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Question
Posted by: gregg | 2005/11/23

carboloading and weight loss - how does this work?

hi there and thanks for answering my last question.

i know that in order to gain energy, one needs to consume carbohydrates a minimum of an hour and a half before an intensive cardio workout. my question is this - depending on when you're able to gym, carboloading is not always possible at a regular mealtime, so how do i know its actually worth taking in extra calories if i am just going to burn a similar amount during my cardio session? how can i tell how many carbs to eat before a session? i hope this isn't a stupid question.

thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Gregg
This is not a stupid question, but a difficult one to answer. Carbo-loading as such is only used by athletes who are doing strenuous training or participating in very strenuous events (e.g. cycle races, marathons, etc). If you are not a top athlete or sportsman, but are doing a relatively strenuous workout once or more times a week, then you just need to have a low-GI carbo snack 1,5 h before working out (an energy bar, or a rye bread sandwich or a banana with yoghurt, etc). Then while you are exercising you can use an energy drink (Energade, Powerade, EnerG, etc) to top up your carbo levels to fuel your exercise and also hydrate your body. Although you will be ingesting some energy you will be burning more and if you don't have the carbs to fuel your exercise you will probably not be able to sustain the same level of performance.
Hope this helps
DietDoc

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