Definition of carbo-load in US English:



[no object]informal
  • Consume a large quantity of carbohydrates, especially in order to increase stores of glycogen in the muscles before taking part in a sporting event.

    ‘it's not unusual for athletes to start carbo-loading in the week leading up to the race’
    • ‘On race day it was a 3: 00 am start, carbo-loading with creamed rice, race registration 5: 00 am, and the start was 6: 00 am.’
    • ‘I carbo-load and begin hydrating two days before my long runs, and eliminate caffeine and sugar the day before.’
    • ‘Mornings, pace yourself on a spiderweb of trails through the Pisgah National Forest; after lunch, sit in on talks by Nike pros and carbo-load on fresh-baked bread in the dining hall.’
    • ‘Two days before a game, I'll carbo-load with bread, pasta, and yogurt.’
    • ‘Several friends met me for dinner the night before to carbo-load.’
    • ‘I do believe I caught her carbo-loading when she should have been protein-boosting, but she brooks no criticism.’
    • ‘You can carbo-load on jellybeans, bananas or brown rice - they are biochemically similar.’
    • ‘I also knew the importance of carbo-loading before meets.’
    • ‘The trout arrived firm and fresh, and thankfully the portion of potatoes was of a suitable but not excessive size, so that I was not confronted with enough spuds to carbo-load for a marathon.’
    • ‘When you carbo-load, you need to match your energy and carbohydrate intake to your exercise level.’
    • ‘In preparation for my event, I've neglected numbers and carbo-loaded on beer.’
    • ‘In fact, dehydration is far more likely to slow you down than energy loss, making water-loading far more important than carbo-loading, not to mention being easier.’
    • ‘I padded downstairs to the kitchen, put a bagel in the toaster-oven - my version of carbo-loading - and determined to stand outside for two or three minutes until I heard a ‘ding’ from the appliance.’
    • ‘Linda Higgins ensured that carbo-loading would be good with her handing out her beautiful home baked brown bread for consumption by all.’
    • ‘But before heading to the slopes, be sure to carbo-load at Winona's, purveyor of the best waffles and breakfast burritos in town.’
    • ‘In honor of tonight's hostilities - er, festivities - I started carbo-loading three hours ago.’
    • ‘Around three days before the event start carbo-loading with the special products found in all cycle and sports stores.’
    • ‘Hey, fun runner: tomorrow is takkie-to-tar day, so make sure you carbo-load tonight and get enough rest.’
    • ‘Juliette, who was up for the Caledonian Challenge the next day and was desperate for some carbo-loading, decided to go for the wild mushroom linguini with shaved Parmesan and black truffle oil.’
    • ‘It looks as though you're eating diddly-squat, but you end up carbo-loading like a triathlete before the race.’


1980s: from carbohydrate + load.