T Nation

Carb Intolerance a challenge?

We all know that diet has to be individualised. In fact, Berardi has in tha past stated that people tend to vary quite dramatically in their tolerance to carb intake, largely due to insulin sensitivity. Some thrive on higher carb diets, like 60%, while others have to keep on lower carb/higher fat diets, like 15% carb intake. Now, what I want to know is, is it a lot more difficult to put on muscle mass for those people who cannot tolerate carbs well?? After all, if it is a great idea to do everything we can to increase insulin sensitivity, and thereby be able to tolerate more carbs, that to me implies that carb intolerant people have a hard time gaining muscle. We know that glycogen is the preferred fuel for weight training, so if we cannot tolerate much intake of carbs at all, then surely we run into problems?? Empirically, I do not really know any successful bodybuilders who use very carb restricted diets, no matter what the theory states…the guys I know that tip the scales at as much as 280lb eat carbs…and LOTS OF THEM…and they still keep pretty damn lean! Personally, I seem unable to tolerate much in the way of carbs at all if I hope to keep lean…and otherwise I get drowsy and irritable too, as well as flabby. What are your thoughts on this one?

Any of you got any opinions on this at all? Come on guys!

That’s funny, I’m just the opposite. I find, that with low carbs, I feel miserable and low on energy. Plus, I get leaner by limiting fats to bout 15%. But, then, my sex drive suffers due to the low fat diet. I hate it. Even when I try 20 %, I improve, but immediatly gain fat. I asked Berardi bout this, but he said use Tribex, it will make up for the low-fats. But, I’ve been on it for like a year, and it’s not enough. I’m bout 170lbs, and eat bout 3000 cals a day. Also, if you’re LOSING weight, but gaining in BF%, what are you doing wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.

The drowsy and irritable reaction to carbs could very well be a wheat/gluten allergy. My sister-in-law went through this a few years ago. She used to literally almost fall asleep at the wheel driving home from work in the late afternoons. Scary when you consider that she was driving on highways! After many tests, etc. she discovered an intolerance to wheat. Since then she has cut out all wheat products and feels great. You may be in the same boat with that. So many people have an intolerance to wheat that manifests itself in many different ways: drowsiness, bloatedness, lack of energy. It really is not a good food group for humans and the intolerance towards it is something that often happens as we get older.

If anything I think that a carb sensitive person has the advantage over carb tolerant people. The carb sensitive person has a comparatively more powerful insulin sytem of the two. Although carb sensitive people are more prone to insulin resistance, the two shouldn’t be confused.
We need carbs to refuel the muscles. The carb sensitive person can accomplish this using fewer carbs. They can then top up the rest of their daily calorie allowance with fats (which support hormone production) and protein (muscle growth).

Dude those 280lb guys that eat lots of carbs and are lean are on steroids and probably lots of them. Steroids (at bbing doses) make anyone super insulin sensitive, and since you don’t need fats to support hormone levels, they eat carbs, which are more anabolic.

Its all your state of mind,.

If you believe you have an intolerance, you will.

You gotta believe.