Carb Loading for Match Day: Here’s What You Need to Know

Dr. Brett Berner
6 min readDec 10, 2021

Carb loading involves adjusting one’s diet and level of physical activity to boost the number of carbs stored in the body.

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

It is no longer news that many physically active people want to improve their feelings and performance during sporting events and exercise.

Everyone knows that these goals can be accomplished using the correct nutrition strategies. One of these is carb loading. Most athletes use carb-loading to improve their performance.

But it is worth mentioning that mistakes should be avoided when using this strategy.

This article will discuss carb loading, the common mistakes that should be avoided, and how to do carb-loading the right way.

What is carb loading?

Carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel. In addition, your body burns carbs for energy during exercise (1).

Carb stores in the human body are known as glycogen. Glycogen is found in the body: your muscles and your liver (2).

Carb loading is a nutritional strategy designed to increase the glycogen stored in the body far above its average amount (3).

Usually, this involves eating more carbs than you used to while also decreasing your level of physical activity. Reducing your physical activity level will help reduce the number of carbs you use.

The recommended number of carbs you can consume ranges from 2.3–5.5/pound of body weight daily (3).

Most people use carb-loading before specific competitions or athletic events because of how vital carb is as a fuel source during exercise (4).

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

But it is important to note that carb-loading improves performance only for specific types and durations of exercise.

Specifically, carb-loading may be appropriate for activities that lead to significant reductions in the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles, for example, prolonged running or biking (5, 6).

Dr. Brett Berner

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