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Sarah H. Short, Ph.D.,Ed.D.,R.D., Prof of Nutrition, Syr U. Sports and Fitness Nutrition     INTRODUCTION 1. Athletes are all different in size, in amount of energy expended for their sport, and in  their dietary needs.  Therefore, athletes cannot be lumped together when discussing  nutrition. 2. Athletes are not average people.  They have more muscle, they expend more energy, and  they have a different mindset than non-athletes.  The recommended dietary allowances  (RDA) were written by the National Academy of Science for reference people who do a  moderate amount of work.  Athletes are not reference people and the RDAs for nutrients  may not apply. 3. To help athletes with nutritional problems (even if they don't know they have a problem),  takes time and sports nutrition expertise.  Consult with a registered dietitian who is also a  sports nutritionist.  This usually means that the dietitian is a member of SCAN (Sports  and Cardiovascular Nutrition) a practice group of the American Dietetic Association.     Should all athletes CARBOHYDRATE LOAD? 1. Carbo loading is an attempt to increase the amount of carbohydrate stored as glycogen  for energy use by the body. 2. During hard work (anaerobic exercise), carbohydrate is the fuel used.  Therefore enough  muscle carbo can make the difference between a win and a loss. 3. Subjects are able to work 2-3 times as long on a high carbohydrate diet as on a high fat  diet.  4. If the continuous work or sport lasts for less than 60   minutes (some say 30 min), the  glycogen stored in muscle  is enough energy for short or intermittent events. However,  athletes training heavily on a day to day basis  may need a 70% carbo diet including  pasta, potatoes, bread, cereal). 5. In events demanding heavy work for 3-4 hours(marathon,   cross country skiing, long  distance swimming, bicycle racing), consider glycogen loading.  In long events, athletes  may have to be fed carbos along the way. 6. A MODIFIED version of carbo loading has been RECOMMENDED  for the athlete  exercising on a regular basis.  Glycogen can be increased 2.5 times above the non  exercising muscle by having the athlete eat a diet containing 70% complex carbo for 3  days before an event and for 2 days after.  This is also the best diet to restore muscle  glycogen after the event.  Note that carbo loading allows an athlete to maintain high work  intensity longer NOT work faster.
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