The best carb loading food for endurance athletes.

The best carb loading food for endurance athletes.

As the saying goes, Endurance Runs on Domaselo! I just made this up, but it sounds pretty cool and accurate. 

I first became familiar with the term carb loading 9 months ago. This was in preparation for my very first endurance competition - an ultra trail race. Since then I completed another UTMB race and an Ironman 70.3. I discovered that I was doing something right without even realizing. My daily diet already consisted of plenty of carbs (bread). I even went on a week of bread only diet while running 10 to 15 miles per day. That's pure luck, otherwise I am sure I would have "hit the wall"!

While there's no shortage of foods high in carbs, I believe that not all carbs are made equal. I will mainly focus on complex carbs which is what is needed for carb loading. First, how do you actually feel when you consume this food?  Is it an all natural wholesome product which does not do harm in the long run?  And last but not least, how easy is it to consume it throughout the day as you load on carbs?

Not surprisingly, I've found bread from our bakery to be a great source. It offers good healthy complex carbs, and depending on the specific bread you choose, you will also get proteins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Since I run every day, I eat plenty of bread every day (about 1 loaf per day) and a little more before a race.

I believe that wholesome food is the best thing we can do for our body as it knows exactly how to digest it. Whenever I consume processed (or ultra processed foods) I feel some sort of GI issues (bloating, etc), which does not give me too much confidence to go out and run or bike for a few hours.  So I avoid most packaged foods available to runners and cyclists, and instead focus on something I can make from scratch, or I know it was made from scratch and with wholesome ingredients. 

As a bread baker I may be biased, but I find it easiest for me to consume bread. There's nothing healthy that I've found that I can eat right out of the bag, other than our healthy sourdough bread. And since we have many different flavors (with nuts, seeds, dried fruits), I have bread for any kind of topping I decide to eat with. 

Pasta and rice are also good candidates for carb loading, and I like them. However, they're a bit more complex as they require prep and cooking and it is not something that I can easily do throughout the day. As a result, I eat pasta and rice occasionally and I eat slices of bread throughout the day while I am driving, working, etc. 

I am a novice endurance athlete, but I love it. I learn something new every day and intend to share my thoughts on nutrition on both this blog as well as on Strava.

Hope to connect with you on Strava and maybe even do a domaselo club one day and run and/or cycle together!

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