Late Night Carbs - Good Or Bad? - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Late Night Carbs - Good Or Bad?


      By Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT Men's Fitness

      Q: Are carbohydrates bad to eat before bed?

      A: Across the fitness and nutrition spectrum, carbohydrates have been demonized as instigators of weight gain, particularly before bed. A general nutrition rule emerged to forego carbohydrates once the sun went down to preserve a thin waistline and prevent an expanding midsection. Contrary to the opinion of many, carbohydrates are an essential part of any diet but does consuming them before bed really predispose you to seeing higher numbers on the scale?

      In most cases, the public fear of carbohydrates stems from misunderstanding. Nate Miyaki, author of the Intermittent Feast, acknowledges that they can be good or bad depending on the situation – adding to the public confusion. “Carbohydrates can help us recover from strenuous, anaerobic activity, or they can cause us to fatten up during periods of inactivity. All of the scenarios depend on activity.” In short, for high-intensity activities lifters deplete glycogen stores and need to replenish them to perform optimally. In other situations of low-intensity or no activity, the body has plenty of carbohydrate stores and thus extra intake isn’t needed. Miyaki likens carbohydrate feeding to fueling up a car. “If your car has been sitting in the garage, it doesn't need gas. Loading up on carbohydrates is like trying to fill up a full tank. It just spills over the side. In the human body, that overspill equates to sugar backing up in the blood stream and excess body fat storage.”

      This energy balance is the potential culprit for carbohydrate consumption leading to weight gain at night. In general, an excess binge at night isn’t going to do you any harm provided you’re staying within your total macronutrient needs. The problem is that far too many individuals overload during the day and fail to take that into account at night. According to Miyaki, “Eating too many calories and carbohydrates in general makes you fat. It's the total food intake not the distribution that is the problem.” In fact, one study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition illustrated that carbohydrate consumption may help individuals sleep better during the night – key for individuals suffering from sleep problems. Rather than focusing specifically on the timing, pay attention to your total consumption and keep it within optimal ranges for your particular age, weight, and body composition goals. Carbohydrates aren’t particularly evil during the evening hours. Consumption of excess carbohydrates at any time of the day can lead to weight gain and unwanted changes in body composition.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...eat-before-bed
      Comments 24 Comments
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        It gets even more complicated than that too: Not all carbs are equal. Eating a bag of sugar moments before going to bed will have a considerably different effect than eating a cup of oatmeal before bed.

        It's not carbs at all that cause fat gain, it's too much insulin at any one given moment in time. Carbs that take a long time to digest and that don't illicit a huge response in insulin will almost never cause fat gain but rather encourage muscle building. This is also why I'm an advocate of high protein and high fiber in the presence of high carb intake. Those combined make for an anabolic atmostphere without the added fat gain. Plus your energy levels are sustained.

        To add to all of that, it is proven that the more carbs you eat, the more carbs your body burns. If enough carbs are eaten over the course of the day, the body's metabolism might go as far as shutting off the fat-burning activities altogether and just live off the carbs alone. While this sounds counter-productive to those trying to burn fat (it is counterproductive in that case), it is also a perfect environment to pack on muscle mass while not getting any fatter.
      1. Jason559's Avatar
        Jason559 -
        I agree to both because they are true but I workout too early to eat anything other than my norm n.o. pw, so I consume a good # of carbs before bed so I have energy through my wo the following morning, is there anything I can quickly eat before my workout that won't effect the effect of my pre workout????
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        [QUOTE=Jason559;3931465]I agree to both because they are true but I workout too early to eat anything other than my norm n.o. pw, so I consume a good # of carbs before bed so I have energy through my wo the following morning, is there anything I can quickly eat before my workout that won't effect the effect of my pre workout????[/QUOTE]

        Give me an example of what you are talking about...

        Are you saying that food of any type negatively affects your pre-workout drink?
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Really disappointed in this article. Thought it would have gone deeper. I wont even get into the other stuff.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post
        Really disappointed in this article. Thought it would have gone deeper. I wont even get into the other stuff.
        Agreed, it doesn't go in depth at all which I guess is what compelled my response to begin with.
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        Agreed, it doesn't go in depth at all which I guess is what compelled my response to begin with.
        When I first saw the title I thought "yes it is going to help dispel the myth." I knew it wasn't go into full detail but damn that was pitiful.
      1. whitexican911's Avatar
        whitexican911 -
        Yes this article could be more indepth, I enjoy this articles that really make you think harder. I personally eat 95 percent of my carbs at the last meal i wish i could say sweet potatoes or oatmeal but usaully a bowl of cereal or sonething worse and still ive lost 70 pounds doing this my ratio looks like this 73 fat 18 pro and 9-8 carbs.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by whitexican911 View Post
        Yes this article could be more indepth, I enjoy this articles that really make you think harder. I personally eat 95 percent of my carbs at the last meal i wish i could say sweet potatoes or oatmeal but usaully a bowl of cereal or sonething worse and still ive lost 70 pounds doing this my ratio looks like this 73 fat 18 pro and 9-8 carbs.
        Haha, eating the carbs last meal of the day has nothing to do with your success with losing so much weight! It's the 73% fats versus 9% carbs, lol. You might as well do it right and go keto for a few weeks at a time. What I'm saying is that your carb "mini-backloading" has no correlation to you being lean or losing weight but rather its because your insulin/glucagon ratio is ridiculous causing your body to stay in fat-burning mode all of the time. Carb restrictions are great for losing weight, just not so much for packing on muscle mass.

