View Full Version : Post exercise carb-loading

06-02-08, 11:50 AM
(Note- Apologies for the long post... You can stop reading at the bold print if it is too much...)

Hi all! I wasn't sure whether to put this is excercise or nutrition because it relates to both... mods?

Anyhow, I was wondering if any of you have encountered this problem and what you do about it. After a period of prolonged excercise I want to eat lots and lots of carbs. I understand that my body needs to replace what it has burned, but there has to be a better way to balance this out than what I am doing. Last night, I was still eating a ridiculous amount of junk food carbs (as opposed to good whole grains and such) after having excercised for many hours on Saturday.

What do you keep on hand for such situations to eat instead of all the junk food? Are there quick foods that you find are helpful to carry with you? This is especially important to know because I have a long dance weekend coming up on Friday, and I will be dancing many many hours over a three day period. (2 dances Friday, 3 dances Saturday, 3 Sunday...) Help! My body cannot keep up with all the calories I will be burning! I will probably need massive amounts of food to make this work, so if you can recommend filling food with lots of calories, it would be appreciated.

I'm not crazy, right? Is it normal to be this hungry after excercising?

Sorry for the length of this post... Unless you want more background info you can stop reading here. I know I wouldn't have the concentration to finish reading it!

P.S.- I do think this belongs in nutrition... Would a moderator mind moving it for me? Thanks in advance!

Here are the exact circumstances: I am a lindy hopper (swing dancer). I took four workshops on Saturday between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM. I had a sandwich and a side salad for lunch, and 2 slices of pizza for dinner. The pizza wasn't the best option and wasn't quite enough, but I still needed to get ready and shower that for the dance that evening... Yes, even more dancing... My friend gave me a ride to his place where we waited for another ride to the dance. I had an oatmeal cookie while we waited. My friend came, and it was a long drive to the dance, so we made it there at about 9:00. I danced some more, but it was hot, so I then took a long break and bought 2 small bags of chips and a fairly large order of popcorn. (Yes, all carbs, I know...)

Yesterday, I was still crazing lots of carbs at night after all the excercise I did yesterday. My breakfast was the usual oatmeal. For lunch I had left-over tilapia (more than a serving and larger than a deck of cards), a banana, corn chips, and a side salad. I periodically ate chocolate throughout the day. I had a little bit of ice cream in the afternoon as a snack. It was pretty hot yesterday, and we have no air conditioning, so I wound up taking a long nap before dinner. Probably not a good idea, as I did not get a thing done yesterday between getting up late sleeping and eating... For dinner I had brown rice, left-over tofu marinated in a TJs curry simmer sauce and broccoli. It was a substantial size, but I was still hungry. I was eating cookies during the day too, and finished off half a box of Pepperidge Farm chocolate chunk cookies after dinner. Later, I had a bunch of crackers with nutella. But at least I got a load of laundry done... sigh...

Even though I had my usual breakfast of oatmeal fortified with extra protein this morning, I still feel like my sugar has dropped a bit, and I'm starving now. (Usually, I have some fruit with me at work, but I forgot today...)

06-02-08, 01:07 PM
I've discovered that eating a lot more earlier on in the day helps. I usually run for an hour or two a day and I get pretty burned out. If I didn't have a carb-loaded morning, I tended to go home and just eat huge bowls (plural) of rice.

When you're taking stimulants (which I'm assuming... correct me if I'm wrong) your body starts pulling energy from your glycogen stores. Your body wants to replenish it so you start craving carbs. Exercising intensely definitely does not help with your glycogen. Sometimes drinking Gatorade, Powerade, or (if you're a high roller) Accelerade when you're dancing, it should help.

06-02-08, 01:32 PM
Yes, your assumption is correct. I am on adderal. I never knew that about the glycogen stores. That makes sense. Thanks!

I'll run out and get some Gatorade before the weekend. I'm certainly going to need it just to stay hydrated anyhow. (I'll be dancing for hours on end with very little sleep. There are regular dances, late-night dances and afternoon dances Woot!)

I will probably need to bring some food with me in case I don't eat enough at one time, so I have food there as I need it. Anyone else have any more tips for quick, filling travel food?

06-03-08, 01:13 PM
From what I have learned from endurance athletes and my own running practise food intake while working hard is another experiment of one.

When I ran 30 miles across a frozen lake last winter I prepared the day before by ensuring I had enough to drink. I watched every time I passed some water to ensure it was no darker than lemon juice. I ate moderately and took in food of good nutritional value like whole foods. In the evening I had a pasta dish and enough vegetables to ensure it's safe passage. :)

In the morning I had a full breakfast that didn't differ from what I usually eat early in the morning before a long run. The general rule most endurance athletes hammer home is not to try anything different on race day that you have not proven in training. So experiment. You don't want to be working your butt off and have a gut that's complaining.

I took a "gel" (little packages of salt and sugar syrup) every forty minutes during my run that winter day and consumed 1.5 liters of Gatorade and I never ran out of gas due to lack of calories. Right now I'm using a 50/50 mix of peanuts and raisins instead of the commercial "gel" products. I use it in about the same quantities and ensure that if I've taken in a mouth full of food that I follow it promptly with at least three times that in water. I haven't been taking Gatorade with me recently at all and the peanuts and raisins are working very well.

I don't even bother taking water with me if I'm not going to be out for more than an hour. I don't take any extra calories with me unless I'll be on the road close to two hours or more. I tend to want to train my body to preform very well with as little input as possible and that entails knowing how little I can get away with. I like to experiment.

One proven little thing I've found very helpful in recovering glycogen stores after a long run that exceeds an hour in duration is taking in a big old glass of chocolate milk right when I get in from the run. There is science to back me up on this if you look. There are also commercial products that are sold as recovery drinks, but the main point I've come to understand as important is that your body is unusually capable of replacing those depleted glycogen stores in the ten to twenty minute period after finishing you work.

There are a few things to keep in mind when experimenting with this. The replacement drink should be balanced with about 25% protein and 75% carbs and like I mentioned, time is a factor. The sooner you get the drink down after you're finished, the better. It shows up most for me in how I feel the next day. I'm far less likely to experience fatigue and muscle soreness if I've looked after this element.

Water is the one I struggle with. I can hardly take in too much water in what remains of the day after I have a long run.

Good luck with your trials trying to get what you need for food. The best endurance food I've come across is home made soy milk having used the grits from that process to mix into a home made granola. The best quality green lentils are also a big favourite for long tapering fuel. If I eat really calorie dense foods I'm always careful to consume a good deal of vegetables to keep the system moving cleanly.

I would be really interested to hear what you find is best for yourself in all this. I hope you can help my own learning curve on this through your experience.