Pros And Cons Of Carbs Before Training

McTech0911McTech0911 RAW Grass Fed Protein Bars

What are some pros and cons of carbs during the day and before workouts other than the fact that they take you out of ketosis and make you less insulin sensitive?


Im 160lbs/lean 5'10" - looking to bulk up 15-20 lbs so Im not worried about gaining some body fat.


Im figuring I should aim for around 300g carbs/day (4000 calories / 30% from carbs). This is too much to have for dinner/post workout and would rather spread it out through the day.


Other cons of this are not getting the beneficial GH increase that comes with carb fasting. But I have also seen that powerlifters eat big carb/protein means before training


Should I be worried about this affecting my current strength/explosiveness in barbel training and jiu jitsu? Will PreWO carbs make this better or worse?


Im guessing all PreWO carbs should be loaded with fats and initial PostWO carbs should be fast digesting/ fat free


What are some other Pros and Cons of eating carbs all day every day < 300g especially all day before working out at night?

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  • McTech0911McTech0911 RAW Grass Fed Protein Bars

    Thanks Jason some questions inline:


    Over at eat to perform science lab our suggestion would be 25g protein and 50g carb pre and post for these goals, your workouts will definitely be better energy/strength wise with slower digesting carbs 1-2hrs pre workout unless you are training early morning, in that case you would just train fasted with bcaa's and whatnot.


    -Are you saying: If close to training have a fast absorb (no fat) pre workout 'meal' / If 1-2 hrs from training have a slow absorb (w/fat) pre workout meal? Either way 25g P/ 50g C right?


    -What would be more optimal pre-workout: a shake or an actual meal?


    You could also throw in a vitargo type product intra workout if the session is long (you will feel like a beast!), fast carbs post workout.  


    -What's this and any recommendations?


    If you care for my thoughts I would put you at 200g protein, 375g carbs and 100g+ fat (let fat be natural as it isn't doing much for your performance past like 150g when eating carbs for performance), I would increase the carbs 25g/day each week from 300g to 375g, this is to reduce any bloating or water retention issues, take digestive enzymes with each meal, if you get to these numbers and still feel good and not too watery then try another 25g carb/day (400g total) and see what happens.


    -Is this only on training days?

    -I had myself at 235g fats E.D. or around 50% of calories (4000 cals) to bulk. Not worth it?


     On rest days keep the protein the same and eat the other macros natually.  Eating fat preworkout or post workout won't do anything for you, eat all your fat away from training and eat all your carbs around your workout and at night/post workout.  Do you have myfitnesspal?


    -So on rest days only worry about counting protein?

    -Carbs with every meal on rest day- beneficial?

    -So how long after post workout shake to wait to eat a meal with fat? 1-2 hours?




    And if you could answer my original question of what the Pros and Cons of carbs all day especially pre-workout are I'd appreciate it.



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    Supplier of 100% Grass Fed Pasture Raised Whey Protein Bars


  • I find no need for carbs....  pre or post.  perhaps come BCAA's but I use amino's for a bit of a spike mTOR up-regulation post workout.  I use to take 10g BCAA's pre but finding that not having that and flying in my amino's and protein up-regulation after an hour of my fasted state workout works out well.  I then follow it up later with a Ketosis (Bullet Proof) based meal with seafood....

    - Dan
    ★彡On the path of optimal health...... B)
    ★"Keeping it real"★
    Love to learn, study and apply Nutrition, Health and Athleticism for a Superhuman Life.

  • Thanks Jason some questions inline:




    And if you could answer my original question of what the Pros and Cons of carbs all day especially pre-workout are I'd appreciate it.



    I guess it depends on what pathway you want to run for recovery and fuel.......  Fat or Glucose

    - Dan
    ★彡On the path of optimal health...... B)
    ★"Keeping it real"★
    Love to learn, study and apply Nutrition, Health and Athleticism for a Superhuman Life.

  • McTech0911McTech0911 RAW Grass Fed Protein Bars

    Hey thanks for the other replies


    When to eat carbs depends on when training is as mentioned earlier, but as for pre workout- don't eat any carbs whatsoever all day or pre workout and do a long heavy leg and back training session (already sounds shitty doesn't it?), then try it again but having a bit throughout the day (+/- 20g/meal) and then some preworkout as suggested and do that workout, you will have your answer.



    For the last year Ive been training exactly like this. No carb until post workout and Ive gotta say Ive been pretty animal-like in my training. Linear strength increases on all lifts from session to session; animal like strength and 'cardio' in jiu jitsu and wrestling; Im never completely wiped after an intense session; and pretty decent recovery. I chalked it up to the pre-workout BCAAs, carb backloading and testosterone boosters. Are you saying I will be more animal-like with your pre-workout carb recommendations?

