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In the performance of an athlete, nutrition plays an essential role. Recharging energy after training helps to achieve a better restoration. This time, the role of the refeedThis consists of a carbohydrate supercharge over a limited period of time, usually from five hours to a full day.

It is necessary to clarify that refeed or carbohydrate recharge is not related to what is known as trap day, where you can eat what you want without fear of exceeding the calories. In the case of refeeding the procedure is more planned, as it addresses excess calories plus the quantities consumed are under control. It's about getting plenty of carbohydrates, low in fat and moderate in protein. With all this you will know exactly what the refeed consists of.

It is customary to use refeed to combat the negative effects that calorie limitation can have on the body, especially when it is overly violent. This limitation leads to loss of muscle mass, increased insulin in fat cells and cortisol, reduced metabolism and also testosterone, among many other effects. This means that the body will adapt to become more efficient by reducing calorific expenditure.

Hydrate recharging is also a valuable psychological tool, as one of the greatest dangers of diet failure is mental exhaustion, which leads to a very excessive diet.

What is the purpose of carbohydrate recharging?

The refeed is used mainly in the definition seasons, while in these periods low calorie diets are made, known as low-calorie diets, and what most affects, without a doubt, is the consumption of carbohydrates, with an essential reduction. A low intake of carbohydrates does not replenish glycogen stores, affecting performance in preparatory sessions.

In addition, the psychological relief, the acceleration of metabolism and the readjustment of hormones, which help to regulate weight, should also be highlighted. Among them is leptin, which increases the calorific expenditure and the feeling of satiety.

A carbohydrate refill should not affect a healthy diet. In the case of refeed, it is about eating healthy food. In general, it is advisable to ingest carbohydrates of medium or high glycemic index, which will allow us to recharge the glycogen earlier. These products include pasta, potatoes, cereals, rice, bread, etc.

The consumption of sugars should not exceed one hundred grams, while in the case of proteins, the maximum tolerated is around two with two g/kg, ensuring that these proteins come from the meat. As regards fat, it must not exceed 0,5 g/kg.

Advantages and disadvantages of refeed for athletes

The main advantages of refeeding or carbohydrate recharging are mainly linked to psychological issues, to a large extent because high carbohydrate intake over a specific period of time provides essential dietary rest and helps to alleviate the symptoms of calorific limitation. Another aspect to highlight is that it allows to increase the muscular glycogen, with the following increase in performance and improvement of the physical aspect.

On the negative side of the refeed is that it can very often lead to a change in diet translated into a binge eating binge. That is why self-control and the approach of the definition stage without great deprivation or heat deficits are essential so that the impulses do not turn against each other and end up turning into something negative.

Always remember to consult your doctor or dietitian at all times about any changes you wish to make in your nutrition as an athlete.

Slimming Guide to the Gym - Sports Nutrition

What you'll find in the book:

  • 10 chapters with all the information about the nutrition and food of the athlete
  • Recipes for dishes that will help you lose fat.
  • Selection of the most advisable foods to practice sports
  • Exercise tables and routines for muscle groups
  • PDF format
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