Roach, W., & Berning, J. (1999). Carbohydrate intake and markers of overtraining. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 885.

Current research suggests that insufficient CHO intake may be linked to overtraining. When endurance athletes train at high levels, where CHO is the primary energy source, CHO debt often results. Male cross-country skiers (N = 9) were studied to evaluate the relationship between CHO intake and overtraining markers. A supplemental-CHO group (N = 5) and a control group (N = 4) were formed. Assessments were taken at the beginning, middle, and end of season. Dietary logs were maintained for the whole study as the measure of CHO intake.

There were no differences between groups for overtraining markers. Total grams of CHO and total calories were significantly higher in the CHO supplement group, however, overall, there was no difference between the groups in relative amounts of CHO and calories ingested. Markers of overtraining appeared to be inversely related to CHO and caloric intake.

Implication. Overtraining could be mitigated by insufficient CHO intake.

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