For exercise performance, a higher carb diet (70%) is recommended.
However, this is not the case if fat loss is the goal. Remember…performance or fat loss? Pick ONE because they each require action(s) that counter-act each other.
Afterwards, you may consider, as the ideal time to carb-up in preparation for a subsequent training event – NUTRIENT TIMING which I’ll get into later.
How can a pasta dinner a few hours prior to running an event that lasts >90 minutes hurt rather than help?
Reactive hypoglycemia (RH) – BONKING or HITTING THE WALL.
One potential complication of eating prior to an event is the prolonged effects of insulin. Insulin may still be working to dispose of carbs from the blood 3-4 hours after a meal. If this is the case, when you start running you might become “hypoglycemic” faster than anticipated. Muscle contraction itself pulls glucose from the blood into the muscle. Furthermore, insulin blocks fat mobilization (so much for burning fat). This could compromise the normal increase in fat usage in the muscle during the initial minutes of exercise. Less fat usage means a greater reliance on carbs. Greater reliance on carbs means a faster rate of blood glucose (energy) and muscle glycogen (stored energy within the muscle for quick use) use. Greater carb use in muscle means more lactic acid production and faster fatigue due to glycogen depletion and hypoglycemia. Oh yeah, if it’s your 1st run you’re likely a bit nervous which is stimulating epinephrine (EPI). EPI promotes rapid muscle glycogen usage. In other words, you’re like an idling car…going nowhere but burning fuel at a higher than normal rate. That’s fuel you’re going to need for the run!!!
So, what do you do?
1. You want to engage in superglycogen loading or supercompensation as opposed to the traditional carbo load pasta ranza thingy. What the hell is that you ask?!?!
I’ll write about it in the next blog – promise!!!
If nothing else…Don’t eat too late OR don’t eat too close to the start of the run which typically begin around 7-8ish a.m.
Here are some other tid bits of info regarding eating prior to a running event:
– Avoid eating FAT because it has the longest digestion time & you don’t want stuff jostling around in your small/large intestines heading further south with each impact of your foot. It may eventually find its way out. Think I’m kidding? I’ve seen it!!
– Too much Protein causes you to pee (excess protein is tossed away via the kidneys i.e., you pee). I’ve had some gals ask me how/why on the having to pee in the middle of a run thing. Protein could be your culprit.
– Fructose (fruit sugar) tends to irritate the stomach so avoid if possible
This is all just food for thought so even if you did everything “wrong”…(AND I HAVE) if you start and finish you’ve won and have accomplished quite a physical task no matter your reason or goal. That’s awesome!