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How many carbohydrates is it okay for him to consume on a weekly basis?

Question:

My son is an 18-year-old high school starting quarterback and his team is currently driving for a playoff run. I want to make sure he maintains a healthy diet but I know it is important for him to carb load before games. How many carbohydrates is it okay for him to consume on a weekly basis?

Answer:

For an 18-year-old athlete headed for the playoffs, I really do not find carb loading to be a problem. The issue is using the appropriate carbohydrates. We certainly do not want to use refined white flour, white sugar, processed and packaged foods to derive quick energy from, but we want to use healthy sources of carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, those can be very helpful for quick energy. Even perhaps more importantly would be to replace protein immediately after training and after big games because within the first 30 minutes after strenuous exercises is the optimal time to replace protein into the body and athletes have an even increased need for protein replacement. So, I would not try to restrict calories in any sort of way but really focus on the quality of the carbohydrates and then replacing protein post game.

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