Figure 48 The classical and moderate (tapering) supercompensation protocols as methods to optimize glycogen storage in liver and muscle.
An important point to remember is that CHO is less energy dense than lipids. Consequently, a high CHO diet can be bulky, it is often rich in fibre and may require considerable effort and time to prepare and eat. Examples of CHO rich foods are pasta, potato (well cooked), rice, bread and fruit. During the last 2-3 days before a competition, high fibre foods should be avoided (e.g. green salads/raw vegetables, whole grain bread, unripe bananas, brown rice, muesli) as these may cause gastrointestinal upset.
During the hours preceding a race it is often recommended that CHO ingestion should be avoided in order to prevent rebound hypoglycaemia. CHO consumption 30-120 min before exercise raises plasma glucose and insulin levels, which stimulate glucose uptake and inhibit fat mobilization and oxidation during exercise. Early studies showed that following a fast, CHO ingestion 45-60 min before an acute bout of exercise could result in a fall in blood glucose concentration soon after exercise had begun. During intense exercise, this was shown to result in hypoglycaemia and a decrease in performance. However, more recent studies that tested subjects in the non-fasted state, which is how most athletes usually enter a competition, did not show a detrimental effect of pre-exercise CHO feeding. These later studies were performed with subjects ingesting different types of CHO meals. Due to the great individual differences in response, however, it is always possible that a certain individual may be prone to exercise-induced rebound hypoglycaemia after consuming a CHO- rich solid or liquid meal.
Based on current information we have established the following guidelines:
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