Do you want to carb load for your big event but aren’t sure where to begin? You can achieve your fitness goals and win the competition by following these tips.

What is carb loading?

Carbohydrate loading is the act of eating more carbohydrates than normal to increase your energy stores. The body stores carbohydrates as glycogen, which is its preferred and most readily accessible energy source. The body stores excess glycogen in the muscles and liver, which it uses during intense exercise.

Athletes use carbohydrate loading to prepare for endurance activities (e.g., Swimming or marathon running are great ways to boost your energy and improve performance. Combining this with low-intensity activities during their downtime will help preserve the energy gained from carbohydrate consumption.

How do you carb load?

The first thing you should consider when carbohydrate loading is the benefits that it will bring to your life. You can make the most of additional energy if you engage in activities that require to be used at more than 25% of your aerobic capacity. To determine how many carbohydrates to consume daily, divide the number by your weight. This value can be doubled to get the amount of carbohydrates that you should consume daily.

Hot Tip: We recommend counting calories when increasing carb intake to avoid overeating. A calorie surplus can lead to weight gain or fatigue, which could affect your athletic performance.

After you have calculated how many calories you should consume, you can choose the type of program you want to follow. If you are just starting out, a 2-3 day program is recommended. It is not possible to determine the number of days you should spend on a program. However, during training, you can experiment with different combinations to find the one that gives you the best energy. This will provide you with a good idea of how to carbohydrate effectively before your big day.

What to Eat and What Not to Eat When Carbohydrate-Loading

Research suggests that 8-12 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight is the ideal amount for different body types. It is best to increase carbohydrate intake the day before an event or competition, as well as around 24 hours following your last training session.

You must choose foods with high carbohydrates but low fat and low fiber to avoid exceeding your daily caloric requirement.

What are the pros and cons of carbohydrate loading?


  • Your energy stores are higher. This means that you will be less fatigued when you do high-intensity exercise, which allows you to train longer and harder.
  • Increase muscle mass: Your body can use glycogen instead of muscle tissue for fuel during high-intensity workouts.
  • Preventing age-related muscle losses: As we age, muscle loss is more likely to occur. However, by building muscle mass, you can limit this loss and maintain as much muscle as possible.


  • Increased Risk of Diabetes If you already have diabetes, it’s important to consult your doctor before carbo-loading because the consumption of high amounts of carbohydrates could spike your blood sugar levels. It is recommended that you cycle between carbohydrate loading and not carboloading if you do not have diabetes. This will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Bloating: Fiber is a carbohydrate type that the body cannot digest. Foods high in carbohydrates are often high in fiber. This can cause bloating and discomfort in the digestive system. It’s therefore important to consume more natural carbs rather than processed food.
  • Weight gain and water retention are not caused by carb loading if you don’t do activities that use up more than 25 percent of your aerobic capacity because you won’t be burning off the extra calories. Engaging in endurance exercises will ensure that you are able to burn off the excess calories.

Carbohydrate Loading Mistakes: Common Errors

  1. When you do not need to, you should avoid carbohydrate loading. Your body will instead feel heavier and fatigued.
  2. You may feel bloated and find that your food is too “bulky” to eat in a short time. You can find foods that are high in carbohydrates but low in fiber and fat (like those listed in the table). You will need to research what you should include in your diet.
  3. You may be eating too many or too few carbs if you don’t keep track of your intake. You may not have carb-loaded if you think you’ve eaten too much, but you actually didn’t. You may have to completely change your diet if you eat too many calories. Record how much food you eat each day and make adjustments accordingly.
  4. Eat foods you are unfamiliar with. New foods can cause your stomach’s reaction to change. This can lead to pain and affect your performance.
  5. Exercise too much: Even though you will have more energy due to increased carbohydrate consumption, exercising too much can deplete your stores and limit your performance on the day of the competition.

Exercises for Carbohydrate Loading

It’s important to keep training light to maintain consistency and to cycle through glycogen stores in the lead-up to the big event.

You can use light-intensity training to:

  • You can walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill or jog for a few minutes if you feel like it.
  • Maintain flexibility by performing some dynamic stretching and light resistance exercises with a power band.

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