It is a normal practice for runners to take a diet that is highly rich in carbohydrates. As already mentioned in previous articles, the process of having a lot of carbohydrates for runners in order to improve their performance is known as carbohydrate loading. Along with the advantages, let’s discuss the disadvantage of carbohydrate loading for runners.
The chief and primary disadvantage for runners being indigestion and serious diarrhea. This usually occurs when carbohydrate loading is performed incorrectly. It can result in serious gastric and stomach upset difficulty.
The osmolarity of the intestines is triggered by the presence of the undigested carbohydrates in the intestines.
It is caused by the unprocessed carbohydrates which bring the water into the gut, affecting the water balance of the body and thus, causing disorders.
These incidents can easily be avoided by simply sticking to the fixed amount of carbohydrate loading recommended for you, which is round about 600g per day, and suggested to be divided between the day meals so the overfilling of your stomach could be avoided.
This measured limit of carbohydrate can save you from the potential disadvantages of carbohydrate loading for runners.
Each gram of glycogen storage comes with at least 2.7g of water with it; if you have taken a high carbohydrate diet before the race then your body weight is expected to be increased by 2 kg. This increased body weight will affect your running rate in the first half of the race when the energy reserves of your body are at their maximum level.
Hypoglycemia is an additional Disadvantage of Carbohydrate Loading for Runners which affects your health poorly. This disease is frequently noticed between the days of low carbohydrate ingestion.
Your body is used to carbohydrate loading, so when you start taking a low carbohydrate diet resulting in fewer glycogen reserves for your body and brain then you might go through symptoms such as overwhelming tiredness, sleepy, lethargy, an increased rate of your heartbeat and severe hunger.
Emotional disturbances and numbness in the body could also be noticed. These conditions could lead to a serious coma or death if not managed on time.
Practical problems come along with this regular carb-loading routine. Since this is an extreme diet, It can prove very difficult and time-consuming for you to prepare the kind of food required for this diet.
Being a runner or an athlete can frequently cause injuries or wounds that take a long time to recover and can become a hurdle in your athletic goals. You will find it difficult to recover without ingesting carbohydrates during the days of your illness, even if your doctor doesn’t recommend it.
Among other several disadvantages of carbohydrate loading for runners, there is an increased risk of heart stroke and stomach injury, it can also lead to colon cancer if prolonged. Health authorities have also mentioned that hemorrhage strokes can be expected due to the overuse of carbohydrate loading because it increases the blood pressure levels in your body.
The practice of carb-loading makes sense in the context of intense daily exercise. The minute you exercise less or not at all. you can expect to feel immensely tense and saddened because your body will be filled up with all this extra energy and no outlet for it.
You can also go through a myriad of emotions, from tearfulness and temper tantrums. These negative mood swings will be observed during the low carbohydrate period.
Therefore, as you carbo-load, understand and realize that in the short term, this may prove to be helpful in you having high energy and endurance during the race but with the passage of time, when the race is over it can result in the destruction of your health if not properly managed. It is not a wise act to take risks with heavy and improper carbohydrate loading. Those are the disadvantage of carbohydrate loading for runners. Carb-loading can also cause digestive problems such as bloating, as mentioned above. Many foods that are rich in carbohydrates also contain dietary fiber which, while beneficial in small amounts, can lead to constipation and diarrhea in large doses
Read also: Carbohydrate Loading