4

votes

Avoiding blood sugar rollercoaster on carb-ups?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 19, 2011 at 8:21 AM

I seem to do best on a low-carb diet, but I am on a barbell lifting program and need about ~150g carbs the day before my workouts in order to not burn out by the third rep.

But when I do, I'm starving within a couple hours, and if I don't eat more carbs I feel lightheaded and all the badness I had so commonly on my "healthy" diet before paleo. Are there any tricks to avoiding this?

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 30, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Upon further expermentation, this is the way to go for me. Carbs with breakfast or the post-workout meal, but never a majority of the meal. Probably 10-20% calories as carbs works really well. I'm progressing on my lifts again!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 23, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Honestly, I don't count. My daily meals are pretty much the same. Typically, between 10-11am breakfast is 4 organic eggs scrambled in ghee and a blended broccoli, carrots, n celery drink with a lil coconut milk. I may have a snack around 3pm n then again, I may not. If I do, a few T of almond butter or a handful of macadamias, almonds, n walnuts. Dinner is as much buffalo, boar, salmon, or chicken (prepared in numerous ways) as I want with a HUGE spinach or spring mix salad with a whole avocado, flax seeds, n organic olive. Again, I don't count. I just LISTEN to what the body wants.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 23, 2011
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, for the most part. I eat a cup or so of organic black, blue, n raspberries every 3-4 days n carrots have a few sugars. I eat them daily in a veggie drink I blend with broccoli n celery. I made some spaghetti squash with ground buffalo n wild boar in organic spaghetti sauce n tomatoes have a few sugars. But, no REAL carbs I guess, no.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:49 AM

7councilfires, you are zero carb?

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:19 PM

I think this is good advice! That stupid old ketogenic diet didn't do anything for me, and it probably was part of what stopped my lifting progress. I'm just going to eat what I want, but staying primarily within the evolutionary context.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:55 PM

If I listened to my body I would eat a lot more carbs and sugar. Though I think that's my brain and not my body.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:00 AM

Maybe, but I am of the opinion that most do not give their bodies enough time to acclimate (SAID principle). Also, this IS a lifestyle, not a diet.

D05e94d3fa7fbf32eb56445ad932f654

(773)

on February 20, 2011
at 08:07 PM

How many calories do you take in each day? Thanks.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 20, 2011
at 03:18 AM

Seems like there is a lot of individual variation on carb needs for those who work out heavy. Just because one person does not need carbs does not mean no one does.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 19, 2011
at 07:47 PM

The body has more power with glycogen stored. I want to work out more often than every 3-4 days, and the glycogen replenished on a low-carb diet isn't enough. I've been pretty low carb for 6 months now, so I think I'm decently adapted, but lifting at my limits is noticeably worse when I'm out of glycogen.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 19, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I go low-carb post workout because it preserves insulin sensitivity better than having carbs after. I eat carbs just long enough before my next workout that my body has time to replenish glycogen - either the night before, or the morning of if I will lift really late at night. The smaller daily doses could work; I was previously on more of a semi-low-carb daily, but this style seems to be better for my blood pressure. I will experiment, though, thanks.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on February 19, 2011
at 10:21 AM

are you zero carb or very low carb? what do you think of leangains.com's martin berkhan's advice to lift fasted and eat high-carb (tubers and such)/high-protein on workout days and high-fat/high-protein on non-work-out days?

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5 Answers

best answer

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 19, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Why do you eat the carbohydrate before your workout, rather than after it? In order to maintain anaerobic performance, you want to restock your muscle glycogen, not just have carbohydrate floating around in the bloodstream at the time of your workout. The best time to replenish glycogen is immediately after you've depleted it with your previous workout, so I would have your carbs then. If you eat a large (relative to your normal intake) amount of carbohydrate before your workout then all you'll do is temporarily switch from a fat metabolising to glucose metabolising metabolism. Alternatively, since you're just eating 150g of carbohydate 'the day before your workout,' you could try just eating smaller doses of carbohydrate every day, rather than a huge amount intermittently. I've found that my intense workouts decline when VLCing, but are fine if I have ~40g per day (although I think eating most carbs post-workout makes most sense).

