3 doctors weighed in:

What are the benefits of carbohydrate loading?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Chen
Sports Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Accessible fuel

Simple and complex carbohydrates are the first fuels used during exercise.
After these are depleted then protein is broken down, then fat. Marathoners and elite runners need 60% to 80% of their diet to be carbohydrates in order to have accessible fuel during competition. Thus the main benefit is sparing protein (muscle) breakdown during activity.

In brief: Accessible fuel

Simple and complex carbohydrates are the first fuels used during exercise.
After these are depleted then protein is broken down, then fat. Marathoners and elite runners need 60% to 80% of their diet to be carbohydrates in order to have accessible fuel during competition. Thus the main benefit is sparing protein (muscle) breakdown during activity.
Dr. James Chen
Dr. James Chen
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