Have you ever seen video footage of people crawling across finish lines of marathons or triathlons? Or what about those who seem so dazed and confused and barely know where the finish line is? The first time I saw that it was incredible and kind of scary. What happened is that they were completely depleted of glucose, meaning all their carbohydrate stores were used and their energy was basically gone. They “hit a wall” as their nervous system functions dramatically slow down. To avoid this you have to carbohydrate load appropriately. Carbohydrate loading is exactly what it sounds like; eating plenty of carbs before an event to ensure you’ll have the energy to finish. Glycogen is another word for glucose (carbohydrates) stored in the body.How to eat in advance for an event:• 6 days: Eat normally, about 5g/kg body weight (example: 160lb person would eat 364g carbs)• 4 – 5 days: Eat normally• 2 – 3 days before: Eat high carbohydrate, about 10g/kg body weight• 1 day: Eat high carbohydrateEat a rich carbohydrate meal within 10 – 15 minutes of physical activity, which will enhance glycogen storage by up to 300%!How to eat the day of an event:• 3 - 4 hours before• Plenty of fluids and easily digestible foods• Carbohydrates, low in fiber and fat (pasta, potatoes, juice, bagels, crackers)• 300 – 800 caloriesSomething I found pretty cool is that since carbohydrates hold a lot of water, as they’re broken down for use during physical activity the water comes with it, helping to meet an athlete’s needs for fluids.Don’t overlook the importance of the all mighty carbohydrate, especially when it comes to endurance physical activity. You’ll save yourself embarrassment and kicking yourself for not preparing well enough! How do you prepare for an event?