The Latest on Carbohydrate Loading: A Practical Approach

@article{Sedlock2008TheLO,
  title={The Latest on Carbohydrate Loading: A Practical Approach},
  author={Darlene A. Sedlock},
  journal={Current Sports Medicine Reports},
  year={2008},
  volume={7},
  pages={209-213}
}
  • D. Sedlock
  • Published 1 July 2008
  • Biology
  • Current Sports Medicine Reports
High dietary carbohydrate (CHO) intake for several days before competition (CHO loading) is known to increase muscle glycogen stores, with subsequent ergogenic performance benefits often seen in events longer than 90 min in duration. CHO-loading strategies vary in characteristics such as type and duration of dietary manipulation and the accompanying exercise/training activities. Additionally, glycogen concentration may remain elevated for up to 5 d. This versatility in CHO-loading strategies… 

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References

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The role of dietary macronutrients in optimizing endurance performance.

TLDR
Evidence that CHO and protein intake in the postexercise period aid in protein synthesis and restoration of muscle glycogen stores is evaluated, and athletes and their advisors must be prepared to try various nutritional strategies in order to optimize both performance and training.

The effects of carbohydrate loading on muscle glycogen content and cycling performance.

TLDR
Muscle glycogen contents were similar at the end of the 3-hr trial, indicating a greater utilization of glycogen when subjects were CHO loaded, which may have been responsible for their improved cycling performance.

Carbohydrate loading in human muscle: an improved 1 day protocol

TLDR
Findings showed that combining physical inactivity with a high intake of carbohydrate enables trained athletes to attain maximal muscle glycogen contents within only 24 h.

Rapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise.

TLDR
This study shows that a combination of a short-term bout of high-intensity exercise followed by a high-carbohydrate intake enables athletes to attain supranormal muscle glycogen levels within only 24 h.

Muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise: effect of the glycemic index of carbohydrate feedings.

TLDR
The results suggest that the most rapid increase in muscle glycogen content during the first 24 h of recovery is achieved by consuming foods with a high GI.

Carbohydrate loading failed to improve 100-km cycling performance in a placebo-controlled trial.

TLDR
This placebo-controlled study shows that CHO loading did not improve performance of a 100-km cycling TT during which CHO was consumed, and suggests that CHO ingestion during exercise may offset any detrimental effects on performance of lower preexercise muscle and liver glycogen concentrations.

Effects of 3 days of carbohydrate supplementation on muscle glycogen content and utilisation during a 1-h cycling performance

TLDR
It is concluded that additional CHO provides no benefit to performance for athletes who compete in intense, continuous events lasting 1 h and whole-muscle glycogen depletion does not determine fatigue at this exercise intensity and duration.

Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate loading compromises high-intensity sprint performance.

TLDR
The HFD-CHO dietary strategy increased fat oxidation, but compromised high intensity sprint performance, possibly by increased sympathetic activation or altered contractile function.

Gender differences in carbohydrate loading are related to energy intake.

TLDR
It is demonstrated that female endurance athletes did not increase their muscle glycogen concentration after an increase in the dietary carbohydrate intake, whereas men did, and potential gender differences were related to muscle hexokinase enzyme activity.

Carbohydrate-loading during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: effects on muscle glycogen and exercise performance.

TLDR
Female cyclists can increase their muscle glycogen stores after a carbohydrate-loading diet during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, but it is found no compelling evidence of a dietary effect on performance of a cycling time trial performed after 90 min of moderate-intensity exercise.