The Importance of Carbs

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The Importance of Carbs

After I read The Zone Diet and books on the Atkins Diet, I fell into the somewhat misguided belief that carbs are bad. I say somewhat because if we’re not training hard in the gym, carbs do tend to make us fat. That’s because carbs – sugars and starched – tend to increase our production of insulin, and insulin can facilitate fat storage.

When we train hard, however, we need insulin to help push protein into the muscle – and that ‘need’ overrides the fat-storing effect of insulin. Essentially, it negates it. Plus, our muscles are largely composed of glycogen, which is stored carbohydrate. So if you limit your carbs when you’re training hard, especially in the off-season, you will seriously compromise your ability to build muscle.

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That’s why timing your carbs are important. Load up on carbs about an hour or so prior to a hard workout. Limit carbs in the evening. Also, quality of carbs count too. Doritos and Oreos are not the carbs you want prior to working out.

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Exactly

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I would assume that everyone’s need for carbs is different

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I went 30 days of zero carbs (absolutely zero!) and while I lost fat and I was in ketolysis (I used the pee strips to determine that) my energy was fine after a week or so but my endurance suffered when moving heavy weight. I could only do 2 or 3 reps vs 10-12. I wouldn’t recommend it.

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