T Nation

Carbs Post-Workout?

I have been training for over a year now, in great shape, yet I have never experimented with carbs post workout. Are they really necessary or helpful? I just eat chicken and greens aftter my workout for dinner… I have been fine.

Anyone else have an opinion?

I seem to do fine either way, but I don’t have aspirations of being much bigger than I am now (5’10, 190).

The big guys will most likely all say go with the carbs post workout/whenever.

It’s okay to be fine.

But I’d rather be optimal.

If your trying to gain the most muscle and your lifting hard every day you should have carbs after your workout. if not then your fine.

I would’nt go training if I didn’t have carbs for after! End of story!
Whats your bf there?

[quote]Davenegger wrote:
I would’nt go training if I didn’t have carbs for after! End of story!
Whats your bf there?[/quote]

Same philosophy here.

Read me!


I started with the Sugar/Whey post workout protocol about 5 years ago, and like to think that’s a big reason why my physique really stepped up to the next level. Sure, I’m not pro BBer, but for my height, (bout 5’8/5’9) I looked pretty solid at 180lbs. I’m now around 205, with pretty solid abs considering how lax my diet is. REcover is incredibly important, and I think post workout nutrition is too often neglected. Something else I started this past summer, and think has also made some improvements in my physique, is the use of a handful of BCAAs midworkout (I read how Thibs downs a bunch while training)

S

[quote]SBT wrote:
It’s okay to be fine.

But I’d rather be optimal.[/quote]

I assume this is in response to my post.

What I’m saying is that I’ve done the “optimal” but I don’t get better results (for my goals of relative strength and power) than just eating meat, fruit, and vegetables an hour after my workout (blasphemy, I know). If my goals were to be well over 200lbs at 5’10, I might change my tune a bit.

To me, there’s a health trade off that I don’t want to make in exchange for what might be needed to make the push for abnormal.

Well, eating fruit after your workout certainly constitutes sugar, so you’re getting the insulin surge you want, and the cortisol suppresion as well.

As far as trading off health benfits for muscle gains? I don’t get it, I don’t think anyone’s talking about doing anything unhealthy, heck, I eat way more vegetables and oatmeal than anyone I’ve ever known, still, I wouldn’t eat anything that would digest slowly psot workout (it’s also the only meal I dont take fish oils with for the same reason).

S

Not necessarily, lets say you eat an apple or berries after WO, those are very low GI and contain little glucose, producing very little insulin response. But even if you eat some high GI, high glucose fruits, adding meats and veggies to them will blunt any insulin response. I’m not a scientist or anything but everything Ive read says that to maximize protein synthesis you want an insulin spike after WO.

Well, any carbs will produce ‘some’ insulin rise (hell, ANY food in your mouth will do that!), and in the discussion of post workout carbs (which is what this thread was discussing), some will always be better than none. Of course other foods will slow the digestion, that’s why I noted that I skip the fish oils with my post workout meal, because it slows everything down.

Besides, unless I’m mistaken, havent the studies always said that carbs + protein post workout is better than just carbs? THat being the case, Gi2eg’s decision to ingest fruits, vegetables and meat an hour after he trains is certainly acceptable (and most likely working -lol)

S

Try it. I think you’ll find a nice boost in recovery and work capacity. You’re likley to put on some size by optimizing anabolism too.

[quote]gi2eg wrote:

To me, there’s a health trade off that I don’t want to make in exchange for what might be needed to make the push for abnormal.
[/quote]
Why should carbs post workout be detrimental to your health?

[quote]michael2507 wrote:
gi2eg wrote:

To me, there’s a health trade off that I don’t want to make in exchange for what might be needed to make the push for abnormal.

Why should carbs post workout be detrimental to your health?
[/quote]

I don’t like the way I feel when I hit the carbs/sugar hard.

And I don’t think the huge spike in blood sugar and subsequently, insulin, is natural/normal/healthy. This is not to say that it’s not the appropriate choice for putting on the “upper levels” of mass. However, this is probably quite stressful to the body. I also never quite got on with the instant refilling of glycogen store thing. I’ve never “hit the wall” during a workout, even with less than full glycogen stores. So I don’t know why I need to refill them immediately and not naturally.

I just think a muscular physique is attainable without it, in near the same amount of time, at least to a certain level of bodymass/height. For example, I don’t have any problem getting up to 195lbs at 5’10 without protein shakes and carbs. At this point I’m just eating maintenance, and putting on muscle pretty slowly (inadvertently, as I get stronger). This is fine for me, and I think its fine for anyone looking to attain a muscular and athletic physique.

And yes, fruits and meats will have some effect on insulin, but not the same as simple sugars.

I realize that my opinions are different than the norm on here, and that many of you guys have done very well for yourselves following the advices of Berardi and others. Just wanted to give the OP another take on things. Good luck.

I’ve used post workout carbs before and to be honest I’ve not noticed much of an improvement in recovery. I like to stick with a protein shake, creatine, and an emerg-n-c packet now. I then eat a p+f meal about an hour later.

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
gi2eg wrote:

To me, there’s a health trade off that I don’t want to make in exchange for what might be needed to make the push for abnormal.

Why should carbs post workout be detrimental to your health?