        This topic is more relative to people who have a bit more balanced approach like a 40/40/20 or 50/30/20 (C/P/F).
      1. theish11's Avatar
        theish11 -
        Absolutely helpful for me. I can't sleep and melatonin makes me looney. I live eating then passing out. Trying to get stronger and faster right now. If I try to get as fast and strong as possible and eat a lot of healthy food, won't the physique just come?
      1. theish11's Avatar
        theish11 -
        Here's a link to my strength training routine.
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post

        Haha, eating the carbs last meal of the day has nothing to do with your success with losing so much weight! It's the 73% fats versus 9% carbs, lol. You might as well do it right and go keto for a few weeks at a time. What I'm saying is that your carb "mini-backloading" has no correlation to you being lean or losing weight but rather its because your insulin/glucagon ratio is ridiculous causing your body to stay in fat-burning mode all of the time. Carb restrictions are great for losing weight, just not so much for packing on muscle mass.

        This topic is more relative to people who have a bit more balanced approach like a 40/40/20 or 50/30/20 (C/P/F).
        But it applies to my situation. Which is why I am disappointed in this article. Doesn't make anyone brain washed actual think. Couldn't even call this the tip of the iceberg. Back loading carbs that cause insulin spikes is great for losing fat AND building muscle.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post
        But it applies to my situation. Which is why I am disappointed in this article. Doesn't make anyone brain washed actual think. Couldn't even call this the tip of the iceberg. Back loading carbs that cause insulin spikes is great for losing fat AND building muscle.
        True, but one bowl of cereal that equates to 5-10% of your daily calories is hardly a backload, wouldn't you agree? (This was referring to the guy that posted something about his carb backloading and his success at losing weight).

        I prefer to just stick myself with some CJC & Ipamorelin AND eat a square meal before bed. Sleep a ton better. Wake up and go GHRP-6 in the AM. Far more effective than trying to put myself in a diabetic coma every night...imo.
      1. powerman2000's Avatar
        powerman2000 -
        I find fault with this article. Eating anything just prior to bed time on a regular basis will at the very least make losing body fat more difficult regardless of total daily calorie intake. Maintaining a 15-16 hour fast after your last meal of the day is crucial for fat loss and keeping a lean physique. At least that is my personal experience. We should all know that while insulin is present in the body, fat burning is impossible. Therefore, the longer we spend sleeping at night with no insulin in the bloodstream the more body fat we will lose. I believe the mantra of needing a Casein protein shake before bed at night to avoid muscle loss is utterly false as well.
      1. Ashto70's Avatar
        Ashto70 -
        In response to the guys criticising the depth of detail in the piece...

        I agree that the article doesn't go into any detail about the subject. However, I think we must appreciate and understand that writing articles of any depth in subject matter with a maximum of 500 words at your disposal is impossible.

        The article merely asks a question, and tries to answer it in the opinion of the author, in the constraints of a very restrictive writing space. The question and answer is a basic one, and simply requires the reader to expand on the subject themselves via critical enquiry and making a sound judgement in regards to the question: Carbs before bed: Good or bad?

        Simples!
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Carbs before bed: Good or Bad?

        Neither. It is what it is.

        If building muscle mass = good.
        If in the last few weeks of competition prep = bad.
        If carb-backloading = good.
        If your already fat = bad.
        If you've been starving yourself in attempt to burn fat = good.
        If trying to recomp = doesn't matter as much. You need the carbs just as bad as you need to burn fat.
        If your one of those anti-carb followers that swear by super fatty diets = this could be eye opening to you as well since your understanding of the connection between carbs and being lean is severely limited.

        And I could go on and on. Again, we should never forget that the type of carbs also has a great deal of influence in whether or not you are likely to get fat, as well as your activity level and your glycogen levels at the time of the meal. Someone who is fully replenished will have crappy results compared to someone who literally just performed interval sprints for 20 minutes. You get my drift.

