How to Carbohydrate Load for Race Day

Getting ready for a big race?  Wondering what all the carb-loading hype is about?  The purpose of carbohydrate loading is to give you the energy you need to complete an endurance event with less fatigue and improving your athletic performance. Heavy training will deplete your muscle glycogen stores, so in the lead up to a race a combination of tapered training and increased carbohydrate intake with have your muscles perfectly primed! 

How to Carb load 

Start Early

Consider increasing your carbohydrate intake 2-3 days prior to a big race.  Keep in mind that you should have enough on board by lunchtime the day before.  Don’t rely on a carb heavy meal the night before a race to top up glycogen stores – your body needs more time than that allows.

athlete on bike cycling

Stick to what you know

Race week is not the time to try anything new and run the risk of upsetting your digestion.  Just because your training buddy swears by a particular food (and had an awesome race last time) it doesn’t mean it will work for you.  Stick to simple carbs that are easy to digest and you already know make you feel good.

fried rice carbohydrates

Simple carbs are king

Ideally your race week is filled with simple carbs that are low in fibre and easy to digest,  and there are plenty of options that aren’t pasta. Try  sushi and a juice for lunch, or quinoa with steamed veggies. Try steamed potatoes or roast sweet potato with a small serve of protein and greens for dinner, finished off with some stewed fruit and rice pudding. 

sushi carbohydrates

Add liquid carbs 

A really great way of getting carbs in without feeling sluggish and full is in liquid form.  Try a banana smoothie for breakfast (some protein powder, banana, almond milk and honey) and then mix 1-2 litres of Bindi Sports Hydration (half strength is perfect for this) and sip throughout the days leading into your race.

athlete drinking bindi

Hydrate hydrate hydrate!! 

Using liquid carbs really helps with this, but being well hydrated really gets you to the start line feeling lean and energised. Mix dilute Bindi Sports Hydration, or sip Bindilyte throughout the day. Don’t go anywhere without your bottle – and especially don’t get caught out in a long hot registration queue without one!

Follow our carb-loading guidelines so you get to the start line feeling lean, energised and ready to smash your performance. 

Happy racing!