T Nation

Carb Loading Days


On days where you feel a little depleted of carbs and you decide you are going to eat more and load on carbs and it is an off day do you just eat c + P all day long or do you keep it to 1-2 meals, or just 1 meal, or what is best? How much fat would you include if any that day?

And do you eat by hunger? Or by when you "feel full" of carbs? Or just do it by calculation?


high-carb (>45%) but total intake under or at maintenance level calories should be ok.
Beyond that, I don't believe that having a mixed macro profile will hamper your carb load.
If anything, it may keep you satiated longer if your meals contain all three macro-nutrients


I would keep fat intake low and shoot for anywhere from 400 to 1k grams of carbs (depending on how depleted you are and personal factors) across multiple meals, preferrably starting immediately after a morning workout


listen to actionjeff...I may have been a little 'happy' when I posted.


From personal experience, I would take it meal by meal and see how your body is responding. Some loads I had 5 meals worth of carbs, and other loads I just had one. It varies. I don't think it's a good idea to go into it with a number predetermined in your head unless you know it works from previous and continual experience.



Well said.


1,000g of carbs? are you serious? jesus christ that's a ton. Unless your 350lbs and planning to bulk.

If your carb cycling or 'cutting' then I'd say to have a better plan of attack and have planned refeed/carb load/cheat days.

It sounds to me that your just eating on a whim.


I've done 13 days of PSMF, which I kicked off with a depletion workout, and 1000g of carbs goes down like air on the carb up at the end!

De Novo lipogenesis (carbs being stored as fat) is pretty much impossible post-workout, and if you're really depleted from exercise or prolonged dieting, it's not unreasonable imo. I've seen people do it as frequently as once a week for figures from 800 to 1k g, while on restrictive cutting plans, amazingly enough

Along these lines, I've heard of a ton of people on other forums getting great resulting doing "smaller" carb ups around the workout 2-3 times a week usually of 1.5-3x bw/g carbs with reduced fat intake.

Very interesting subject


very helpful and informative post actionjeff. those who fear the carb load fear greatness.


1000g of carbs is not nearly as much as it sounds. In fact, some people get that much in a day without knowing...

I agree with going meal to meal. If you've done it a few times, you can see when your body has had enough (usually you start to see rounding or hold water).


i've been averaging about 800g carbs on my weekly refeeds. i am gluten sensitive so it's a challenge, but it's not that hard to get to 800-1000g


YH, i would highly agree to see how u feel after each meal of carbs, i tended to feel very sleepy and lazy so i decided to go back tp a high fat/high protein approach from my 5th meal onwards.


What exactly are you eating to get 800-1000g of carbs


rice - 2.5 cups = 100gm CHO
bagels - 2 bagels = 130gm CHO
fruit juice - 3cups = 110gm CHO
apple - 2 large = 50gm CHO
banana - 2 large = 60gm CHO
oatmeal - 1 cup = 55gm CHO
pita bread - 2 6-inch = 60gm CHO
fries - 1 med - 57gm CHO

that's about...600gm there. I am nauseated just at the thought of choking that down.


breakfast: oatmeal, banana, fruit juice
snack: bagel & juice
lunch: pita, fries, juice
snack: apple, bagel
dinner: rice

See that? Easy!!!! =) Breakfast and dinner alone could easily fit another 200g.

But yeah, not too many occasions to justify such a large carb load I admit lol. PSMF or AD style bulk maybe?


This is highly individual.

As I understand it...

The more total skeletal muscle mass you're carrying given the same levels of hydration and glycogen saturation(depleted or loaded, etc...) the longer(more meals and more time with elevated blood glucose) it will take to replenish those stores. Further, the total carbohydrate load necessary to fill those stores of glycogen will be greater.

The leaner(better insulin sensitivities) you are the more often you should carb load when carb cycling.

A very developed individual with a certain bodyfat level will load up with more total carbs requiring more meals than a less developed individual with comparable bodyfat level.
However, the amount of time spent between loading will be the same or similar(depending on training intensity, frequency, how fast glycogen stores are depleted, etc...)

My 2 cents.


I pretty much follow UD2 guidelines

fruit morning pre-workout and some gatorade peri-workout, full body and 6-12 reps. If I'm doing a multi-day refeed, carb load might start in an evening, and continue the next day.

Then whatever condensed sugar I am craving with FF milk PWO, and starches every couple hours after that until sleep. 100g a meal for 6 meals after the huge PWO meal is easy as hell and I usually end up doing bigger meals or just slowly eating stuff tbh.

Some veggies and potatoes and beans too, an of course protein sources. Between tagalong fats and some fish oil and maybe a little olive oil or w/e there isn't any need for more fat. Although sometimes I like to terminate the whole endless insulin surge and feeding frenzy before sleep with a filling fatty burger on an ezekiel bun and pass right out.

If it's a one day deal, push the workout as hard as possible and go back to whatever your plan is the next day. If it's a multi-day like at the end of a PSMF or specific plan, more carbs but nothing comparable and mostly low GI stuff, maybe 2-2.5 g/lb for me if I did 1k the last day. Creatine and l-glycine and ALA as well during the carb load.

Then the morning after that I wake up feeling beastly and by the afternoon I have an urge to throw around as much weight as my body will let me and do a heavy ass power workout

I've found I am stronger and better recovered with an additional day in between the workouts but I'm sure it's a trade off and some people are fine with a day and a halfs recovery.