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Pre-Event Nutrition. How to Fuel for performance.

Carbohydrate Loading is a nutrition strategy in which an individual maximises their glycogen stores in preparation for an endurance event (events typically longer than 90 minutes).  

The body can only store so much glycogen, so for performance it makes sense to maximise these stores as much as possible, as glycogen depletion negatively impacts our performance.   

Generally speaking, around 10g of carbs /Kg/Bw in the few days' prior is recommended for an endurance event

Training low 

Training with adequate amount of carbs is best for endurance athletes, however ‘training low’ is a nutritional strategy that is also used to promote metabolic adaptations that can promote the utilisation of fat at fuel. This could be done if you were training early in the morning in a fasted state a couple of times a week for less intense sessions. This strategy does not enhance performance though. 

Pre Event Nutrition 

Carb loading per above is recommended then the following protocol is recommended: 

  • 1-2 hours prior 1 to 2g of carbs per kg/bw .

  • 30 mins prior 30gs carbs  

Training the Gut / Intra workout 

If your session is less than 90 mins then 60g/hr of single or multiple transportable carbs is  recommended, if its longer than 90 minutes your glycogen stores will be depleted so 30-90g/hr or multi transportable carbs is recommended. However its important to train your gut to tolerate this amount of carbs prior to event day !  

The maximum absorption of glucose is around 60g/hr. If you are consuming more than this you will need mulit-transportable carbs which are found in carb gels and chews (maltodextrin and fructose). 


Hydration during the event is key as a decline of 2-3% of body weight can negatively impact performance. Drinking sports drinks during can assist.  The recommendation is 300-600mg of sodium per hour during the event  


Post training  

50-100g carbs / 20g protein  

Post event consume protein and carbs to help initiate the recovery process and replace any loss.  



Founder, Accredited Sports Nutritionist.





*Burke et al 2011 

PMID: 21660838 

PMID: 28332115


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