Carb Loading Differences In Men And Women

Good morning, family of fast Matt Monsman, the Chief Endurance Office over at EndurElite

Today, we're gonna be talking about carb loading and if men and women should carb load differently Now, a typical carb loading period before a race looks something like this About six days before the race and for a few days, you basically decrease your carbohydrate intake to deplete muscle glycogen stores And this is followed by two to three days, before the race, eating a higher concentration of carbohydrates anywhere from eight to 10 grams per kilogram bodyweight to basically super saturate muscle glycogen stores before your race And this method has been shown to increase performance up to 20 % and delay fatigue during the races

So tried and true strategy But an interesting study came across my desk the other day from chief science officer, Jordan Joy, that demonstrated that men and women may need to carb load differently to produce basically optimal race results and to saturate muscle glycogen stores So we're gonna take a quick look at this study/meta-nalysis done at Baylor University by a Darryn Willoughby and associates and see basically how men and women should be carb loading differently as far as amounts to produce optimal race results Now, the main difference when you're carb loading for men and women seems to be related to a hormone women have called estradiol which is important in the development of secondary sex characteristics and is at peak concentrations during that "special time of the month" Now, estradiol, it appears, has an effect on which substrate the body will use during endurance exercise or racing

More specifically, with a higher concentration of estradiol, it appears, especially at lower intensities in women, that this hormone can affect basically the body's ability to use glycogen and in favor uses triglycerides or fats, which really isn't as quite a high powered energy source compared to glycogen So let's look at a few studies that this meta-analysis covered and provide a take-home point for you to basically tell you how you, as a woman, should be carb loading different from a man So, the first study looked at both men and women So, both and women increased carb intake from 55% to 75% of total energy intake, total energy intake remained the same So, they both bumped up their carbohydrates, for men it was 8

2 grams per kilogram bodyweight, in women, it was 64 grams per kilogram bodyweight So, carbohydrates bumped up but total calories remained the same And the results show that men increase glycogen storages by 41% and improved performance by 45% for this kind of glycogen super compensation carb loading method On the other hand, women showed no increase in glycogen storages and only 5% performance in increases

So, even though both men and women bumped up their carbohydrate intake up based on a typical carb loading format, the women really didn't see any significant differences in the amount of glycogen that was stored and subsequent increases in performance Now, here's where it gets important In the second study, men and women achieved the same level of carb super compensation by consuming 12 grams per kilogram bodyweight of fat-free body mass of carbohydrate Now, for this one, this is where it gets interesting, for this, both men and women showed similar increases in glycogen stores and performance So, what does this mean for a woman? Well, for a woman to achieve this intake of 12 grams per kilogram bodyweight of carbohydrate, they would need to increase total energy intake by approximately 34% during each carb loading phase before a race

So total calories would go up 34% and then again they'd want to eat about a percentage of that calories, they would want to do 12 grams per kilogram bodyweight fat-free mass in carbohydrates to basically get that same level of glycogen super compensation that will lead to increased race performance and delay fatigue So, what's really the conclusion of this study? Well, first and foremost, it appears that men and women do need to carb load differently Female athletes do have the capacity for carbs super compensation with an increase in calories during the loading phase So, again, during that three, maybe four-day carb loading super compensation phase, women want to increase their caloric intake by 34% and again, make sure that you're consuming anywhere from, I would say depending on bodyweight and fat-free mass, anywhere from 10 grams to 12 grams per kilogram bodyweight So that is all I have on carb loading and the differences on how men and women should be carb loading before races to produce optimal results

So if you have a buddy that's all about carb loading, especially if they're a woman, please share this video with them If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, supplementation, and my other random musings, subscribe to EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at wwwendurelitecom Get social with us on Facebook and Instagram

And until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed

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