1

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When should I eat carbs for best workout performance?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I've been doing low carb for about 3 weeks now and my body is only just adapting (still mildly fatigued but far better than before)... I'm 5'6 138 and in pretty poor shape... Looking to lose fat and gain muscle

I'm starting with a trainer tomorrow night at 8 and he recommended eating carbs for lunch and some fruit before hand... will this completely ruin my plan to become fat adapted?

Also what do you think are the best carbs for me to start on? I was thinking half a sweet potato at lunch and an apple an hour before I work out? (or whats the ideal time to eat fructose before a work out? I feel like I'll get a sugar high because I havent eaten any in 3+ weeks)

Thanks so much for your help

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Hi Wowza, in case you missed it, i had a follow-up question for you here http://paleohacks.com/questions/123238/are-there-any-warm-bodied-zc-or-vlc-people/123240#123240 regarding your coconut oil comment

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:59 AM

@Wowza, I often eat less than 10g of carbs a day. When you do that it's easy to bump up your protein intake above 170g. When I first started testing I'd knocked myself out of ketosis by eating about 170g. I now try to keep my protein down to 100g, but that involves eating lots and lots of fat.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 27, 2012
at 11:19 PM

I guess "fat adapted" is some low carb lingo, as I'm not familiar with the term. From OP's description it sounds like low carbing might not be for her. @ROB, no, PWO = post-work out, not one meal, though. My PWO meal is 1000-1500 cals, up to 200g of protein and carbs, around 20g of fat. My LG feeding window is 8 hours.

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on May 27, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Hardly any limitation - Volek recommends that a 200 lb. male power athlete with 15% body fat can eat up to 170g protein; an endurance guy, on the other hand, like a competitive cyclist, with a weight of 160 and 10% body fat can go to 149g. Doesn't sound like much restriction to me, but of course ymmv.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:45 PM

You eat 400 grams of carbs in one sitting???

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I don't know .

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:18 PM

He was asking in the context of a low-carb diet. He has a plan to be "fat adapted". Eating 400g of carbs would literally blow the balls off that plan.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:13 PM

It is a great book and the ketone meter is great advice. As we've discussed elsewhere getting to 1.25 to 2 is not as easy as it sounds, mainly because it involves limiting your protein intake.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:12 PM

waxy maize I think: http://www.generationucan.com/super.html http://news.menshealth.com/the-patriots-secret-performance-enhancer/2012/02/03/

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:09 PM

You think after is necessary? The Ketosis Diet offers a solution for strength-trained athletes which allows for 40g of carbohydrate 30 mins before (I think). If she wants to be in Ketosis (fat adapted) she could try that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:07 PM

or is it rice oligodextrin?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:06 PM

You could consume them in your second post workout meal as well, and just workout fasted if you choose.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:05 PM

I guess a complex carb is something that goes straight to muscle glycogen- potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, rice, etc. They aren't necessary, but if you are doing resistance training at a high intensity, some starch with vastly improve your results.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Is the "super starch" waxy maize, per chance?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Um, I mean something like potatoes.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:00 PM

What is a complex carb?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 09:55 PM

You could consume a 21g whey protein shake with your pre workout carbs too.

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6 Answers

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Depends who you talk to, and what type of exercise you are doing.

Lyle MacDonald suggests something called the "Targetted Ketogenic Diet" where you eat a small amount of carbohydrate before you work out. The intention of this is to aid your recovery rather than your workout performance (and thus allow you to work out more often). The amount of carbohydrate is based on the estimated glucose you will burn during your exercise. http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Ketogenic_Diet.html?id=JtCZBe-2XVIC&redir_esc=y

Volek and Phinney are now saying that you shouldn't take any carbohydrate. Partly for fear of breaking your keto-adapted state, and partly because you shouldn't need to do it. Volek's position on this has changed, because he used to promote a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet. http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Performance/dp/0983490716

Peter Attia is a protege of Volek and Phinney, and he refuses to take any carbohydrate before exercise (but confesses to eating some "super-starch" during exercise). http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i

I don't think it's necessary at all for endurance exercise. But you probably need to follow Lyle MacDonald's advice for doing High Intensity stuff.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Is the "super starch" waxy maize, per chance?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:12 PM

waxy maize I think: http://www.generationucan.com/super.html http://news.menshealth.com/the-patriots-secret-performance-enhancer/2012/02/03/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:07 PM

or is it rice oligodextrin?

