While there are many race and training nutrition theories out there at the moment (we firmly believe you need to find what works for you), many pros still swear by carbs for fuel.
The dietary science shows that carbs are good... People assume that this implies that keto diet is bad, but that’s just binary thinking. The human body is massively adaptable to many diets.
To radically paraphrase the science, carbohydrates come in two broad categories: Slow release - foods such as rice, pasta and sweet potato. And, fast release which includes white bread, chocolate, cakes and biscuits.
Fast release carbohydrates live up to their name – give a quick jolt of sugar in the body. It's a lift that is ultimately not sustainable and a ‘drop’ after is imminent.
The most efficient way of fuelling for racing and training, is to combine a mixture of carbohydrates and also protein. Something such as a peanut butter (no added salt or sugar) sandwich (on wholegrain bread - which is slow release) would make for a good combo of slow release carbs and protein. *One sandwich-sized spreading of peanut butter also provides around 208mg of potassium.
In addition, adding a bit of fat also helps slow down the release of carbs. Think chocolate milk or a small bag of unsalted nuts.
Many pros swear by sweet potato. This slow-releasing carb is also loaded with Vitamin A which can help ease strained muscles. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of magnesium, which is important for healthy muscle function.