T Nation

Carb Loading Before Competition

Hi Coach and fellow members,
can you suggest some good protocol for carb loading before competition on weekend? I am going to Prague to take part in Capoeira championship and I thought that carb loading would work to get me more glycogen and energy druing weekend of training and copmetition. It is alwasy connected to each other because apart from competition we train. Thanks in advance for answering.

I’m not a big fan of carb loading. It can leave you short of breath and too heavy if done excessively. I would simply increase carb intake maybe 10-20% over normal for the five days prior to the competition and supplement with SURGE WORKOUT FUEL throughout your tournament to keep your glycogen stores full.

Thanks Coach! I will do just as you said.

Hi Christian,

as far as this topic of use some Biotest products for athletes around competitions, What would you suggest to take care them about glycogen stores or hydration when soccer players travel 2 times per week (plane) in some competitive leagues around Europe playing 2 matches?

Fly affects their physiology a lot, not only for the physiological factors but the possibility to keep good nutrition. I guess you are experienced how to manage it like NFL players, NHL players or NBA players are in the same or harder conditions.

Look an example, Saturday the team plays out of the city so:

Friday evening take plane
Saturday evening is the match. take the plane after the match, at night, to come back.
Monday rest/training with the team
Tuesday training in the morning, take the plane at afternoon to travel again
Wednesday play the match at evening, and take the plane to come back
Tuesday rest/training with the team
Friday rest/training with the team
Saturday play in the city, no travel.

Using workout fuel, mag10 or in case we can get some Finibars, what is your best advice for managing this kind issues? Are there another thing to be aware?

There’s a NFL coach, I can’t remember his name right now who make sit the players in a special for in the planes for taking care the hamstrings. I didn’t realize in this little detail for instance.

Well there is definitely an impact with plane travel. When I came back from my latest seminars oversea I gained about 10lbs of water retention the first day and it lasted for 3 days. But that is only an issue with long flights, Anything less than 3 hours I don’t notice much.

I think the biggest mistake is coming into the flight dehydrated, so make sure that you are well hydrated before boarding.

Then I noticed that water tends to shift out of the muscles and go beneath the skin/elsewhere, which can be a problem when playing/practicing, reducing mobility and even causing shortness of breath. What I find to work well is to use products that drives water back inside the muscles:

  • carbs
  • creatine
  • glycerol/glycerine
  • potassium chloride (salt substitute)

So after a flight and the day after I would use a carb supplement (e.g. WORKOUT FUEL, FINIBARS), 2 x 5g of creatine, 3 x 1 teaspoon of glycerine and add pottasium chloride to your drinks and food.

Note that I’m not a big fan of creatine, but for shifting water back inside the muscle it can be useful. I also recommend increasing water intake to regulate aldosterone and vassopressin.

Why aren’t you a very big fan of creatine supplementation? Very curious

I personally never really got anything out of it for some reason. I know some people who swear by it and if a client has a good history with it I let them use it, but I personally do not use it.