Carb loading meal plans for the endurance athlete

Carbohydrate loading can help maximise the amount of fuel (in the form of glycogen) stored in your body to help you go further, faster and more efficiently on race day. Sports dietitian, Nick Green, has prepared three example meal plans to help get you started.

60 kilogram athelete

The following plan is suitable for a 60 kilogram athlete and provides approximately 420 grams of carbohydrates (7g/kg body weight).

Breakfast

1 cup of low fibre cereal (e.g. Corn Flakes, Rice Bubbles, Nutri-grain) 
1 cup low fat milk
40g dried fruit
1 glass of fruit juice

Morning tea

200ml tub low fat yoghurt
1 cup tinned fruit (drained)

Lunch

Sandwich with 2 slices white bread with 2 slices of lean meat and salads of your choice
40g dried fruit

Afternoon tea

1 piece of fruit
600ml sports drink (Powerade, Gatorade etc)

Dinner

1 cup of white rice or pasta
100g chicken (breast fillet)
Tomato based sauce
1½ cup mixed vegetables (e.g. grated carrot/zucchini, chopped mushrooms and celery)

Supper

2 crumpets
1 tablespoon of jam
1 glass of fruit juice

70 kilogram athlete

The following plan is suitable for a 70 kilogram athlete and provides approximately 500 grams of carbohydrates (7.1g/kg body weight).

Breakfast

2 cup of low fibre cereal (e.g. Corn Flakes, Rice Bubbles, Nutri-grain)
1½  cup low fat milk
40g dried fruit
1 glass of fruit juice

Morning tea

200ml tub low fat yoghurt
1 cup tinned fruit (with syrup)

Lunch

Sandwich with 3 slices white bread with 2 slices of lean meat and salads of your choice
60g dried fruit

Afternoon tea

1 piece of fruit
600ml sports drink (Powerade, Gatorade etc)

Dinner
1½  cup of white rice or pasta
100g chicken (breast fillet)
Tomato based sauce
1 ½ cup mixed vegetables (e.g. grated carrot/zucchini, chopped mushrooms and celery)

Supper

2 crumpets
1 tablespoon of jam
1 glass of fruit juice

Chicken skewers and rice

80 kilogram athlete

The following plan is suitable for an 80 kilogram athlete and provides approximately 580 grams of carbohydrates (7.25g/kg body weight).

Breakfast

2 cup of low fibre cereal (e.g. Corn Flakes, Rice Bubbles, Nutri-grain)
1½  cup low fat milk
40g dried fruit
1 glass of fruit juice

Morning tea

200ml tub low fat yoghurt
1 cup tinned fruit (with syrup)

Lunch

Sandwich made of 3 slices of white bread with 2 slice of lean meat and salads of your choice
1 piece of fruit

Afternoon tea

2x fruit bun with 1 tablespoon jam
600ml sports drink (Powerade, Gatorade etc)

Dinner

2 cups of white rice or pasta
100g chicken (breast fillet)
Tomato based sauce
1 ½ cup mixed vegetables (e.g. grated carrot/zucchini, chopped mushrooms and celery)

Supper

2 crumpets
1½  tablespoon of jam
1 glass of fruit juice

Good luck and happy training! Oh, and remember, to successfully carbohydrate load it's important to taper back your exercise at the same time.
For more information on Why carbo loading is important and what tapering is, check out these articles: What is carb loading? and What is tapering?
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