        The topic has been covered extensively already in other articles on this forum.

        http://anabolicminds.com/forum/conte...-insulin-2860/

        http://anabolicminds.com/forum/conte...r-natural-424/
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        True, but one bowl of cereal that equates to 5-10% of your daily calories is hardly a backload, wouldn't you agree? (This was referring to the guy that posted something about his carb backloading and his success at losing weight).

        I prefer to just stick myself with some CJC & Ipamorelin AND eat a square meal before bed. Sleep a ton better. Wake up and go GHRP-6 in the AM. Far more effective than trying to put myself in a diabetic coma every night...imo.
        I agree 1 bowl wont do too much. He would probably be better served just going ultra low carb and having big refeeds every 5-7 days. Honestly I haven't noticed any vast improvements of sleep but my sleep is quite fickle. With that said what you are doing is just chemically inducing a GH response your body could already provide.

        Originally Posted by powerman2000 View Post
        I find fault with this article. Eating anything just prior to bed time on a regular basis will at the very least make losing body fat more difficult regardless of total daily calorie intake. Maintaining a 15-16 hour fast after your last meal of the day is crucial for fat loss and keeping a lean physique. At least that is my personal experience. We should all know that while insulin is present in the body, fat burning is impossible. Therefore, the longer we spend sleeping at night with no insulin in the bloodstream the more body fat we will lose. I believe the mantra of needing a Casein protein shake before bed at night to avoid muscle loss is utterly false as well.
        If it is an insulin spike it will return to baseline quickly allow for GH during sleep. That kind of fasting depends on how lean and how much muscle you want to lose.

        Originally Posted by Ashto70 View Post
        In response to the guys criticising the depth of detail in the piece...

        I agree that the article doesn't go into any detail about the subject. However, I think we must appreciate and understand that writing articles of any depth in subject matter with a maximum of 500 words at your disposal is impossible.

        The article merely asks a question, and tries to answer it in the opinion of the author, in the constraints of a very restrictive writing space. The question and answer is a basic one, and simply requires the reader to expand on the subject themselves via critical enquiry and making a sound judgement in regards to the question: Carbs before bed: Good or bad?

        Simples!
        If he couldn't do a good job conveying any real point within his word limit maybe he shouldn't write articles.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        The body isn't capable of a 5iu GH response naturally. Just the same concept as using Clomid as a T-booster. When on Clomid, I'm soaring @ 800-1000 serum T, when not I'm between 350-500.

        GHRP's, while acting endogenously, are seriously stouter than eating a certain diet at a certain time. To give perspective on how large 5iu's can be, a 15yr old teenager produces 3-4iu's daily, a 60yr old man is around 1iu daily. GHRP's cause a pulse that last several hours, each pulse can run between 1-5iu's in strength depending on which peptide you use, dosage amount, and whether you combine it with a GHRH (which amplifies the effect). Theoretically, I could have a 5iu pulse 3 times per day on peptides.

        Plus, Ipamorelin actually causes a very deep relaxation for me and does help with my sleep patterns pretty dramatically.

        I have totally gotten off topic. We need to get back to carbs and eating at night, lol.
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        The body isn't capable of a 5iu GH response naturally. Just the same concept as using Clomid as a T-booster. When on Clomid, I'm soaring @ 800-1000 serum T, when not I'm between 350-500.

        GHRP's, while acting endogenously, are seriously stouter than eating a certain diet at a certain time. To give perspective on how large 5iu's can be, a 15yr old teenager produces 3-4iu's daily, a 60yr old man is around 1iu daily. GHRP's cause a pulse that last several hours, each pulse can run between 1-5iu's in strength depending on which peptide you use, dosage amount, and whether you combine it with a GHRH (which amplifies the effect). Theoretically, I could have a 5iu pulse 3 times per day on peptides.

        Plus, Ipamorelin actually causes a very deep relaxation for me and does help with my sleep patterns pretty dramatically.

        I have totally gotten off topic. We need to get back to carbs and eating at night, lol.
        Mehh this article was garbage anyway. Pretty sure anybody got more out of our back and forth than this 500 word bs. I get what your saying drugs can do it better but why not let the drugs work in tandem with your body instead of against it?
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post
        Mehh this article was garbage anyway. Pretty sure anybody got more out of our back and forth than this 500 word bs. I get what your saying drugs can do it better but why not let the drugs work in tandem with your body instead of against it?
        Explain, sir. I'm intrigued.
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        Explain, sir. I'm intrigued.
        Why not line up the diet so you can have your body natural GH response PLUS the added benefit of the drugs? Just makes me think of physique competitors using drugs to counter balance the metabolism killing diets they run pre contest.

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