0
B9a579a02921868db5098bfa99f8221c

on May 27, 2012
at 10:18 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about changing so much until you have an idea of how you feel after training a few times, and how you recover.

Im fine with not eating before training, and sometimes not eating for an hr or too afterwards, but my housemate, who is also paleo feels sick if he doesn't eat a bit before we train.

Just go with your normal eating, and if you feel like it, and extra snack when you get home from training. You will probably wake up hungry, so eat a decent breakfast.

all in all, dont sweat it, and enjoy your training.

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:15 PM

I don't know what planet some of the respondees here are from, so here's another planet: I work out fasted (weight training). I eat around 400g of carbs PWO, 20-40 on rest days. I've lost 23kg since 01/2011 doing this. Google LeanGains for specifics.

My carb sources are tubers, white rice, fruit and veggies. I did months without tubers or white rice, but so much fruit started becoming too much to handle.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:18 PM

He was asking in the context of a low-carb diet. He has a plan to be "fat adapted". Eating 400g of carbs would literally blow the balls off that plan.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:45 PM

You eat 400 grams of carbs in one sitting???

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 27, 2012
at 11:19 PM

I guess "fat adapted" is some low carb lingo, as I'm not familiar with the term. From OP's description it sounds like low carbing might not be for her. @ROB, no, PWO = post-work out, not one meal, though. My PWO meal is 1000-1500 cals, up to 200g of protein and carbs, around 20g of fat. My LG feeding window is 8 hours.

0
1aa42ad69e7a5ea23d748879e0b533d7

on May 27, 2012
at 10:09 PM

for glucose/fructose, a good source is multifloral pollen [it's like 60g of sugar, 10g of proteins]. SOme bodybuilders take proteins half an hour before they work out.

ALso, do not exceed 1h30/2h00 of lift because after abt 90min you become less strong.

0
80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Read Volek's book on performance. Then get a ketone meter and start testing - according to Volek for max benefit, you'll want to stay between 1.25 and 2.5. You should be able to get there easily if you keep to less than 50g total a day and get enough protein without overdoing it.

If you're running an ultra-marathon - 50 to 100 miles - then Volek also recommends the Ucann superstarch for those last 25 miles if you need it.

Volek's a weight-lifting champion who still enjoys pushing 1/2 ton boulders. You'll find his book very practical; he has good instructions. Have fun!

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on May 27, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Hardly any limitation - Volek recommends that a 200 lb. male power athlete with 15% body fat can eat up to 170g protein; an endurance guy, on the other hand, like a competitive cyclist, with a weight of 160 and 10% body fat can go to 149g. Doesn't sound like much restriction to me, but of course ymmv.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:13 PM

It is a great book and the ketone meter is great advice. As we've discussed elsewhere getting to 1.25 to 2 is not as easy as it sounds, mainly because it involves limiting your protein intake.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:59 AM

@Wowza, I often eat less than 10g of carbs a day. When you do that it's easy to bump up your protein intake above 170g. When I first started testing I'd knocked myself out of ketosis by eating about 170g. I now try to keep my protein down to 100g, but that involves eating lots and lots of fat.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Hi Wowza, in case you missed it, i had a follow-up question for you here http://paleohacks.com/questions/123238/are-there-any-warm-bodied-zc-or-vlc-people/123240#123240 regarding your coconut oil comment

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 27, 2012
at 09:54 PM

For best workout performace? 1hr to 30 minutes pre workout consume 20-30g complex carb and immediately post workout consume simple carbs (20-60g fruit or sugary carb beverage with protein shake).

That is just what has seemed to work for me.

What does being fat adapted mean?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:05 PM

I guess a complex carb is something that goes straight to muscle glycogen- potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, rice, etc. They aren't necessary, but if you are doing resistance training at a high intensity, some starch with vastly improve your results.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 09:55 PM

You could consume a 21g whey protein shake with your pre workout carbs too.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I don't know .

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:00 PM

What is a complex carb?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:06 PM

You could consume them in your second post workout meal as well, and just workout fasted if you choose.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Um, I mean something like potatoes.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:09 PM

You think after is necessary? The Ketosis Diet offers a solution for strength-trained athletes which allows for 40g of carbohydrate 30 mins before (I think). If she wants to be in Ketosis (fat adapted) she could try that.

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