You want me to compete high? What do you mean?!

You want me to compete high? What do you mean?!

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Thanks to free digital photos for the picture Thanks to free digital photos for the picture
If your Sports Dietitian says this to you, I can be almost certain that they are not talking about the sort of ‘high’ that has been in the news recently! This type of ‘competing high’ means competing with high carbohydrate availability, when coupled with ‘training low’ (low carbohydrate availability) it has been shown in numerous studies to provide beneficial training adaptations. The theory is that if your body has to work harder to get results in training, once carbohydrate is available, it will perform better.

Basically, what this means is that the body has low glycogen levels in the muscles. Some athletes may inadvertently be practicing this already, whilst others need to plan their sessions to incorporate it.

Whilst lowering carbohydrate availability can improve game/race day performance, it is important to remember that mood and performance is better with higher carbohydrate availability, thus it is important to not always 'train low'.

Carbohydrate availability can be reduced by twice daily training, training after an overnight fast or consuming a lower carbohydrate diet.

The best way to do this is to plan your carbohydrate intake around training sessions, for example scheduling for times in the day when carbohydrate status is low, as outlined above.

I would love to hear if anyone has tried this, and what their experiences have been!

If you would like some more personalised advice, don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.

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