We realize it’s rather easy to throw out a bunch of numbers when it comes to nutrition recommendations, but a heck of a lot harder to translate those into food choices throughout a given day. This task can be especially arduous when following race week carbohydrate-loading protocol, as carbohydrate recommendations are particularly high. Below, we have created a sample meal plan template (based off of a 150-lb individual) to help give some sort of visual reference for what a typical day might look like in order to achieve these carbohydrate goals in the 24-48 hours leading up to an important race/event.
The left-hand “Base Carbs” column shows one possible meal/snack layout during a 24-hour period to meet ~7 g CHO/kg body weight (the lower end of carbohydrate-loading recommendations for events lasting < 90 minutes). On the right-hand “Revised to Add Carbs” column, we have taken essentially the same meal/snack layout as the “Base Carbs” column, but made a few tweaks/additions in order to meet an increased carbohydrate target of ~10 g/kg body weight, which falls in the upper range of carbohydrate-loading recommendations for events lasting < 90 minutes and in the lower range of those lasting > 90 minutes. As always when it comes to generalized nutrition information, recommendations should be tailored to the individual based on his/her total energy needs, specific training needs, and performance feedback.