What is Carb Loading? – Healthy Ketogenic Diet
So I learned what carb loading is in this video. Not a concept that I have experience with because I am not a marathon runner and honestly can say that jogging is an exercise I avoid at all costs.
With that being said, carb loading seems like an idea that was developed by someone who does not understand the way that the body functions. I say this because the idea that we will need to eat a large amount of carbohydrates today so that our body has glycogen to use in a marathon tomorrow does not make sense. Our body continually replenishes our glycogen stores each time we eat. Further more, since our body works towards keeping our body in a state that it can react to the environment, if we are not currently using large amounts of energy, any carbs we eat will go towards replenishing the storage.
Given that there are parts of the brain, liver, and blood cells that only use carbs for fuel, our body will not allow our glycogen storage to be completely depleted. With this information, now we ask, what reason do we have to overeat carbs the day before a race?
The other issue that I have with this idea that overeating carbs the day before the race will be helpful is that when I eat those carbs but my glycogen storage was almost full, my body will not leave those carbs floating in our blood. So our body will put those carbs away in fat storage. Given that the person doing this loading is not fat adapted, the process to get those carbs out of storage is actually quite intensive. Much more intensive than the body simply sending hunger signals and expecting the person to eat.
Each person who has transitioned to a keto lifestyle knows that it takes about two days for the body to be able to easily dip into fat stores to access carbs. Therefore, the idea that an athlete who runs on carbs will be able to pull enough carbs out of storage on a run based purely on having overeaten carbs is not likely.
What is more likely, months of practice for the run, the athlete will have slowly worked up to running for more than two hours. In that process of working up to running longer distances, the athlete’s body would have learned to pull some fat out of fat storage. By the time the race arrives, if the athlete has allowed enough practice runs, s/he will successfully be able to run the race and access the fat stores that exist on the body.
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