Carbohydrate stacking for the Ironman
Stack, stack, and stack some more! But why would you do this in the first place? By stacking carbohydrates you ensure that your body has more energy on race day. Especially with longer efforts, this can be very beneficial. This is because carbohydrates are stored differently the days before the race than on the day itself. The days before the race, carbohydrates will be mainly stored in the muscles and the day of the race, the carbohydrates will be stored in the liver. Because this way of storage is so different you as an athlete can make nice use of this on race day, this will give you an extra BOOST of energy. Researchers in Scandinavia discovered this around 1967 and called it supercompensation! That sounds nice, some extra supercompensation for the Ironman!
A little history about carbohydrate stacking
The Scandinavians used a feeding schedule that you start with 7 days before race day. The first 3 days you can take almost no carbohydrates there can only be 25% of your total calories from carbohydrates. The rest of the calories you take from fat or protein. After these 3 days, the last 3 days before the competition day you take extra carbohydrates. 70% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates. You also adjust your training to this. In this schedule you do a long training on the first day and a moderate training on day 4. The other days you mainly take rest. Despite the fact that this schedule works well, it had a number of drawbacks. During the first 3 days of a low percentage of carbohydrates, the athlete felt very empty and there could also be stomach problems due to the large amount of protein and fat. In addition, it was mentally difficult for some athletes to train little the week before the race. Therefore, in 1980 they came up with a new schedule that gave almost the same benefits but was much friendlier to the athlete in practice. In this schedule, you start with 50% carbohydrates 6 days before the race and build up to a level of 70% for the last two days with 5% each day. In terms of workouts, you build the volume down each day. See also the table below. This schedule gave the same benefits but was gentler on the stomach and mentally more pleasant for the athlete.
MyFitnesspal for carbohydrate stacking
To keep track of this you can use the app Myfitnesspal. In this app you can set the percentage of carbohydrates you want to take and you can easily scan the codes of your food and this will be automatically uploaded, you can also manually enter products. The app is connected to your sports watch or Strava, so you can easily see how many calories you burn and how much you need to take. Do you have trouble meeting the numbers of carbohydrates you can also use our Endurance Booster this drink contains no less than 55 grams of carbohydrates per 500ml. This is especially an ideal drink to use the day before the Ironman or the day of the Ironman.
In addition to stacking carbohydrates, it also helps to take in extra fluids the day before the Ironman. To avoid stomach upset, you can add half a scoop of Isotonic sports drink per half liter. Because of the electrolytes (minerals) in the Isotonic sports drink, the drink is absorbed faster and you will feel less full. Now that your body is full of fluids and carbohydrates, you are ready for your Ironman! We wish everyone who will participate in the Ironman in Maastricht good luck and invite you to visit our stand in the Ironman village!
P.S. If you're looking for another delicious carbohydrate-rich recipe, try Elodie Kuijper's recovery pancakes.
Recipe for 4 pancakes
60 grams BYE Nutrition ALL-IN-ONE Recovery drink Chocolate or Vanilla flavor
500ml rice milk (another type of milk is also possible)
Possibly another topping
This recipe contains per pancake
43.5grams of carbohydrates (81%)
1.75g fat (7%)
6.25g protein (12%)
Mix everything together in the blender until it is a nice smooth batter. Heat a tablespoon of baking butter or coconut oil in a frying pan and when it's hot add a dash of batter. After a while, flip it over and voilà, you have Recovery Pancake! Optionally, you can top it with some fruit and Chia seeds. Elodie's favorite topping is with frozen fruit, warmed in the microwave, with a dash of syrup on top. Enjoy!
See here also for the video instagram.com/p/CLjTYrJFRd-/