Carb Loading For Endurance

CI Living Carbs

Carb loading is important for endurance events lasting 1.5 to 2 hours or more, such as a marathon.

Carb loading should start 3-4 days before the event, along with decreasing the time in training.

Well trained runners are able to increase the amount of glycogen stored in their muscle and liver by carb loading.

The typical carb loading meal is pasta, but there are other good alternatives.

Rice, and other grains, and starchy vegetables are also a good base for carb loading meals. The meals should be low in fat, to avoid slowed digestion, and sluggishness. Definitely avoid deep fried foods and fattier meats. The evening before the event should be somewhat lower in fiber. The recipe I’m preparing today is a good recipe for 2-4 days prior to the event, as it is higher in fiber. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time cutting vegetables, you can purchase convenience items such as frozen stir fry vegetables, and jarred minced garlic and ginger, and lower sodium stir fry sauces.

 Laura’s Favorite Stir Fry

1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice or Jasmine rice

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces

1/2 medium onion, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally

2 medium carrots, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced

½ red bell pepper, cut in 2 inch slices

2 stalks bok choy sliced

1 cup chopped broccoli

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, if desired


¼ cup lower sodium soy sauce

½ cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 tsp corn starch

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1-2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

Option: use a lower sodium bottled stir fry sauce.

Prepare rice according to package instructions. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium to high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the other tablespoon of canola oil, vegetables, and sesame seeds if desired, and stir fry until crisp-tender. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the sauce and cook for 3-5 more minutes until sauce is thickened. Serve 1 cup stir fry over 2-3 cups rice (carb loading).

2 cups cooked rice provides about 90 g carb.

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