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 19, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I go low-carb post workout because it preserves insulin sensitivity better than having carbs after. I eat carbs just long enough before my next workout that my body has time to replenish glycogen - either the night before, or the morning of if I will lift really late at night. The smaller daily doses could work; I was previously on more of a semi-low-carb daily, but this style seems to be better for my blood pressure. I will experiment, though, thanks.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 30, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Upon further expermentation, this is the way to go for me. Carbs with breakfast or the post-workout meal, but never a majority of the meal. Probably 10-20% calories as carbs works really well. I'm progressing on my lifts again!

best answer

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:57 AM

Honestly, I don't count anything. I spent over 30 years worrying about counting calories, macro-nutrient ratios, and eating every 3 hours. LISTEN to your body. It WILL tell you what it needs and when.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:19 PM

I think this is good advice! That stupid old ketogenic diet didn't do anything for me, and it probably was part of what stopped my lifting progress. I'm just going to eat what I want, but staying primarily within the evolutionary context.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:55 PM

If I listened to my body I would eat a lot more carbs and sugar. Though I think that's my brain and not my body.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 19, 2011
at 09:28 AM

Eliminate the carbs completely. I am a cross-training martial arts instructor who lifts HEAVY every 3-4 days. Once your body has adjusted, you won't feel the blood-sugar drops.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 20, 2011
at 03:18 AM

Seems like there is a lot of individual variation on carb needs for those who work out heavy. Just because one person does not need carbs does not mean no one does.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on February 19, 2011
at 10:21 AM

are you zero carb or very low carb? what do you think of leangains.com's martin berkhan's advice to lift fasted and eat high-carb (tubers and such)/high-protein on workout days and high-fat/high-protein on non-work-out days?

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on February 19, 2011
at 07:47 PM

The body has more power with glycogen stored. I want to work out more often than every 3-4 days, and the glycogen replenished on a low-carb diet isn't enough. I've been pretty low carb for 6 months now, so I think I'm decently adapted, but lifting at my limits is noticeably worse when I'm out of glycogen.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:49 AM

7councilfires, you are zero carb?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:00 AM

Maybe, but I am of the opinion that most do not give their bodies enough time to acclimate (SAID principle). Also, this IS a lifestyle, not a diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 23, 2011
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, for the most part. I eat a cup or so of organic black, blue, n raspberries every 3-4 days n carrots have a few sugars. I eat them daily in a veggie drink I blend with broccoli n celery. I made some spaghetti squash with ground buffalo n wild boar in organic spaghetti sauce n tomatoes have a few sugars. But, no REAL carbs I guess, no.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:34 AM

Please allow me to clarify. I have been a cross-training martial artist for 30 years n a teacher for over 20. I train martial arts EVERY day which includes mirror-work, speed bag, heavy bag, top n bottom bag, focus gloves, kicking shields, weaponry, etc. I also swing maces, push/pull sleds, flip tires, sledgehammer, balance work, hurdles, sprints, tabatas, etc. I lift HEAVY every 3-4 days using squat, bench, deadliest, clean n press, clean n jerk, pull-ups n muscle-ups, n grip n ab work. I have cut down from a muscular 190lbs to a shredded 169 in 5 weeks and I am stronger now! Unless, you are lifting EVERY day (counter-productive) and doing isolation movements (waste of time), your muscles will replenish the glycogen within 24 hours.

D05e94d3fa7fbf32eb56445ad932f654

(773)

on February 20, 2011
at 08:07 PM

How many calories do you take in each day? Thanks.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 23, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Honestly, I don't count. My daily meals are pretty much the same. Typically, between 10-11am breakfast is 4 organic eggs scrambled in ghee and a blended broccoli, carrots, n celery drink with a lil coconut milk. I may have a snack around 3pm n then again, I may not. If I do, a few T of almond butter or a handful of macadamias, almonds, n walnuts. Dinner is as much buffalo, boar, salmon, or chicken (prepared in numerous ways) as I want with a HUGE spinach or spring mix salad with a whole avocado, flax seeds, n organic olive. Again, I don't count. I just LISTEN to what the body wants.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on February 19, 2011
at 03:13 PM

I would agree with others that you don't need to eat any carbs before heavy lifting. day before, hour before, whatever.

I am 4 months into Ripp's Starting Strength. I refuel with anywhere from 50 g carbs to 150 g carbs from sweet potato right after lifting.

I go into the lifting fasted ala Leangains.

Then again, i have had days where i felt extra good during lifting and i think they were a day after having some beers the night before. Sounds silly but maybe i worked better with those residual carbs in my system? Too many variables to make a claim but nevertheless food for thought.

If you are NOT adapted to fat-burning for your fuel source yet then perhaps before you start or continue with the lifting you should wait till your body is totally used to fat for fuel, any carb-flu, etc is gone?

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