that I used to be.
There’s lots of different estimates out there but a conservative one is that if you are training 1hr+ a day (but not the big 4hr+ days, that’s a different thing altogether) you should eat 6-10g of unrefined carbs per kg of body weight a day.
So if you are 70kg that’s 300g of unrefined carbs, and ideally not grains, a day.
I can’t fathom how that is possible, given that 100g is an enormous meal, and you are restricted to sweet potatoes, oats for breakfast etc.
What am I missing?
Where is this advice coming from?
Rice - if it’s good enough for Froome…
Have you mistaken this advice, which my understanding is for one-off carb loading, with general training regime nutrition advice?
If you’ve ever listened to the trainerroad podcast, then the CEO Nate has carb loaded a number of times before big events. To hit the 6-10g/kg number, he’s basically sat there the night before cramming his face full of dry cereal. Those numbers are not practical daily (and almost certainly counter productive in terms of overall nutrition).
One thing to note on carb loading is the weight impact. General consensus (altho I have read some stuff saying it’s not always true) is that for every 1g of carbs stored, you need 3g of water. Therefore to “carb load” with an extra 300g of carbs, you’ll be adding more than 1kg to overall body weight. For people tracking weight, this has to be accepted as a by-product. It’s not necessarily bad. That’s additional onboard fluids for sweating, etc.
Why are you restricted to oats and sweet potato and no grains?
In this particular instance this podcast:
https ://scientifictriathlon. com/tts94/ (as I can’t include links!!!)
But I have also seen similar numbers from Asker Jeukendrup who is pretty well respected and advised Chrissie Wellington.
I thought it was fairly well established than unrefined carbs and no grains were best for you but maybe I’m wrong.
It does seem a huge amount to me. I think I’m normally on about 150g as a rule of thumb (but realised I used to be a lot less than 100)
I think you’re looking at the carbo-loading levels. The <150g is proving to be the easiest number to follow.
Tim Noakes info seems to be fairly reliable although he points to others but they all follow a similar structure these days.
‘Watching’ all the pre-Comrades prep this week from the elites, there are a few talking about the carb deficit this week which I assume they then go into a big carb load today/tomorrow ahead of Sunday.
I used to follow it so much but life gets in the way - and the scale says so too!!!
Most scholarly papers would concur with the general volume of CHO/kg bodyweight for people undertaking high-volume endurance training. However, they don’t stipulate the composition of those Carbs.
I did raise a Roger Moore eyebrow when I read this in BMJ…
Athletes seem to benefit from 200 to 300 g of carbohydrates consumed 3–4 h before the athletic event
I cannot imagine consuming this meal a few hours before an Ironman. I will generally have a large bowl of porridge with banana, then top-up with another banana & energy bar before the off. But that’s nowhere near 300g of CHO.
It’s definitely not carbo loading.
I quote from the notes:
Daily carbohydrate intake guidelines for different levels of training:
- If you do light exercise (low intensity, skill based activity) the recommended daily carb intake is 3-5 g per kg body weight
- If you do a moderate amount exercise (roughly 1 h exercise per day) the recommended daily carb intake is 5-7g per kg body weight
- If you do a high amount exercise (1-3 hrs per day, incl. moderate and high intensity) the recommended daily carb intake is 6-10g per kg body weight
- If you do a very high amount exercise (4-5 hrs per day, incl. moderate and high intensity) the recommended daily carb intake is 8-12g per kg body weight
- Example: Female, 50 kg weight, at the low end of the moderate exercise (5-7 g carbs / kg / day) spectrum. She wants to consume 5g/kg which is 250 g of carbs. This would mean 1,000 calories per day coming from carbs (since 1 g of carbs equals 4 calories).
- Note that it is important to focus on the quality of carbs , just as it is for fats and protein. There are lots of ways to get 1,000 calories of healthy carbs easily. E.g. from fruit and vegetables and fiber rich carbs.
- Grains are considered unhealthy in most of today’s mainstream media, but aren’t unhealthy if you have the right nutrient timing (more on this in a future episode). For example, after a long or hard workout, pasta bolognaise is a perfect recovery meal
- Unprocessed, healthy carbs should be the majority of carbs consumed.
Just as an example on the 200-300g CHO meal thing. That’s 500g of dry Jumbo porridge oats to get 300g CHO
I actually misread your original post, and just took your 300g number at face value. 300g actually isnt actually right. In your example 70kg athlete, 6-10g of carbs/kg is 420-700g per day. The carb loading numbers I’ve read before are often in the 600+ gram range.
300g at the 4 cals per g ratio isn’t entirely outrageous, if you’re doing up to 3hrs per day. That’s 21hrs per week, which I doubt anyone here is managing. It’s probably reasonable if you are at optimal weight already. Most of us however (based on the weigh-in thread!) are trying to run a reasonable deficit whilst still providing enough fuel for training.
I don’t track my nutrition, but looking at a fairly basic sandwich I’d pick up from the nearby shop for lunch, that’s 40g, before I even think about what goes with it, etc. I imagine it would stack up quite quickly to reach a reasonably high level.
Yeah, 300g immediately before race start would be tough (/rough!), but I get close to the lower end limit.
My morning IM/HIM traditional breakfast is:
- large bowl of porridge, with chocolate spread melted in, plus a chopped banana (that’s about 30g in the porridge, 10g in the chocolate spread, and maybe about 20g in an average banana)
- cinnamon and raisin bagel, with biscuit spread and peanut butter (bagel has 43g of carbs, and about another 20g from the spreads)
- another banana (20g)
- a gel 5mins before race start (23g)
That’s spread over a 2.5hr window pre-race, so in that time I’ll end up ingesting c170g of carbs.
I would need to be eating between 700 - 1200g unrefined carbs a day? That’s bollocks.
I wouldn’t have any time to train as I would be on the pot the rest of the day.
…or there could be a terrible logjam
I eat just under 300g of carbs not including sports drink top ups
1 banana, 100g oats, 2 tortilla wraps, tin of cannellini beans, half tub of hummus, 100g basmati rice + the indirect carbs is a little under 300g and easy to eat.
^^ You eat all that the morning before a race?!
But apparently your not supposed to eat grains (although the quoted notes disputes that). The notes also quote pasta, which I thought was now classed as a refined grain?
Doing the numbers the other way, calorie intake for the day with 1hr of exercise should be ~3K?, 50% from carbs gives 3-400g (at 4cal/g). So not unreasonable. The problem for most is going to be the unprocessed bit, unless you are making everything from raw ingredients yourself.
Is this in the 3am - 6am window
I struggle with the following:
Oatso Simple porridge pot
500ml High5/SiS drink + zero tab
No caffeine Energy gel 20 minutes before swim start
Reduced training volume and normal eating in the days before should be enough “carbo load”
Did I miss the bit about it being pre race?
Pre race = banana, coffee and multiple Imodium
I assume the Imodium is after you’ve had a movement or two?