T Nation

Couple of Carb-Cycling Questions

One, if you have two high carb days week, should they be before, on, or after your hard days?

Example, as far as strength training, I have a deadlift day on Tuesdays, a squat day on Fridays, and am going to start running hills and/or doing complexes on Wednesday and MAYBE Saturday. Which days of that week would be best for getting my high carbs in?

Two, my brother has this Carbo Max stuff that he doesn’t use. One, serving is 57grams of carbs. Only ingredient is maltodextrin. Would that be worth throwing into my post-workout shakes on my high-carb days? My current post-workout shake is 1 cup whole milk, 3-4 raw eggs, 1tbsp coconut oil, 1 serving of Metabolic Drive and 5grams of creatine. So basically, high fat and high protein. When I have money, wanted to buy some powdered BCAAs to throw in there. So yeah, since it was probably lost in the essay I just wrote; would this Carbo Max be worth throwing in my post workout shakes on high-carb days?

Thanks

My High days are on my hardest days, Legs and Shoulders/back. Starting Monday, my rotation goes H M H L M L M I make sure my Low days are off days. Im pretty sure that your PWO isnt too great. Grouping Fats with your carbs is not ideal, especially PWO. Simply put, fats slow down digestion, and PWO is the one time you need Quick, immediate absorption, which is why it is extremely important to take in some some quick absorbing material, whey and simple sugars. Your PWO shake is All fat and no carbs.

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
My High days are on my hardest days, Legs and Shoulders/back. Starting Monday, my rotation goes H M H L M L M I make sure my Low days are off days. Im pretty sure that your PWO isnt too great. Grouping Fats with your carbs is not ideal, especially PWO. Simply put, fats slow down digestion, and PWO is the one time you need Quick, immediate absorption, which is why it is extremely important to take in some some quick absorbing material, whey and simple sugars. Your PWO shake is All fat and no carbs.[/quote]

Yeah, I’m coming from the primal community…high fat, medium/high protein and low-carb, like never more than 150grams a day. The goals I had a year ago, that was fine. The goals I’ve come to now, not so much. Still trying to maintain some of those beliefs, but know some of them need to go out the window.

What would be a good PWO shake then. I am currently on a tight budget, which is why my shake has the milk and the eggs and the coconut oil, trying to keep it more actual food base. The only supps I have now (bought before being laid off and having to be on a tight budget); greens+, Flameout, rez-v, about 1 3/4 remaining tubs of Metabolic Drive, creatine (Biotest), and my brother has NO-Explode and that Carbo Max stuff.

If I remember correctly, Metabolic Drive is slower digesting, right? Does that make it non-ideal for a post-workout meal? Would I need a different post-workout shake on high and medium and low days or should the post-workout be the same given that your body has the same needs post workout regardless of the day in the cycle?

In case it makes any kind of difference, I am currently 30% body fat (navy tape measure test), trying to get to 12% by June 1st. Doing the 5/3/1 boring but big and trying to work my way into ‘moving north of vag’.

Also, on high-carb days, when your interest is fat loss with maximum possible muscle retention, should all carbs be consumed in the morning and as close to the workout as possible (note, I workout within four hours of waking up, usually less, just because it fits my work and school schedules better that way) like on low-carb days?

[quote]benos4752 wrote:

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
My High days are on my hardest days, Legs and Shoulders/back. Starting Monday, my rotation goes H M H L M L M I make sure my Low days are off days. Im pretty sure that your PWO isnt too great. Grouping Fats with your carbs is not ideal, especially PWO. Simply put, fats slow down digestion, and PWO is the one time you need Quick, immediate absorption, which is why it is extremely important to take in some some quick absorbing material, whey and simple sugars. Your PWO shake is All fat and no carbs.[/quote]

Yeah, I’m coming from the primal community…high fat, medium/high protein and low-carb, like never more than 150grams a day. The goals I had a year ago, that was fine. The goals I’ve come to now, not so much. Still trying to maintain some of those beliefs, but know some of them need to go out the window.