I don’t like the way I feel when I hit the carbs/sugar hard.

And I don’t think the huge spike in blood sugar and subsequently, insulin, is natural/normal/healthy. This is not to say that it’s not the appropriate choice for putting on the “upper levels” of mass. However, this is probably quite stressful to the body. I also never quite got on with the instant refilling of glycogen store thing. I’ve never “hit the wall” during a workout, even with less than full glycogen stores. So I don’t know why I need to refill them immediately and not naturally.

I just think a muscular physique is attainable without it, in near the same amount of time, at least to a certain level of bodymass/height. For example, I don’t have any problem getting up to 195lbs at 5’10 without protein shakes and carbs. At this point I’m just eating maintenance, and putting on muscle pretty slowly (inadvertently, as I get stronger). This is fine for me, and I think its fine for anyone looking to attain a muscular and athletic physique.

And yes, fruits and meats will have some effect on insulin, but not the same as simple sugars.

I realize that my opinions are different than the norm on here, and that many of you guys have done very well for yourselves following the advices of Berardi and others. Just wanted to give the OP another take on things. Good luck.[/quote]

            Hey whatever works for you man.

But it isn’t unhealthy at all. Insulin opens the “doors” to the muscle cells. Ie: the membranes allow all the nutrients available to be shuttled into the cells. So that’s why you want the carbs, high GI low sugar, like maltodextrin, etc, to be combined with your creatine, bcaa’s and/or whey isolate during this temporary “window” of opportunity directly after a strenuous workout.

         If you hadn't worked out hard then it probably would be unhealthy to a point, because the muscle cells won't be depleted of glucose, and it will instead be directed to liver and fat storage. So, you will just put on fat, since most likely your liver will be fairly full as well. 

         Take an anatomy/physiology class and you will understand this better.

                    TBN

[quote]InTheZone wrote:
gi2eg wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
gi2eg wrote:

To me, there’s a health trade off that I don’t want to make in exchange for what might be needed to make the push for abnormal.

Why should carbs post workout be detrimental to your health?

I don’t like the way I feel when I hit the carbs/sugar hard.

And I don’t think the huge spike in blood sugar and subsequently, insulin, is natural/normal/healthy. This is not to say that it’s not the appropriate choice for putting on the “upper levels” of mass. However, this is probably quite stressful to the body. I also never quite got on with the instant refilling of glycogen store thing. I’ve never “hit the wall” during a workout, even with less than full glycogen stores. So I don’t know why I need to refill them immediately and not naturally.

I just think a muscular physique is attainable without it, in near the same amount of time, at least to a certain level of bodymass/height. For example, I don’t have any problem getting up to 195lbs at 5’10 without protein shakes and carbs. At this point I’m just eating maintenance, and putting on muscle pretty slowly (inadvertently, as I get stronger). This is fine for me, and I think its fine for anyone looking to attain a muscular and athletic physique.

And yes, fruits and meats will have some effect on insulin, but not the same as simple sugars.

I realize that my opinions are different than the norm on here, and that many of you guys have done very well for yourselves following the advices of Berardi and others. Just wanted to give the OP another take on things. Good luck.

            Hey whatever works for you man.

But it isn’t unhealthy at all. Insulin opens the “doors” to the muscle cells. Ie: the membranes allow all the nutrients available to be shuttled into the cells. So that’s why you want the carbs, high GI low sugar, like maltodextrin, etc, to be combined with your creatine, bcaa’s and/or whey isolate during this temporary “window” of opportunity directly after a strenuous workout.

         If you hadn't worked out hard then it probably would be unhealthy to a point, because the muscle cells won't be depleted of glucose, and it will instead be directed to liver and fat storage. So, you will just put on fat, since most likely your liver will be fairly full as well. 

         Take an anatomy/physiology class and you will understand this better.

                    TBN[/quote]

Thanks for trying to clear that up, but I’ve taken some bio/physio, and to my knowledge, there will still be the same amount of insulin secretion whether or not you just worked out. So to the pancreas, isn’t it the same amount of work for the pancreatic beta cells?

I’m not talking about fat storage here (this is a given, why would you want carbs that weren’t even going to go to muscle stores), only about insulin production, beta cell degeneration, and oxidative stress.

Maybe you know something I don’t. Is there some sort of beta cell degeneration inhibition because of the previous bout of exercise?

I also don’t like the feeling of blood sugar swings, hunger pangs, etc.

Someway, somehow, nutrients seem to be sneaking their way into my muscle cells. This makes sense to me. Why would I need something that I can’t find in the wild in order to be muscular? Paleolithic humans were quite powerfully built.

This was not the topic in question, but I also practice intermittent fasting regularly (and work out fasted most of the time). Maybe this is increasing my insulin sensitivity to the protein and fruit?

I do notice a big improvement in recovery right after a workout when I take PWO nutrition. I am ignorant enough to only know the science behind it from reading Biotest articles, but if I feel better on PWO than off it, then who am I to argue or analyze?

gi2eg, why do you want to follow our ancestors in their eating habits when most of them didn’t live past the age of 30?

read the book “Nutrient Timing”. it’ll answer all your questions and concerns about why you should take a pre and post workout shake.