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The Carbohydrate Loading Myth

Pick up any sports journal, sports medicine text, or read any article on marathon nutrition or training and there it will be, most likely in big bold print "eat more carbs!" This is a prime example of The Carbohydrate Myth. Athletes are told as soon as they are able to run, to eat, drink, and think carbs! Carbs, Carbs, Carbs!

"Carbohydrates give you energy."
"Carbohydrates build muscles."
"Carbohydrates quench your thirst!"


Then the makers of various products even get famous athletes to sip down some of their sports drinks to show how well you can do if you drink carbs! Carbs do it all right! They will do you in if you succumb to the falsities of this highly propagated myth.

Carbohydrates are the starchy foods that include sugar, glucose, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, honey, as well as foods such as breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, and fruit juice. Athletes are told that they must "carbohydrate-load" to replenish glycogen, otherwise they will "conk out" during the race!

Carbohydrates are basically sugars. You can equate this to candy if you like. Even white flour or refined wheat products are broken down very quickly in the body to sugar. Therefore the questions to ask are, how will athletes, such as football players, build muscles by eating a chocolate shake in the morning, or perhaps a peanut butter crunchy bar for lunch? Will a sugar-laced sports drink after the workout in the afternoon help improve stamina? Will going to the ice cream parlor after dinner to pig out because, "the coach told me to carbo-load," be of any benefit? What do people think?

Very often you see athletes before a big race or game go to an Italian restaurant and eat eight pieces of garlic bread, down three bowls of pasta, and have some cannoli to go! This is done all in the name of carbo-loading! Boy, you are going to be ready for the marathon race after that!

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The information on this website is presented as information only and not a self-help guide. Never alter or change your health management or begin any new health plans without first consulting your personal health care provider. Some statements on this site regarding the value of nutritional supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Prolotherapy may not be effective for every individual and there are risks involved, these risks should be discussed with your physician. Results achieved with some may not be typical of all. Please consult a physician.

There is no known cure for arthritis. Prolotherapy and nutritional supplements can help alleviate, reverse, or end arthritic pain by treating an underlying cause that contributes to degenerative disease, ligament laxity. Strengthening ligaments and other connective tissue can help prevent bone on bone arthritis from developing.

© 2014 Chicago Sports Medicine.