martes, 10 de enero de 2017

How Much Carbohydrate Do We Need (For Sports) ?

In sports nutrition, whatever the question is, the answer is usually, “it depends”. While this answer may seem very vague there really is not a one size fits all approach to nutrition and especially to sports nutrition. When it comes to how much or how often you should eat carbohydrate, protein, fat etc. etc. it really does depend on how often you train, the intensity you train at and the type of activities you do. When it comes to planning your nutrition for sport, you must think about the amount of carbohydrate you need.
Carbohydrate is the fat of the 21st century! All our food woes are the fault of carbs and all our ills will be cured by removing carbs from our diet. Of course I’m (slightly) exaggerating here but carbohydrate has got a pretty bad reputation at the moment.
If your goal is to lose weight, reduce body fat and so on then adopting a low carbohydrate diet is worth considering. However, as covered in our previous post about low-carb diets, if you regularly practice a sport that has periods of high intensity effort then carbs are your friend. 
How much you need depends on several factors including but not limited to:
  • Type of exercise you do
  • Intensity
  • Frequency
  • Duration
  • Recovery 

Another important point to remember when thinking about carb intake is, where are you in your training programme? We all know the importance of periodisation when it comes to your training, well the same must be taken into account when thinking about your nutrition. Your nutrition needs will not be the same for a leg session in the gym as they would be for a 130km bike ride so it is important to match the nutrition to the exercise.
Below are some tables that are a useful guideline to refer to when thinking about your carbohydrate needs. Of course these are guidelines and not set in stone but they are a good starting point for you when you think about planning your pre/during/post training meals. 
Obviously if you are currently going through some fasted training and/or are trying to reduce body fat, increase fat oxidation etc. these tables may not be appropriate
They are aimed at people who are currently in or are about to enter into a block of training with medium to high intensity.

The tables have been adapted from the ACSM publication “Nutrition and Athletic Performance” which can be found here

If you want to know more about planning your diet for your exercise needs, please get in touch via our website, Twitter or Facebook. 

General Carbohydrate Needs Depending on Intensity of Exercise 

 Fuelling Strategies for Pre-Exercise 

 Carbohydrate Needs During Exercise 


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