IF and carbs - confused, please help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Hey everyone, I need some help with carbs and IF. From everything I know, some post-workout carbs eaten fairly soon following a workout are essential for recovery and muscle growth. However, how does that fit in with IF? I am a 5'2 female, 120 lbs and about 21% bf. I have a sedentary job and do crossfit 4-5x a week. Most days, I train in the morning before work in a fasted state, only taking about 10g. BCAA's prior to working out. I then take 10g. BCAA's following the workout, another 10g. about 2 hours later and eat a protein-heavy meal about an hour to two hours after that. Should I also include a large dose of carbs with this meal or does it not benefit the recovery/muscle growth since at this point it's about 4 hours post-workout. I would like to lean out some but not lose anything with improper recovery. Can anyone help me out with carb timing here? Or should I cut out carbs altogether if my goal is to lean out? Am I trying to do too many things at once. Thanks in advance, I appreciate the help.

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3 Answers



on January 07, 2013
at 06:21 PM

Eat carbs PWO to gain muscle mass more efficiently. Don't eat carbs PWO to lose body fat more efficiently. Do both on occasion if you want, or whatever makes you feel good. the fact is you don't NEED to do it one way or the other, it just depends on your n=1 needs.

I personally workout fasted (no supplementation at all) and have some protein and carbs PWO for strength training sessions but not HIIT or slow-state cardio. My goals are to gain muscle mass and lose body fat, so this combination is working nicely for me.



on January 09, 2013
at 11:30 AM

Following LeanGains, do you eat any carbs with your other meals on workout days, or just your PWO meal? Or did you mean 300g. carbs throughout the day on workout days? Thanks!



on January 07, 2013
at 07:29 PM

The impact of anabolic window and meal timing is likely exaggerated - your body is anabolic for 24 hours or even longer after exercise.

You can cut carbs (keto) if you want, but that's just one way to do it - and there have been enough negative datapoints for me to not even consider it. Carbs are widely considered helpful if not necessary for proper recovery from strenuous exercise, so I would avoid keto.

I've followed LeanGains carb cycling with very high (300g) PWO carbs, and low 50-100g on rest days, and have great success with losing bodyfat. I eat a huge 1000+ cal PWO meal an hour or two after exercise.


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