October 18, 2016

Dear Dr. Bell, I keep reading different, conflicting advice on what time to stop carbohydrate intake before competition. What time do you recommend the cut off should be and why?

If you are talking about Endurance Competition preparation, most endurance athletes will decrease carb intake by 10%, 7 days prior to competition, while attempting their same training frequency, intensity, time and type. Then, 3 days prior to competition, they go back to normal and increase their carbs an additional 10% carbs and take it right into competition.

All athletes are subject to the “Principle of Individuality” when it comes to nutrition manipulation so your results can vary considerably from above.

Likewise, with Physique athletes who can go to the extreme of cutting ALL carbs the week prior to a competition (bodybuilding contest prep) and then Carb-Load to a nearly unhealthy level in the 12-24 hours prior to stepping on stage.

One friend of mine weighed-in at 154 pounds 6pm Friday night and walked on stage the next morning at 8am weighing 186 pounds! He ate 32 pounds of candy bars and Pepsi all night long.

The result, he looked great and not only won his class, but won overall.

For the Nutrition Nazis reading this and cursing me for reporting such an unhealthy bodybuilding contest prep technique, I am only using this as an example. I certainly don’t recommend it as a tactic to anyone. I do not condone anyone sacrificing their health for a title, trophy, medal or sword!

There are far healthier ways to achieve your health and performance goals. I highly recommend you consider expanding your knowledge and Scope of Practice and explore these and other advanced subjects in the IFPA Certification Courses we have developed for you.

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