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  • edited October 2014

    Jason Miller, what do you think of Kiefers new recommendations to wait 1 hr post workout before your shake to take advantage of being catabolic. I believe the shake works out to: 1 scoop protein, 5g leucine, ~15g simple carbs, 5-10g Creatine (optional) - then backload after another hour. He seems to be pushing working out fasted more than the past as well.


    Sounds like a solid idea to toy with but I also wonder if he is just trying to be different (which is a good way to make money, grow a fan base).

  • FWIW I have been working out for 6 years, and for the longest time I never believed in the post-workout shake "broscience". I always followed the "eat your daily macros" train of thought, and felt that nutrient timing didn't mean much. Well, I've since switched to IMMEDIATELY eating a banana and drinking a protein shake before I've even left the gym. I noticed different results right away. For one, having those carbs right away switches your body out of that hyped up, over-stressed state. Before when I wouldn't eat sometimes for an hour or longer, my body would be in that amped up gym state for a long time, and it's hard to come down. I want to recover as fast as possible and getting nutrients right away starts that process, especially carbs. When your muscles are still pumped up from your workout and your blood is flowing, you can feel the carbs hit your bloodstream and brain.

  • McTech0911McTech0911 RAW Grass Fed Protein Bars

    I plan on starting on this protocol today. Today is a jiu jitsu day with class @ 7:30pm. Since its a training day Im gonna try to eat all my carbs "around" training and aim for 375g carbs. I usually try to get 6 'meals' in per day.


    Training day

    Breakfast: BPC + 4 eggs

    Brunch: NZ Protein Shake

    Lunch 1: BP Lunch with moderate carbs

    Lunch 2: BP Lunch with more than moderate carbs (2-3 hrs before training)

    Pre-workout: 25g protein/ 50g carbs meal or shake + pre workout supplements  (Is this necessary with having Lunch 2??) 

    Post workout: 30g Protein/ 30-50g Carbs shake + post workout supplements

    Dinner: Fast carbs (no fat) followed by high carb BP meal (dont go nuts with the fat) with carbs eaten up until sleep (Right?)


    On rest days: no pre or post WO 'meals' with 2 dinners instead. Carbs spread evenly from 'lunch 2' (4:30pm) through remainder of day (Yea?)


    I have concerns about digesting protein with the presence of so many carbs. Are digestive enzymes absolutely necessary with these macros? 200g protein/ 375g carbs/ 100+ fats

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  • McTech0911McTech0911 RAW Grass Fed Protein Bars

    And to recap the Pros and Cons of carbs before training



    Pack on mass (like a rhinocerous)

    Better performance through training (you will be more gorilla-like)

    Can help with adrenal fatigue (fasting can aggrivate/cause AF)



    Takes you out of ketosis (your now running on glucose)

    Blunts growth hormone release (benefit of carb fasting - more effective with fasting everything)

    Body fat increase

    May lead to less insulin sensitivity (since your insulin is squirting all day long)

    High strachy carb intake feeds gut bacteria which can led to gut issues (gut is tied to almost everything)


    Any others to add/remove?

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  • Jason (or others) what is the best protocol for fat loss for a woman (and maintaining muscle -not gaining or losing)?  Also, what is the best protocol for fat loss and building muscle for a woman?  I know this is a broad question, but just your general thoughts.  Thanks.

  • Extremely complex questions answered with general statements can be dangerous. Every person is different and ideally should be assessed based on current food intake, physical dimensions, training (type, duration, frequency), current goal to establish a starting point. One thing is for sure, having one goal at a time is the most successful, healthy, and attainable situation you can hope for, dropping weight and gaining strength/muscle at the same time is the most ignorant but the most common fantasy people have (unless there is a very high bf% and/or the person is beginner with training). Would it make sense to focus on building muscle/strength when you want to build muscle/strength, and lose fat when you want to lose fat? Would it then also make sense to build muscle first to raise your metabolism at rest for some time, then lose fat once you have a consistent foundation? More than likely and the most common effect of closely adjusting eating to keep a stabilized weight (or 5+lbs) while weight training will cause a recomposition (more muscle less fat same weight) over time. Then over a consistent period of time the goal can change to fat loss were you SLOWLY cut carbs 25g/day every week while maintaining protein and fat, once the individual can dial this in you can switch between the two goals with comfort and 0 stress. Rest days are always low carb no matter what.


    I know the answer is far from simple but thanks.  Your response is helpful.

  • lav2klav2k Comic Creator

    Carb-Backloading worked like magic for me. Staying in Ketosis before my work-out then spiking it with a carb-heavy post meal gave me huge gains and huge pumps. 

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