T Nation

Carb Timing

For the longest time my eating plan is basically: post-workout shake with whey and sugars and creatine. Otherwise eat lots of meat and vegetables and nothing else.

It has generally worked. It especially helped make it simple and easy when I was in college to gain muscle and keep reasonably slim for a while.

But it’s still not optimal. There are still times when I get a bit too poofy (though I think it’s more an odd adherence thing, too much alcohol or hidden calories when dining out, too big of meals, etc.) and I am definitely not as ripped as some of you guys.

I’d estimate I’m at maybe 13-14%, sometimes I go up to 18%. And I take way longer than most of you guys to put on muscle. I’ve been stuck at 180 (I’m 5’9) for the longest time, though I have improved my composition.

Anyway, now that I’ll be living on my own and eating exactly what I choose, I’m thinking to follow this plan above (but with also a carb+protein thing during the workout and more frequent and smaller meals) during cutting, and introduce carbs (low gi, like fruit, beans, fiber one cereal, etc.) during bulking (which would probably also be healthier in the long term) in P+C meals at appropriate times. In addition I’ll probably start counting calories, grams of C,F,P, etc.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot of nutrition articles and one article said the best way to time carbs so as to avoid lypolysis (is that the word for fat storage?) is to eat it during an “Anabolic phase” 6 hours after lifting because it’ll feed your muscles which are primed for it.

Another article said your hormonal balance is better suited for taking in carbs to make muscle glycogen in the morning and suggest taking it before working out and going 0carb in the evening.

So who’s right? Does anyone have any experience on the matter to shed some light on this?

Here’s the theory. Your body is best suited to handle carbs in the a.m. and early afternoon. So if you eat six times a day, your first two to three meals should be only protein and carbs. There are lots of articles on this, so don’t ask me any follow-up questions. Just do some searches.

This has always sounded like overdoing things to me. But I am going to try this out for shits and giggles. Why? Because that’s the only way you learn things. And it’s not something dramatic that, if it goes “wrong,” will totally derail my progress.

So just try it out for a few weeks. See how your body responds. It’s not like going on steroids or anything dramatic like that. Just do it.

I have found that carb timing works very well for me. Even if I’m bulking, a bowl of pasta at night always hurts more than it helps…

Here’s a good way to combine the information from those two articles you mentioned (the one about no carbs at night and the one about the post workout window):
Meal 1: P+c
Meal 2: p+c postworkout (Surge)
Meal 3: p+c
Meal 4: p+f
Meal 5: p+f
Meal 6: p+f

that way, you’re consuming carbs for about 6 hours after the workout but still none at night

So if I was lifting later in the day, how would that change?
If say I lifted in the afternoon and woke up at 9 and went to sleep at 1, is my intuition correct that something like this be best:
9: P+F
11:30: P+F
2 P+C
4:30: PWO (P+C)
5:30: P+C
8: P+C
10: P+F
1: P

Or should I switch the 11:30 and 8 meals?