‘Carbing up’ PreComp & Intracomp Nutrition for Strongman Posted on 20 Aug 09:48
Ah, the scared carb up, in different sports it means different things, in cycling for example it can mean porridge, fruit, pasta, rice…
In bodybuilding it can range from jasmine rice and potatoes to haribo and ice-cream.
However in Strongman (in my experience) it is usually just game a of much can I fit in my mouth in the 24 hours before a comp… I even saw someone competing at body power ‘carbing up’ with a burger…
The goal, regardless of sport, should be the same - to max out glycogen stores, both systemic and intramuscular, in bodybuilding with a focus on avoiding overspill.
As a result you will hear people harping on about having to ‘hit 1000g of carbs’ which would make sense, if you were coming from keto or for some other reason you were completely depleted for some other reason, but in a strongman unless you have dieted for a weight cat this is unlikely and will most likely lead to GI tract discomfort, sluggishness, bloating and crucially inefficient nutrient uptake.
You are eating for performance, not for gluttony, learn the difference!
Aim to intake 500ml of water with every carb meal.
If you feel you don’t process carbs well, look to a Nutrient Repartitioning supplement like I-Load ( http://www.sportsfuel.org/products/prosupps-i-load )
So, What should you do?
Well, firstly take in to consideration your usual diet, if you currently run a lower carb diet start to increase your carbs up to around 2g per LB of bodyweight from around three days out, mostly from complex sources (don’t worry, you won’t get fat, but if image is a concern, drop your fats to compensate!)
Then, the day before your comp, increase to as close to 3g per LB of Bodyweight as you can with out feeling discomfort and lower your protein to around 50-100g (no you won’t go catabolic, not with all the loverly protein pairing carbs in your system)
Things like granola and oat cakes are useful at this point due to their high carb density.
Then the evening before the comp just to full max out your glycogen stores throw in 100-200g of simple sugars (ben and jerry is a guilty pleasure of mine)
The Morning of the comp try to stick to food types you know sit well, Oats, Rice, etc up until an hour out from the first event.
At this point its ok, you can break out the haribo, but be sensible, no much sugar can cause an insulin spike and make you feel drowsy (sunday dinner drowsy) other options are liquid carbs, I recommend Express Carbs from Boditronics ( http://www.sportsfuel.org/products/boditronics-express-carbs?variant=2543151169 ) as it is a convenient blend of Glucose and MaltoDextrin to give you an instant and more sustained elevation in blood sugar.
Don’t worry about protein intake, just keep a steady flow of carbs through the day, be sure to pack enough complex carbs to cover any intermissions or times when you can kick back and relax, take plenty of water and some rehydration sachets and kick some ass.
Just because its not ‘cool’ to eat for performance, doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it when your standing there with a 1st place trophy, then you can have your macdonalds ;)
Picture shows a 12 hour progression AM to PM of a 'Proper' Carb Up