T Nation

Carbs Before or After?

Is it better to eat a decent amount of carbs before exercise, or is it better to eat them afterwards? I’m not talking about weight-lifting, I’m talking about cardio (basketball, tennis, cycling).

What I’ve been reading lately, it sounds like a good option (if you have some fat on you) would be to take a TBSP of olive oil or other fats (like PB) about 30 min before exercise, then only whey/casein plus glutamine (start with 10g, work your way up to maybe 25g) PWO. Possibly only BCAAs during the workout. Sounds like the need to spike insulin PWO is overrated.

Of course, it really matters how YOU respond. The above is what I will be doing. You may do better with more carbs. I guess the key is to stick with the plan for maybe 4-6 weeks and monitor your body. Adjust from there.

I depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and the intensity and duration you’ll be engaged in such activities.

If your goal is performance, you’ll want carbs, with protein, before and after exercise.

If you’re looking to drop fat, and you don’t mind sacrificing performance a little, you may want limit your carb intake prior to such activities.

Obviously, you should be looking at this with you’re overall nutritional strategy in mind, so it’s tough to make good recommendations without knowing how you eat throughout the day.

Both. Carbs before to boost cardio performance and carbs after to properly restore your glycogen stores. Don’t ever carb-starve before cardio.

Hey…when they talk about carbs in your Post Workout Shake, what do they use? I know people say maltodextrin…but what the hell is that? What else could I use for carbs in my pwo?

Dextrose, which is glucose, can also be used. It’s sold in most health food stores. It used to be in supermarkets also but around here anyway I don’t see it these days.

Not sucrose, because half of that is fructose, which cannot be used by muscle.