Before we jump into this gem of a NUGGET, remember that not all carbs are created equal.

There is the DANGEROUS SIMPLE carbohydrates and there is the HEALTHY COMPLEX carbohydrates. So, when someone says “carbs”, nail them down to a definition of which of the two carbs they are talking about.

By way of a quick layperson explanation for those who have not immersed themselves in legitimate nutritional research, SIMPLE carbs defines those carbohydrates that are absorbed quickly, rapidly penetrating the digestive mechanisms and pouring suddenly into the bloodstream: juices, sugar, white flour, even white rice. As for packaged goods, for non-animal foods, almost anything with the adjective “QUICK” is warning of simple carbs ahead. On the other hand you have your HEALTHY COMPLEX carbs…

COMPLEX carbs are found in veggies; whole grains, (slow-cooked); eating the entire fruit itself with pulp, though it also contains some simple carbs; legumes; beans; etc., defined by Dr. Colin Campbell, (PhD.), as WHOLE-PLANT FOODS.

Eating animal tissue provides little of either carbohydrate. Thus, the popular, but often-harmful, diets to avoid “carbs”, intending to avoid SIMPLE, DANGEROUS, carbs. Like all manner of profit-making fads, various proponents have been espousing avoiding ALL carbs and, instead, piling animal tissue onto one’s dinner plate. The big life experiment is showing that doctors able to slow, stop and even reverse lifelong chronic diseases, do so by eliminating, or almost entirely eliminating, animal products on one’s plate. Be that as it may the controversy and misinformation will go on forever as long as books can be bestsellers and companies can make profits from fads.

However, for ATHLETES and even those wanting to improve physical fitness, which improves heart, lungs, brains, and muscles, the facts are becoming increasingly clearer.

I write this as I think of some relatives of mine who are hardcore athletes competing in marathons, iron-mans, and triathlons.

Dr. Mirkin, (M.D.), who specializes in internal medicine and was/is a hardcore athlete, recently provided a handy summary of the latest research for athletes wanting to have maximum energy for endurance events. The concept he tackles in his recent newsletter is that of “carbohydrate loading”, (CARB LOADING), for endurance athletes.

Here’s the skinny on the questions: “Does it work?” “Is it useful for athletic performance?” The answer is, “NO!”

I encourage those of you who are interested in improving your athletic performance to read the entire article referenced in the END NOTE of this Nugget. For those of you in a hurry and just want the cheat sheet on this: 

  •  “Carb” loading, EMPHASIS IS ON “SIMPLE” carbs,  for competitions was invented on poor science from back in the 1930’s. 
  • Your liver and muscles are able to store only a limited amount of glucose, enough to feed your muscles for about 50 minutes of intense exercise, no matter how much you stuff yourself with the days before.
  •  Too much SIMPLE “Carb” loading causes a rise in TRIGLYCERIDES and that simply turns to fat. 
  • READ the section about CARBS and heart attacks, in the article mentioned in the END NOTE!!
  • Eat CARBS DURING the endurance event to help excel. 
  • Have a SUGAR DRINK WITHIN 30 MINUTES of your endurance event. Earlier than that start time, you likely will decrease your performance. 
  • “For endurance events lasting longer than 3 hours”, is important if you want to be a star.  Read that section in the END NOTE reference.
  • To speed recovery AFTER the event, eat within 60 minutes. 

[WARNING: this Nugget is presented for information purposes only and is not a recommendation. Nor is it intended to replace or substitute for solid medical advice from your own doctor. Do not make any changes to your lifestyle, vitamins, medications, foods, or any prescribed therapies until you check with your own doctor. Exercise can be dangerous if approached too quickly, too intensely, and without the proper basics of understanding how it affects your body. Be wise. Be careful. Check with a doctor prior to beginning any exercise program.]