carb loading

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by merlebo02, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    what is a good, quick, easy to fix food to carb load with? I have just started doing this 2 hrs before my matches and I can tell a huge difference. Currently I am eating ramen noodles.
     
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  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Full-blown carb-loading is a process that takes several days to a week. However, tennis does not really require this level of loading. If the loading that you are currently doing appears to be helping, then you probably do not need an extended loading routine. You might be fine by eating a meal or two that consists of ~60% of your caloric intake from carbs (but not too much from sugar sources). You might start your carb-loading the previous evening with pasta. A low-glycemic pasta might be best:

    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-choose-lowglycemic-pasta.html

    By starting the previous evening, you can probably increase your glycogen storage adequately without overeating 2 hours before your match. Overconsumption prior to a match can be counterproductive to performance. After your matches make sure that you are getting adequate protein and good fats (assuming that you have cut back on these for your loading). For more ideas on carb-loading check out these links:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carbohydrate-loading/MY00223
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbohydrate_loading#Diet_composition

    Another great source of energy prior to a match is coconut or coconut oil (not coconut water). It consists of medium-chain fatty acids that are fairly easy to assimilate and tend to burn like carbs (w/o affecting blood sugar levels) rather than being stored like most fats. MCT oil (a derivative of coconut oil) is sometimes used for this purpose but it lacks some of the healthier fats found in coconut oil. Perhaps a little bit of whey before a match might provide some protein that is also easy to digest & assimilate. (Most proteins & fats take quite a while to digest).
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
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  3. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    thanks for the response, good information!! I was looking and the glycemic index of ramen noodles and it is 17, which is good?. I have been running a calorie deficit (trying to drop some weight) and I usually get 180-200 g of carbs per day and I have strenuous workouts daily on top of tennis 3-4 days a week. according to fit bit I usually burn 3500-4000 calories a day. I'm 34 yrs old, 5'10" and weigh 195-200lb.

    with that said I have felt week or hit the proverbial wall during tennis matches and I know my fitness level and energy should be much higher based on what I can do fitness wise with exercising. So I tried some ramen noodles the other night 2 hrs before my match and it made night and day difference. I had tons of energy and focus. it literally was an eye opener. so for my next I have bought some uncle bens rice for my meal the night before and more ramen noodles 2 he before my match.
     
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  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Actually that 17 figure that you found is undoubtedly the GL (glycemic LOAD), not the GI (glycemic INDEX). A GL of 17 is medium high. I suspect that the GI for most packaged ramens are pretty high. They also tend to be very high in sodium. If it comes pre-seasoned, see if you can wash some of the seasoning out. If it comes with a flavor pack, use less than 1/3 of the package and add your own low-sodium spices. Those flavor packs tend to be garbage (which is probably why they taste so good).

    Prior to eating the ramen, try to eat some other foods with some fiber and some protein, good fats and some low-GI/GL carbs. This should help to temper the high GI (and GL) of the ramen. Try a handful of cashews or pistachios about 10 mins or more before ingesting the ramen. 20-30 mins prior can help to curb your appetite a bit. Almonds or avocados might be a decent alternative to cashews and pistachios. If you are a milk-drinker, some 1% or 2% milk prior to the ramen might help. A bit of peanut butter (or low-salt peanuts) might also be ok.

    Note that rice usually has a high GL and tends to have a fairly high GI. A low-GI pasta as I suggested would probably be somewhat better for your evening meal the previous day. If you must have some rice, then try some of the offsetting measure that I suggested for the ramen.
     
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  5. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    What works for me (may not work for you):

    3-4 hours prior to match:

    1/3 cup Barilla elbows with homemade sauce, homemade meatballs (veal, lamb,pork, beef).

    2-3 hours:

    Clif bar (chocolate chip)

    .5-1 hour:

    1 banana
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Note to the OP: GI and GL are generally only a significant concern with snacks or meals that are primarily carbs. In the context of a balanced meal (or snack) where some protein, fat and/or fiber are present in sufficient quantity, glycemic impact is much less important. Even then, it is still best to avoid excess (added) sugar and refined foods.

    Actually sounds very tasty (even tho' I'm not much of a carnivore). Health-wise, the Barilla pasta sounds like a much better option than the pre-packaged ramen. The Clif bar sounds pretty good even tho' it contains a fair amount of added sugar. The banana is a probably a very good idea as long as it is not significantly over-ripe. Bananas that are slightly under-ripe (firm w/a bit of green) to slightly over-ripe (brown specs and not too soft) will have a decent GI and a low to moderate GL. As a banana becomes (very) over-ripe, however, the sugar content/type changes and the glycemic impact can rise a fair amount.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
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  7. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    thanks for the info!!
     
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  8. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I've experimented on myself with different forms of carbs (whole wheat pasta, potatos, rice, etc...), different eating times, and for my needs (1.5-2.5 hr matches), the combo I mentioned above works perfect for me.

    I usually play night matches so this usually turns out to be my dinner.

    I've usually got another mealplan for morning or afternoon matches.


    I've also experimented with carbs (ie bagel for breakfast, sandwich or pizza for lunch) throughout the day, vs little carbs except for the pre match meal and again for my needs I haven't found that carbs other than my pre match meal affected my energy levels.

    However I have noticed that if I don't have as many calories prior to my pre match meal (missed breakfast/lunch or smaller portion eaten for whatever reason) then it has had a detrimental effect on my energy levels.

    But I've also found that there's other factors that even if I've eaten properly, I still could have low energy or run out of gas.

    1. Not enough sleep the night before.
    2. Stress from work, home, family, etc....
     
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  9. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!!
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Gotta agree with this. The #1 factor when it comes to energy levels, alertness and peak performance is the amount and quality of sleep (the prior night). After that, then stress. Food intake is a distant 3rd to those 2 factors for me.
     
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  11. Micalzon

    Micalzon Rookie

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    I've heard of people using coconut oil prior to a match, but how do you consume it? I use it in cooking and such but do you just drink it straight? Would you add it to something?
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Drink it? You must live in a rather warm climate. Virgin or RBD coconut oils melt at 24 °C (76 °F). Unless it's a hot day, it is usually a solid when I spoon it out of the jar. I usually just take it straight. It has a very mild & pleasant flavor. It easily melts in the mouth so I suppose, in a way, I do drink it.

    Sometimes, I'll also take it with some MCT oil, which is a derivative of coconut. MCT oil is a liquid at room temp because some of the (healthy) medium chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, have been removed. While MCT oil does provide a good, quick source of energy, too much of it bothers my throat and it is lacking in some of the health benefits of virgin coconut oil.

    Coconut chips or (unsweetened) shredded coconut are pretty good alternatives to coconut oil. Sometimes I'll ingest a coconut-peanut spread. Since this takes longer to digest, I would take this perhaps an hour or more before a match.

    http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/product/crunchy-coconut-peanut/
     
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  13. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Coconut oil is the best for popping popcorn.

    Add a little Flavorcol and you have movie theatre popcorn at home.

    And popcorn is high in carbs. Talk about perfect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Superb idea. Not tried the Flavacol tho' but I did come across an unexpected popcorn topping at a Whole Foods tasting station a few months back. They had a shaker of Brewers Yeast from Gayelord Hauser (who also developed Spike) there for seasoning. Never been a fan of the taste of brewers yeast but this particular product, sprinkled over popcorn, was surprisingly tasty. It is a great source of selenium, other trace minerals and B vitamins. It will also add a more carbs (and protein) to your popcorn.
    [​IMG]
     
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