- Na-ion batteries are emerging as one of the most promising energy storage technologies, particularly for grid-level applications. Among anode candidate materials, hard carbon is very attractive due to its high capacity and low cost. However, hard carbon anodes often suffer a low first-cycle Coulombic efficiency and fast capacity fading. In this study, we discover that doping graphene oxide into sucrose, the precursor for hard carbon, can effectively reduce the specific surface area of hard carbon to as low as 5.4 m²/g. We further reveal that such doping can effectively prevent foaming during caramelization of sucrose and extend the pyrolysis burn-off of sucrose caramel over a wider temperature range. The obtained low-surface-area hard carbon greatly improves the first-cycle Coulombic efficiency from 74% to 83% and delivers a very stable cyclic life with 95% of capacity retention after 200 cycles.