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question

Is there a good diet to increase cardiovascular endurance performance?

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Fitness
answer
Yes and it's to consume ~55-70% of your daily calories from carbohydrates (CHO) such as pastas, rice, breads, cereals, etc. The longer your cardiovascular (CV) activity, the greater the percentage of CHO. A marathoner might consume 70% CHO, while someone who does 1 hour/day of CV activity may do fine with as low as 55%. Depending on how many daily calories you are allowed, your protein intake should be 15-25% and fat 10-20%. Your meal timing around activity is also key. Your largest meal should be ~2-3 hours before your event followed by a small CHO and protein snack/shake 30 minutes before and immediately after. Also, CHO loading during the week before competition can dramatically increase your performance. Using the Sharecare Fitness App, you can design ideal athletic menus individualized for you including proper CHO and protein amounts, meal timing and complete endurance performance food plans. Simply fill in your personal statistics, set your goal and your program is created. The Sharecare Fitness Application is located under the Coach tab; click here for access: http://www.sharecare.com/home/coach.
A popular carbohydrate-loading technique requires that you deplete your muscle glycogen stores by reducing your carbohydrate intake and exercise intensity for a few days. This is followed by a reloading phase over the next few days when you increase your carbohydrate intake and taper off exercise.  This allows the body to “super compensate” and store as much as 2-3 times more glycogen (potential energy) than normal.  The result is extended/maximal muscle energy stores on the day of competition, allowing for optimal performance. This loading method normally begins 7 days prior to prolonged endurance events & tournaments with multiple games/matches lasting several hours.
Sherman/Costill Method:
Day 1: 90 min of exercise @ 70-75% V02 max. Consume 50% of total calories from carbs (1.8 g/lb)
Day 2: 40 min of exercise @ 70-75% V02 max. Consume 50% of total calories from carbs (1.8 g/lb)
Day 3: 40 min of exercise @ 70-75% V02 max. Consume 60-65% of total calorieS from carbs (1.8-2.3 g/LB)
Day 4: 20 min of exercise @ 70-75% V02 max. Consume 70% of total calories from carbs (4.5 g/lb)
Day 5: 20 min of exercise @ 70-75% V02 max. Consume 70% of total calories from carbs (4.5 g/lb)
Day 6: Rest. Consume 70% of total calorie from carbs or 4.5 grams per pound of body weight
Day 7: Competition. Consume pre-competition meals and snacks 
 
National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
answer
A high carbohydrate, balanced, nutrient dense diet enhances endurance performance by: Providing maximum carbohydrate for glycogen storage; Adequate protein for muscle growth and repair; Adequate fat for satiety and essential fatty acid provision; Providing the required amount of vitamins and minerals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.