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Carbohydrate Guide

Carbohydrates for energy

What are they?

All forms of sugar are carbohydrates. When there are many sugars bound together they are called starches. When only 2 sugars are bound together they are called disaccharides. Without getting too technical on the scientific names, here is what you need to know.

Aim to get enough carbohydrate fuel stored in your muscles in time for when you need this type of energy. There are two main deciding factors on how much carbohydrate energy you need.

  1. YOUR MUSCLE WEIGHT. This is sometimes called lean body mass. The more muscle you have, the more carbohydrate you will need. A body composition assessment may be helpful to determine your muscle weight.
  2. YOUR SPORT. The type of movement you are doing (sprinting vs slow movement) and the duration of your sport will decide if carbohydrate is needed in larger or smaller amounts. Your competition and training  schedule can also influence the final amount you should be eating. 

These are general guidelines. If an individualized assessment is needed, book your assessment session with the sports dietitian.

Insert your body weight in kilograms into the following equations

For light training periods 4 x ________ = ________ grams of carbohydrate per day
For moderate training periods 6 x ________ = ________ grams of carbohydrate per day
For heavy training & competition 8 x ________ = ________ grams of carbohydrate per day
For serious carb loading 12 x ________ = ________ grams of carbohydrate per day


We don't eat grams of carbohydrate, we eat real food. Spread out your intake from carbohydrates into portions of foods from the carbohydrate rich foods here.