Pre / During workout Carbs
05-20-2012 05:10 PM
Pre / During workout Carbs
44 year-old 5'9" male getting back into shape looking for some pre-workout info - most particularly related to carb intake during the workout. My current weight is around 214 and have been losing about a pound a week for the past 6 weeks, but the recomp has been fairly significant. Shifted some blubber for new muscle and I’m seeing some really good improvements in overall composition. Benching 195, Squatting 215, Deadlifting 185 – all with really good form. I don’t forgo form for pounds so I’m sure I could lift more, but sacrificing form.
I'm currently doing the 5x5 stronglift program and feeling great doing it. Been on SL for about two months, but have been lifting on and off for about 18 months sporadically. I'm a former college swimmer so my prior workout experience was generally geared for endurance, but would really like to shift my goals to pack on some muscle weight and lose the chubby look.
I'm eating between 4-5 meals a day and consuming between 2000 on off days and 2500 on workout days (which is an every other day rotation). Grabbing about 185 - 200 grams of protein and limiting my carb intake to around 100g, with the rest coming from fats. My basic supplements include Orange Triad, Supper Cissus, Nordic Naturals Omega 3 and that’s about it. I will most likely start introducing whey / casein proteins into my diets as well as some L-glutamine and creatine to help get some physiological improvements. Also, will be taking Alpha T2, because my gut just wont get out of the way.
I'm doing quite of bit of text book reading and browsing the forum community diets on pre and workout intakes and it seems to be a little confusing. Most of the textbooks (Ivy, Benardot and others) I've read suggested to consume carbs to initiate insulin production with the intent of providing glycogen support to muscles while also suppressing catabolic processes.
But the conflict between the textbook application and the current view of workout consumption is that carb intake for anaerobic activities may not be completely necessary. I haven't read too many logs of pre workout high GI carbs (sugars).
Is anyone advocating or discouraging carbs during workouts?
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
05-20-2012 11:59 PM
I'm all for carbs but thats just because my exercise goes beyond 2 hours and I need the energy to sustain performance. If blood glycogen is depleted and liver gylogen is depleted this may result in mental fatigue which will result in poor concentration, desire to workout etc. etc. and therefore have a negitive impact on performance (even if muscle glycogen stores are adequate), if muscle, blood and liver glycogen is depleted then this will also impact negitively on performance. However if your routine ends before these get depleted then you may not have to consume carb during exercise.
Just gauge it on how you feel afterwards or if you end the session prematurely then perhaps look into it. If you get what you want out of the session without it then you may not need it. But after exercise definitly consume some CHO to replenish those depleted stores
05-21-2012 12:53 AM
Carbs during workouts? I'm all for Carbs pre and post sometimes for breakfast depending on recovery but during... I would get sick.
I guess a better way to answer your question would be with a question... Why would you want Carbs during a workout and what form of Carbs are we talking about? Like gatorade or something?
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05-21-2012 08:17 PM
Thanks guys for your feedback. I honestly didn't think many lifters were taking carbs pre or intra workouts. I’m not scientist, but I’m becoming an informed reader trying to implement efficiency in my diet and workouts. So I’m just going to regurgitate some of the key points that I’ve been picking up.
The premise of taking carbs during workout (and yeah, gatorade or something comparable) are two-fold.
Firstly, to continue the insulin spike (from the pre workout meal / drink). The key is to utilize the insulin to push glucose into the areas of need. In this particular case, either the muscles or liver. Glucose is the primary fuel for muscular energy. We have limited amounts of glycogen stored in our bodies. As we’re working out, we deplete the stores of glycogen. We’re storing appx 350 grams in our muscles and another 90 grams in the liver. We also need it floating in our blood for basic neurological functions as well. As we ingest the carbs, our bodies break it down into glucose.
As the body breaks down the carbs into glucose, it raises our blood sugar levels. The body reacts to the influx of glucose and tries to create a homeostasis environment, which is when insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin allows glucose to enter cells, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. Glucose is thereby forced into either muscle or fat cells and stored as glycogen. Obviously there is a saturation point, so the capture of glucose in the muscle is dependent upon the amount of energy expended. ATP is our primary fuel source, which is created by the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Taking in carbs during a workout can therefore maintain a consistent level of glucose in the blood and glycogen in the muscles.
The secondary reason for continuing to take in carbs during a workout is to suppress Cortisol (hormone secreted from the adrenal gland), which has been determined to act as a catabolic hormone against muscle. Cortisol is released during stress (such as the soreness of exercising) as well as when blood sugars are low. The primary source of energy is derived from the breakdown of carbs (blood sugar & glycogen), fat and protein. Cortisol goes straight to the protein and begins to breakdown muscle.
Insulin has been determined to slow down the release of cortisol – they are opposing hormones. Therefore maintaining an insulin spike and lowering cortisol is advantageous to preserving muscle proteins.
This is all text book stuff – but I’m not fully convinced of its application in the gym.
05-21-2012 08:23 PM
Good luck on your program man! You seem like you got it all under control
05-27-2012 11:07 AM
yes you are correct spiking insulin during workouts will not only help with the energy levels but with recovery as well.
Originally Posted by MangoMani
Some BBs advocate taking and im not saying you should just describing the principle...insulin before workout and drinking a protein/simple carb drink while working out.
Does it work..heck yes and it doesnt not put on fat because it's used to replenish glycogen much faster that a PWO.
Read between the lines it works
Last edited by vassille; 05-27-2012 at 11:09 AM.
Reason: added stuff
05-27-2012 09:10 PM
The reason many BBers restrict CHO intake is so that their body burns fat as a fuel instead. So, if your trying to cut, then perhaps during exercise try limit the CHO intake. If your on a bulk, then im all for it.
Depends entirely on what your goals are
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