“In order to work, your muscles use glycogen (stored carbohydrate) for fuel. Carbohydrate loading is a technique used by endurance athletes that involves changes to diet and exercise to maximise glycogen stores, so they can work out longer at an optimal pace.
There’s more to it than scarfing a huge bowl of pasta the night before a race. When carbohydrate loading, athletes eat a high carbohydrate diet (7–12g per kilo of body weight) for 3–4 days, combined with a reduced training schedule. Not everyone who plays sport needs to carbohydrate load; it’s only for those who regularly exercise at moderate to high intensity for more than 90 minutes.
Common problems with carb loading include cutting out fibre-rich foods, choosing compact carbohydrates (like cordial, sports drinks, jam and tinned fruit) and eating too many high fat foods”.