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Bring on the Carbs! How to Prepare for your Big Event

Reno OdysseyIn Reno Tahoe USA, there is no shortage of events to get your adrenaline racing. Cyclists, runners and triathletes are gearing up for the area’s biggest athletic events this season:the Rock-n-River Half Marathon, the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, the Run Amuck fun run at the Reno River Festival , Moms on the Run, the multi-sport Sunchaser Challenge, America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe, the Tour de Nez and the City of Sparks’ Father’s Day Half Marathon.

Clearly, you have no excuse to sit on the couch with over 300 days of sunshine and an abundance of options in the area.

Why Should You Pig Out on Carbs?

As athletes wrap up their physical and mental training, it’s time to fuel the body with carbohydrates. Carbo-loading is a strategy used by endurance athletes to maximize the storage of glycogen, or energy, in the muscles. Research suggests performing an exhaustive exercise 7 days before the event to deplete your energy stores. Then 3 to 4 days before the big day, eat a very high carb diet that will initiate a response from the muscles to take in as much glycogen from the carbohydrates.

And note to self, if you’re partaking in a pasta party the night before the run, avoid the salad and high-fat dressing! As one expert noted to Wendy Bumgardner of About.com, “Constipation is unknown among marathon participants.” You don’t want the extra weight in your digestive tract the next morning. You don’t want any roughage, such as from the salad. You don’t want the extra weight, period. If you have been eating a balanced diet the week before the marathon, you have already loaded your muscles with glycogen.”

The good news is most events have plenty of porta-potties.

The bad news is the stop will slice minutes from your run time.

Where to Grub!

Visitrenotahoe.com polled its Facebook fans on the best local places to load up on carbs. Here’s what they recommended:

Chris Delaberta likes Mongolian. You can try Toucan Charlie’s Buffet and Grill inside the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa or Genghis Grill at 121 Los Altos Pkwy, Sparks, Nevada.

Nico Aguilera recommends Pierino’s Ristorante-Pizzeria at 575 Keystone Avenue Reno, NV 89503-4337, (775) 322-3492.

William LaBounty likes the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City.

Diane Zeni Klund likes Eclipse Pizza and Buenos Grill. (These two are neighbors, so you can go to both!)

Patti McQuerry Little is a fan of the Reno landmark, the Gold N Silver Inn which was recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Ashley Anne Lawton recommends PJ & Co.

Awful AwfulIf you want a massive carbo-load, Ted Ryan suggests the infamous Awful Awful burger, the meal that’s bigger than your head! The address is listed as 233 North Virginia Street, Reno, but we recommend having a local guide you down the proper alley.

Virginia Jeffers says try Dish Café, who was also recently featured on the Food Network.

Loading up Gluten-Free

Reno resident Aimee Laca Eiguren lives gluten-free and helps to educate people on how to lead healthy, gluten-free lifestyles. La Vecchia now serves gluten-free Tinkyada pasta. Aimee says Cafe de Thai’s gluten-free Pad Thai is amazing, with lots of noodles. Whole Foods offers a few tasty frozen gluten-free pizzas that will do the trick before the big race and the Grill has delicious and safe mashed potatoes.

For more delicious gluten-free options in Reno, check out Aimee’s blog.