The later parts of the 20th century had the health and nutrition of America in shambles over the misinformation of the “dangers of fats”… The low fat craze was not the greatest for our health.
Fats are not bad… too much of the wrong kinds of fats can be bad… but what we know to be 100% certain is WE NEED FAT. It is essential to our health and when given the opportunity the fat we consume (just like all other nutrients) should come from the highest quality sources.
2020 has a new approach… well it started happening sooner than 2020 but if you wonder the grocery store today you will see KETO all over the place. Keto friendly stickers, keto products, keto this and that.
SO what has happened here is we made the amazing discovery that HEY WE CAN EAT FATS… and yes, shifting from high carb diets to high fat diets CAN HELP SOME PEOPLE IN A CONTROLLED SETTING WHEN DONE PROPERLY. So the food industry has capitalized on the opportunity to create “Keto friendly foods” and market these “healthy fat products.”
So the shift is official in the eyes of mainstream media… “FATS were the devil… now they are the savior… CARBS were the answer… now they are the devil and will make you gain bodyfat within thirty minutes of consumption (this is a joke)… Let me just tell you about protein real quick… just kidding… we aren’t ready for this, today is about carbs.
Vegetables are primarily carbs…I think we can all agree vegetables are a good choice for most humans.
Fruits are primarily carbs… Some experts are anti -fruit and the low carb- no sugar mafia has people in fear of fruit. Unless there are specific reasons to avoid or limit fruit temporarily (for reasons like diabetes), then there is no reason to be scared of fruit.
50 grams of high fructose corn syrup in a Sonic slushie is a little different than 50 grams of carbohydrates from 2 dates and an apple… macro boy on Instagram may try to convince you that 50 carbs is 50 carbs but be smarter than Macro Boy… 50 grams of high fructose corn syrup is not comparable to 50 grams of carbohydrate from fruit containing a wide assortment of nutrients and fiber.
Carbs and Performance:
Our training is the gym is high performance. You may not view yourself as an athlete or high performer but performing squats at high %s followed by high intensity workouts day in and day out requires FUEL not only to perform your best but to recovery physically AND MENTALLY.
LOW CARB DIETS in a clinical setting need to be monitored closely with blood work and they have a specific purpose.
LOW CARB DIETS outside of a clinical setting in combination with weight training, high intensity bouts of exercise, and in a real life environment ARE FLAT OUT RISKY, SILLY IN MOST CASES (not all), and when done improperly (without blood work, careful macro and micro nutrient counting and timing) and without a specific plan|purpose are not practical.
Weightlifting requires carbohydrate for fuel. Endurance or “cardio” requires fat and carbohydrate. In a nutshell, the higher the intensity gets, the more carb dominate your fuel sources become. High intensity training requires a lot of energy. All forms of training require energy and fuel… neglecting this fact and not properly fueling your body can result in DEPRESSION, LOSS OF LIBIDO THROUGH ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION (AKA HORMONE IMBALANCES), LACK OF MOTIVATION, MUSCLE LOSS, SLEEP DISRUPTION, INFLAMMATION, GUT ISSUES, and many more issues that can pile on top of each other when you are missing specific vitamins and minerals on top of lack of carbs, fats, or protein.
I believe MOST people, those who are not battling a chronic illness (the average gym go-er in our community) can benefit greatly by simply adding in some carbohydrate pre and post training.
This can be done so simply…
Personally, I aim for 50-75 grams of easy to digest carbohydrate before any weight training, mixed with 2.5 grams of creatine twice daily, and usually mixed with 10 grams of essential amino acids (because they digest easier for me than whey or vegan protein powder) and far better than any food protein sources. This is one area where living through better science certainly proves its case for training.
I also weigh ~190 and I am fairly lean. In most cases, the lower your bodyfat % and the stronger you are per lb of BW = better utilization of carbohydrates.
If I was trying to cut body-fat I would cut the pre-workout carbs in 1/2 to 25-35 grams.
If I was 150 lbs instead of 190 I would also cut the carbs down slightly.
If I was trying to gain weight to get to 200 lbs I would increase the carbs to about 90 grams of a simple and complex mix. EX: 1/2 grape juice 1/2 Karbolyn.
Summary: The dosage of carbs pre-workout depends on fitness goals, workload, and body composition, but it is not rocket science. Keep it simple, some carbs pre- workout can help ANY athlete.
Here are my easy, go-to options for pre-workout carbs:
1.) 12-16 ounces of no sugar added grape juice
2.) 2 dates and a medium banana
or if I am down in the dumps…
3.) 1 scoop of karbolyn with some caffeine
If I am working out again within the next few hours or later in the day then I’ll do this AGAIN… TWO TIMES IN THE SAME DAY… and if I don’t then I feel lethargic, I am typically unable to hit my %s on the movements or if I am able to they feel a lot heavier than they normally do.
PRE-Workout carbs are my friend!
POST-Workout carbs are my friend! – If there is ever a time where your body is going to utilize “the bad carbs” more efficiently than any other time it is pre and post training!
Here are my easy, go-to options for post-workout carbs:
When trying to gain or maintain muscle during tough training bouts (like right now):
1.) Chocolate milk + 1/2 bag of organic spinach + 1 scoop protein + 1 scoop of carbs = roughly 80 grams of carbs & 40 grams of protein.
2.) Coconut or almond milk + 1 & 1/2 scoops of protein + 20-30 grams of coconut sugar & a banana = roughly the same as above but a “vegan option”
When trying to maintain during easier sessions or if I feel like I’m getting congested | inflamed | or resting for a few days
1.) 1/2 bag of organic frozen berries, banana, avocado, and scoop of protein or hemp seeds.
2.) Maybe just skip the carbs for a few days to keep my body guessing…. but ramp them back up when training intensity increases.
I believe most people will benefit greatly from proper carbohydrate timing pre and post workout. If you have any questions or concerns on the topic lets chat some time!
In good health,