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When should I be eating my carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 09, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I'm very much a hardgainer, and through experimentation have concluded that I do much better with around 100g of carbs a day. My question is; should I be getting the majority of these carbs in one meal, or spreading them throughout the day? Conventional wisdom tells me I should be spreading them out to keep my blood sugar "stable", but paleo wisdom tells me that's probably a bad idea. If I do choose to get the bulk of them in one meal, any ideas on what time I should be eating them (breakfast, lunch, dinner)? Again, conventional wisdom is telling me to get a good chunk of carbs for breakfast to "start my day off right", but I can't remember the last time conventional nutrition wisdom was right.

I am 22 years old, have no health problems, and don't really notice a difference either way; I am more concerned about maintaining the future health of my insulin response.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on December 10, 2010
at 06:44 PM

I eat a sweet potato with some cheese before i go to bed. I don't know why, but i feel good eating this way. As far as i know even Dr. Kurt Harris eats a sweat potatoe with some pastured butter in the evening.

79dc72ae737b9cd3adf58bd4662123c2

(120)

on December 10, 2010
at 02:55 PM

It's better to have the bulk of them (carbs) PWO, however, it's also good to have protein pre-workout. Depends on what you're doing. If you want to lose weight, skip the PWO carbs, but if you're trying to put some on, then eat them after your workout. Here's a good article: http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/puzzle_1.htm

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 09, 2010
at 10:22 PM

Agree with Mike, I would check out Martins blog leangains. I trust his advice on training and when to eat.

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5 Answers

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4
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on December 09, 2010
at 04:52 PM

You can eat them whenever, but you should certainly eat them after a workout. By your reference to being a 'hardgainer', I assume you want to gain mass. Martin Berkhan and many others would support eating carbs after a workout due to nutrient partitioning (?) and a bunch of things I don't really understand.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 09, 2010
at 10:22 PM

Agree with Mike, I would check out Martins blog leangains. I trust his advice on training and when to eat.

1
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 09, 2010
at 08:16 PM

I think post workout is a good window in which to eat carbs.

This was going to be a comment on @Mike post but it was too long:

Nutrient partitioning explained via bodybuilding.com in a post about supplements and stuff

Nutrient partitioning is the term used to describe how both macro and micronutrients are shuttled to the cells (both fat cells and muscle cells). The nutrients you consume at any given time are sent in part to muscle and in part to fat.

Think of nutrients in the blood traveling down a two-lane highway. The nutrients then come to a fork - one direction leads to fat tissue and the other to muscle tissue. Different folks have different natural partitioning levels. Mesomorphs, for example, tend to have a very high percentage of the nutrients they consume going down the muscle route.

Indeed, one of the main ways anabolic steroids impart their effects is through improved nutrient partitioning -- if you can increase the percentage of the nutrients and calories that go to muscle as opposed to fat, you will increase anabolism, reduce fat, and thus positively affect body-composition. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par45.htm

1
Medium avatar

(7073)

on December 09, 2010
at 03:46 PM

In the book 'Potatoes Not Prozac', the author recommends eating a potato 3 hours before bedtime. This she claims, and as we all know, creates an insulin response that effects the movement of the amino acid tryptophan from your blood into your brain. This can affect sugar imbalance during the day.

From my carb-eating experience (and experiments) throughout the years, I do not believe in eating carbs to 'even out your blood sugar' throughout the day. In my experience, NOT eating carbs during the day helps more with blood sugar balance.

A potato at bedtime helps to stabilize daytime sugar imbalance and insulin response, according to the author.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on December 10, 2010
at 06:44 PM

I eat a sweet potato with some cheese before i go to bed. I don't know why, but i feel good eating this way. As far as i know even Dr. Kurt Harris eats a sweat potatoe with some pastured butter in the evening.

0
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on December 10, 2010
at 01:35 PM

Should we have the carbs pre and post workout, or is it better to have the bulk of them right after workout?

79dc72ae737b9cd3adf58bd4662123c2

(120)

on December 10, 2010
at 02:55 PM

It's better to have the bulk of them (carbs) PWO, however, it's also good to have protein pre-workout. Depends on what you're doing. If you want to lose weight, skip the PWO carbs, but if you're trying to put some on, then eat them after your workout. Here's a good article: http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/puzzle_1.htm

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 09, 2010
at 07:10 PM

You'll get the bigger bang for your buck if you have your carbs pre/post workout with protein.

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