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What is Carbohydrate Loading?

Carbohydrate-loading diet, or a carb-loading diet. It's a way to improve your athletic performance for long-distance events by increasing the amount of fuel you have in your muscles.


Carbohydrate loading happens when you eat a high-carbohydrate "training diet" at the same time as you cut back on your activity level in the days before an event, which is called carbohydrate loading.


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PURPOSE

Carbohydrates are needed to power any kind of physical activity. Most of the time, your body uses the energy it already has stored up as fuel for fun.


But when you do long, hard sports, your body needs more energy to keep going. So that you can finish an endurance event with less tiredness, carbohydrate loading helps you do better at athletics.


If you're an endurance athlete, like a marathon runner, swimmer, or cyclist, and you're training for an event that lasts 90 minutes or more, carbohydrate loading may be the best thing for you to do before the event. Other athletes don't usually need to load up on carbs. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that about half of your calories come from carbs.

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