Every endurance athlete has their favorite foods for pre-race carbo loading. A big plate of spaghetti bolognese was the tradition, and still is for many. But its not the only source of high-carbohydrate foods. So, which other foods will get you through a long race or a hard weekend of training?
Above is a chart ranking the carbohydrate content of various cooked foods, assuming a 100 gram portion. The data shows that white rice, pasta, and corn provide the most carbs.
I pretty much eliminated pasta from my diet three years ago. Despite its high carbohydrate content, pasta supplies zero nutritional value and digests very slowly. Instead, I tend to eat a lot of sweet potatoes and rice. (Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, which is processed). I'll even eat a couple of sweet potatoes or a small bowl of rice with my breakfast just before the race or training session.
In New Zealand, I eat Kumara for sweet potatoes, but in the US, I liked Garnet Yams the most (Garnet Yams are not technically yams; they are sweet potatoes). Quinoa became popular in the US after they were mentioned in the book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.
I will write about carbohydrate sources and their nutritional value, Glycemic Index, and Glycemic Load in a later post.
Data source: www.nutritiondata.com.