Carbohydrate-loading strategies

Endurance swimmers
If you’re planning to compete in a race that will require your body’s muscle glycogen stores to be at their maximum, then carbohydrate loading might be right for you. 
 
It's a special technique in which you taper your training one or more days before a race, whilst increasing your intake of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate-loading strategies

If you’re planning to compete in a race that will require your body’s muscle glycogen stores to be at their maximum, then carbohydrate loading might be right for you. 

In the week prior to your event consume a high-carbohydrate intake with a reduced training volume. This strategy helps you maximise your energy stores before the competition. This is between 8g and 10g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight.

High carbohydrate meals and snacks include:

  • Porridge with fruits
  • Banana smoothies
  • Breakfast cereal with low fat milk and banana
  • Creamed rice
  • Pasta with low-fat sauce
  • Bread/toast with jam or honey
  • Dried fruits

Glycogen is stored in the muscles together with water. So if you've effectively compensated your glycogen stores you'll naturally be a bit heavier because of the extra water you're carrying.

Remember: practice your carbohydrate loading regime before long training sessions. This will help you optimise the right types and quantities of foods and beverages you'll need to successfully carbo-load. It will also help you get a sense of the performance benefits you can expect as a result.