carb timing It refers to how you schedule your carb intake around your workouts, and it’s a topic that’s causing quite a stir in the fitness space.
Some people believe that eating carbohydrates right before and after training is of paramount importance because it is the only way to maximize performance and recovery.
Others differ. They say eating carbs before a workout allows you to train longer and harder, which promotes muscle and strength gain over time, but post-workout carbs don’t do much to facilitate progress.
Still others have the opposite opinion, claiming that pre-workout carbs are of little importance, but post-workout carbs replenish your energy and prepare your muscles for future workouts.
Presenting facts from fallacies can also be difficult, because every argument seems plausible on the face of it.
In this article, we will call on science to help answer this simple question.
What is the best time to eat carbohydrates??
For decades, scientists, athletes, and bodybuilders have tried to do just that precisely defines The perfect Time to consume both macronutrients To maximize performance and results. This is called Feeding timing.
carb timing It is part of nutrient timing that includes finding the best time to consume carbohydrates to support your workouts, promote muscle growth, and speed up recovery.
Most often, people “time” their carbohydrate intake according to their exercise schedule. For example, they may eat a meal rich in carbohydrates in the few hours before and after exercise.
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When you feed your body with more glucose than it needs stores Excess in the liver and muscles. This stored form of glucose is called glycogenIt is the primary fuel reserve for your muscles during intense exercise.
Many weightlifters believe that eating carbs at set times helps keep your muscles full of glycogen, allowing you to train longer and harder and recover faster, leading to increased muscle and strength over time.
Let’s take a look at what the science has to say about how pre- and post-workout carbohydrates affect weightlifting performance and recovery.
A common thing in weightlifting circles is that you should consume carbohydrates prior to training to release your glycogen stores and give yourself the energy you need to perform the exercises well.
And while that sounds like a reasonable tendency, research on the effect of pre-workout carbohydrate performance is surprisingly mixed.
For example, scientists at the International Scientific Research Foundation on Fitness and Nutrition recently conducted a dimensional analysis Investigating how carbohydrate intake affects weightlifting performance.
As part of the study, the scientists delved into pre-workout carbohydrates to see which direction the weight of the guide was swinging.
They found that in 11 out of 19 studies, carbohydrate consumption before exercise had no effect on performance. Of the eight studies that showed the effect of carbohydrates, 2 found that eating a small amount of carbohydrates before exercise was more beneficial than eating a large amount, while 6 studies favored eating larger amounts of carbohydrates.
This is unusual because if carbohydrates improve performance, you would expect higher doses to have more benefits, but that is not what happened.
Furthermore, in the six studies that showed carb intake to be beneficial, participants who ate more carbs also consumed more total calories. This makes it impossible to know whether the increased energy or carb timing caused the performance improvement in these studies.
Until then, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about eating carbs. Participants experienced a similar performance boost whether they filled their stomachs with a high-carb jelly or a similar low-carb alternative. In other words, it wasn’t the carbohydrates that made the participants perform better, but rather the feeling of fullness and less hunger.
Thus, consuming a lot of carbohydrates before exercise is probably not necessary. Make sure you’re not cocky, but you can do so by eating any macronutrient. In fact, supplementing with protein would probably be a better solution since then some Research and suggest Pre-workout protein has a small but positive effect on muscle gain over time (and will help relieve hunger, too).
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The main argument for consuming carbohydrates after your workouts is to replenish dwindling glycogen stores so as not to impede your recovery and performance in future workouts.
Although this position seems reasonable enough, research does not agree. This is because weight training simply does not deplete glycogen levels enough to require rapid replenishment.
For example, in a file study Posted in European Journal of Applied PhysiologyWeightlifters who did 5 sets each front squatAnd the back squatAnd the press legLeg extension, all that shameIt only reduces glycogen levels by about 26%.
in another place study Conducted by scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, bodybuilders who alternated between 30-second bouts of heavy leg extensions and 1-minute 30-minute rest periods depleted their glycogen stores by 28%.
else studies showed that relatively high-volume workouts (9 to 12 sets) for one body part may deplete glycogen levels in trained muscles by up to about 40%, but this is still not enough to warrant concern, especially since weightlifters actually likely won’t The world is training those muscles again for at least a few days.
At the bottom, weight lifting does not deplete glycogen stores as endurance exercises, such as CyclingAnd the Managementor football. As such, supplying glycogen stores with carbohydrates after exercise is not of paramount importance.
Another reason people think post-workout carb consumption is an important concern Insulin.
Insulin plays a vital role in the muscle building process because it Shuttles amino acids for your muscles, Increases muscle protein synthesis rates, and decrease Muscle protein breaks down rates, and many people think the best way to amplify its benefits is to eat insulin-boosting carbohydrates after a workout.
However, studies show that eating carbohydrates after exercise he is number more effective In maximizing the anabolic effects of insulin from post-exercise protein consumption, and from protein Motivate Building muscle and carbs doesn’t, it makes sense to prioritize protein and only consume carbs if you want to.
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Many people get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of carb timing, but they don’t need to. Studies show that when eat carbohydrates Little effect on how productive your training is or how well you recover.
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