Carb loading is a common method athletes use to boost their performance. The idea is to increase your carb intake for a couple of days without working out, so your body stores more glycogen and gives you more energy. However, some people don’t use this dieting method quite right and end up risking their health.
Here are some common carb loading mistakes you should avoid.
Doing It when You Don’t Need To
Eating Too Much Fat
To avoid eating too much calories while carb loading, you might want to consider cutting down on the fat. Look for foods that are rich in carbohydrates but low in fats like grains and starchy vegetables.
Not Eating the Right Amount of Carbs
One of the most common carb loading mistakes is not knowing how many carbs you need. Eating too little means you didn’t carb load at all, while eating too much means you’ve probably eaten too many calories. Experts suggest that between 2.3 and 5.5 grams of carbs per pound should be enough.
Working Out Too Much
The whole idea of carb loading is to store glycogen for when you need it. Exercising too much can deplete your glycogen levels and defeat the purpose, so try to decrease the level of exercise during this period.
Eating Too Much Fiber
Although usually considered a useful nutrient, too much fiber can lead to stomach problems for some people. Watch your fiber intake and read nutritional labels carefully to avoid these side effects.
Now that you’re familiar with the most common carb loading mistakes, you can execute this nutrition strategy properly. However, remember that carb loading is only beneficial for long physical activities that require large amounts of energy.