How should I manage my carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 29, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I finish my daily workouts at 930 AM. I eat 50-100 grams of carbs in potatoes about 10 mins after I work out...but by about 5pm my body is screaming for a more potatoes. Should I give in? or strictly keep them post workout?

My lift routines last about 45 mins and my intense cardio is about 20-30. I lift 3 days a week and do intense Cardio 3 days a week with one rest day.

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on August 29, 2012
at 10:10 PM

The PWO potato is a good idea, keep that up. I used to do that and it was great.

About what to do about your night time potato craving, there's a couple trains of thought

If you're energy level is fine now, you may just want to suck it up and deal with the cravings. That's not fun though.

You could add some night potatoes and see how you feel, does your energy go up? Then stick with it. Do you start to gain weight because of the extra carbs? Then cut it back out.

The only way to really know is to try it and see how you feel. From where I was when I started paleo to where I am now, I've added a significant amount of night potatoes to my diet with no weight gain. I have more energy and I perform better in workouts. But I do have it dialed. If I want to gain weight for a competition or something, all I do is bump up the carbs a small amount and I can gain 10 lbs in a week. Likewise I can bump the carbs down and lose those 10 lbs in a week too. So I'm dialed and know what my standard night potato serving size should be to maintain weight. Maybe you should just experiment and see what happens to you.


on August 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

If your body is screaming for potatoes, I'd give it potatoes.

Anecdotal, but I do much better eating sweet potatoes than going without. I also run/lift, and without sweet potatoes I just don't feel like I intake enough calories.

If you are working out, you need calories. Calories in the form of carbs aren't inherently bad. Do it.


on August 29, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Hey Andrew. I would say that you need rearrange your diet strategy, because having potatoes in the morning could be causing you to crave them more at night via reactive hypoglycemia from the starch load. I would incorporate fruit in the morning and throughout the day for carbs, because this way you can replenish liver glycogen stores, which staves off hunger and keeps you in an anabolic mode. In addition, sticking to non tropical fruits (I prefer blueberries, always) will prevent any reactive hypoglycemia that can occur with glucose based meals. So, if it were me, I would workout and then have berries with my next two meals. For lunch I'd have a salad (with berries if it were my second meal), and I'd save the starch for dinner. That way, your muscles cells will be highly insulin sensitive from working out and doing daily activities. Also, should you have reactive hypoglycemia (which could explain your hunger again for more potatoes at dinner), you'll be asleep and cortisol will be reduced from the high carb meal (high cortisol at night is no good).

For me, I lift in the evening and do cario in the morning. I like to keep it light throughout the day (greek yogurt, berries, nuts, light salads, etc). Post workout (around 700PM) i have a protein shake with starchy carbs (protein powder + waxy maize powder + 1tsp honey + 1tsp MCT oil, in a magic bullet with ice). Immediately pre workout I've been recently been downing a ProSlam instead of my usual BCAAs. Then at around 900PM I eat my final meal which is typically a salad (just a bunch of leafy greens...no tomatoes, bell peppers, etc) with meat or fish and some type of fat (like drizzle of EVOO and some slivered almonds if it's a particularly lean meal otherwise). If I go out or am up late and not in bed before 1200PM, I'll have a cup of cottage cheese. That has been working well for me all summer long. So, you might want to give something like that a shot- berries in the day, starch at night.

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