Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate Replenishment

During strenuous exercise of more than 60-90 minutes, muscle glycogen (the preferred source of fuel in intense exercise) becomes depleted. Because we have a limited supply (approximately 2000 calories) of glycogen in muscle, once these glycogen stores are depleted we suffer from reduced endurance, fatigue and exhaustion. The only way to replenish this muscle glycogen is to eat and/or drink carbohydrate rich foods. It is best to find carbohydrate from as many different sources as possible in order to ensure that you eat an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.

How much carbohydrate is enough?

To roughly estimate how much carbohydrate you should eat during a day multiply your weight in Kilograms by one of the following caloric consumption recommendations based on activity level:

Activity Level Caloric Consumption

Inactive

27 kcal/kg of body weight

Light activity

30-34 kcal/kg of body weight

Moderately active

36-45 kcal/kg of body weight

Very active

47-56 kcal/kg of body weight*

Intensely active

56-68 kcal/kg of body weight

EXAMPLE:

80 kg x 47 kcal/kg = 3,760 kcals per day

While active, about 60-65% of your calories should come from carbohydrate sources, so multiply your total calories by .60 to determine the number of calories of carbohydrate you should eat. (3760 x .6 = 2256 kcals of carbohydrate). Carbohydrates contain 4 kcals per gram so to determine the number of grams of carbohydrate per day then divide the number of kcals of carbohydrate per day by 4 (2256/4 = 564 g).

*Generally during the hockey season hockey players fit into the very active category since it is not a typically endurance oriented sport. One thing to consider is that intake should change on days off, or when training intensity or duration drops off. Typically it is important to reduce consumption at the end of the season when activity levels drop off substantially.

Timing carbohydrate refueling

The most important time to replenish carbohydrates is within the first 15-30 minutes after exercise has ended. The rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis is greatest when 1 gram of carbohydrate per kg of body weight is eaten immediately after exercise and at 2-hour intervals thereafter. But, depending on how intense the exercise session was and how big or small you are you will need to adjust the amount of carbohydrate eaten accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to eat at least 50 g of carbohydrate right after you train and then follow up with a carbohydrate rich meal within the next 2 hours. Carbohydrate repletion is improved with the addition of a small quantity of protein so take 50-100 g of carb with 15-30 grams of protein right after you train.

Carbohydrate sources

Qty Complex Carbs Calories Protein Grams Carb Grams Fat Grams
1 Baked Potato 145 3 34 0
1/2 cup Yams, Sweet Potato 79 1 19 0
1/2 cup White rice 103 2 22 0
1/2 cup Brown rice 106 3 22 1
2/3 cup Cooked oatmeal 109 5 18 2
1 slice Whole-wheat bread 61 2 11 1
1 1/3 cup Special K 111 6 21 0
1 cup Popped Popcorn 23 1 5 0
Qty Fiberous Carbs Calories Protein Grams Carb Grams Fat Grams
4 Spears of Asparagus 17 2 3 0
1/2 cup Broccoli, steamed 23 2 4 0
1/2 cup Cabbage 16 1 4 0
1 Medium carrot 31 1 7 0
1/2 cup Cauliflower, steamed 15 1 3 0
1/2 cup Corn, boiled 89 3 21 1
1/2 cup Cucumber 7 6 2 0
1/2 cup Green beans, steamed 22 1 5 0
1/2 cup Mushrooms 21 2 4 0
1/2 cup Peas, boiled 67 4 13 0
1/2 cup Squash, steamed 39 1 9 1
1 Raw tomato 24 1 5 0
Qty Simple Carbs Calories Protein Grams Carb Grams Fat Grams
1 Apple 81 0 21 1
1 Banana 105 1 27 1
1/2 Grapefruit 37 1 10 0
1 Orange 65 1 16 0
1 Peach 37 1 10 0
1 Pear 98 1 25 1
1 cup Strawberries 45 1 11 1
1 tbs. Jam 50 0 13 0

This information was provided by Reg Grant, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the New York Rangers.