How to carb load

How to carb load - main image

Carb loading with carb load strategies to boost glycogen stores and improve carbohydrate loading for working out

Eating right is essential. But in the modern world, like many a thing, we’re often confronted with options as to what’s regarded as ‘right.’ The carb-loading diet is one of those ways. In essence, it concerns carbohydrate intake to boost total glycogen stored and, therefore, energy availability during athletic output.

But a low-carb diet is often appealing, and that’s because too many carbs can be offputting for some. So how do we navigate this dietary incentive in the right way, so we’re ensuring a perfect balance of intake and output?

Just as there are many choices in the modern world, there are many approaches too.

Factors like your body weight, current muscle glycogen stores and fat intake will affect how you should go about this, but at the end of the day, the right approach exists for you.

Let’s run through some pointers now.

The Inventory

Firstly, let’s have a look at how many grams of carbohydrate per kilogram you can intake before it becomes an overload.

”The number of carbs you can eat ranges from 2.3–5.5 grams per pound (5–12 grams per kg) of body weight per day. If you weighed 154 pounds (70 kg), that would work out to 350–840 grams of carbs per day” – Healthline, 2018.

So you do have some leeway here but be careful not to overdo it – one of the most important factors of dietary intake is that you’re intaking the right amount, so measure appropriately.

Easiest first

There’s such a thing as the 1-day program. This is great for a number of things, namely so that you can test the effects of carb loading on your routine the next day, but also because it’s not tied to any long-term dietary plan you can simply stop without guilt if it doesn’t work.

In essence, you refrain from exercising for one day and go about consuming around 10 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body fat. This simple measurement should hopefully give you more energy sources the next day of working out.

Classic’s a classic

Usually, trainers tend to carb load in a 6-day cycle. Healthline states, ”For the first three days, this program involves eating a moderate-carb diet that gets about 50% of its calories from carbs. This is followed by three days of a high-carb diet, with about 70% of calories from carbs. Throughout these six days, you gradually decrease the amount you exercise. During days four to six, you only perform 0–20 minutes of exercise per day.”


Whether you fit in the endurance athletes category or the beginner runner class, whether you like high-carb foods anyway or you’re in fear of too much fibre, this diet could be the one for you. Energy is so important, and a normal diet doesn’t always cut it.


Is weight gain normal during carb loading?

Your carb intake should be disproportionate to your exercise output. However, we’re only human so sometimes we’ll miss that, a bit of weight gain shouldn’t be a surprise but be careful of overstepping the line.

When I start start carb loading what should I eat and what should I avoid?

Eat usual foods that contain high carbs and low fat.

Food Recommendations:

Low-fiber cereals White bread White rice Sports drinks Low-fat Energy bars Fruit juices and smoothies Fruits (banana, pineapple, and apple).

Foods to avoid:

Having foods that are high in carbs and high in fats including high fiber foods (too much fiber should be monitored). Avoid making your stomach uncomfortable which may deplete performance and carb loading experience.

When should I utilise rapid carbohydrate loading?

Rapid carbohydrate loading is best after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise often during endurance events

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.