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 build muscles."
"Carbohydrates quench your
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
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
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!