What would be a good PWO shake then. I am currently on a tight budget, which is why my shake has the milk and the eggs and the coconut oil, trying to keep it more actual food base. The only supps I have now (bought before being laid off and having to be on a tight budget); greens+, Flameout, rez-v, about 1 3/4 remaining tubs of Metabolic Drive, creatine (Biotest), and my brother has NO-Explode and that Carbo Max stuff.

If I remember correctly, Metabolic Drive is slower digesting, right? Does that make it non-ideal for a post-workout meal? Would I need a different post-workout shake on high and medium and low days or should the post-workout be the same given that your body has the same needs post workout regardless of the day in the cycle?[/quote]

Protein and carbs. Thats what you need in your PWO shake. You budget is irrelevant. Minus the milk and the Coconut oil. Use water. That saves you money there. If you want natural stuff, bananas are good PWO. Protein and carbs! I havent looked into MD too much, so i dunno. I recall seeing people use it as a snack substitution tho, that tells me its going to be a bit on the slower digesting side. I use the same shake on each of my days. Its an 80 carb shake, so i just make adjustments with my meals that allow for me to take in 80 carbs later. FOR EXAMPLE, with my body, im allowed 250 carbs on my low days. So i have approx 100carbs with breakfast, approx 60 with snack, and 80 with my PWO shake. On my high carb days, i take in about 450. So i have a lot more room to work with my carbs, taking them in with every meal except for my pre bed.

So, a good post-workout meal could be say a quality whey shake, in water and a banana or two? Maybe even with the banana blended in for simplicity? That would be what, 20g protein and ~50g carbs (if the website giving me the nutritional data for bananas is accurate)? Researching this in the forums, I keep seeing a 2:1 carb:protein ratio recommended for post-workout, that def fits.

Yeah, I am def on much less of a carb allowance with my 30% body fat, but I think I understand what you mean.

[quote]benos4752 wrote:
So, a good post-workout meal could be say a quality whey shake, in water and a banana or two? Maybe even with the banana blended in for simplicity? That would be what, 20g protein and ~50g carbs (if the website giving me the nutritional data for bananas is accurate)? Researching this in the forums, I keep seeing a 2:1 carb:protein ratio recommended for post-workout, that def fits.

Yeah, I am def on much less of a carb allowance with my 30% body fat, but I think I understand what you mean.[/quote]

Post workout is a freebee. If you are carb restricting to the EXTREME minimal, PWO is when you should be having your carbs, know what im saying? Sure you can keep a 2:1 about it, but dont dip too low. So i might even push that PWO up a bit. Give it a shot, see how things go.

I think I got it. I’m definitely trying to keep carbs low, my original idea was to follow the diet in CT’s refined physique transformation article. I’m not going to be going that low. And my high-carb days are going to be more frequent then the once every 14 days, but the general idea of the very low-carbs on non-high days is def what I am going for. I want to lose the weight as quickly, but also as steadily as possible. 59 pounds of fat to lose in 9 months. ~1.5 pounds a week. Very doable in my mind.

Honestly at 30% body fat I think your PWO shake is not exactly a big deal.

I don’t even know why someone who’s 30% bodyfat would bother with intricate shit like carb cycling when a far easier approach can get them down to 12-15% in the first place, and THEN more fancy shit can come into the picture. Most people can get down to 12% with a lot of activity and a lifestyle diet, even with a few cheat meals a week.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Honestly at 30% body fat I think your PWO shake is not exactly a big deal.

[/quote]

But if he dials carb cycling down, which the pwo shake can be a huge portion of depending on the day, then its something he needs to know. I mean ditching the approx 50g of fat from his PWO shake in itself should be a huge step towards dropping some bf.

I wouldnt say his PWO shake is number 1 priority, but in reality to drop pure fat effectively and quickly, EVERYTHING needs to be flowing smoothly. So in terms of carb cycling, he has to be consuming the right kind of carbs, the right time of day, varying from day to day depending on his cycle. He also has to be consuming the right kind of fats, good meats. He has to be intelligently pairing his Carb/pro/fats, ensuring that he is burning more than he is consuming, etc etc. There are so many other factors i didnt touch on because i am not the end all be all on dieting/carb cycling. Yea i couldve sat here and typed a page long description of how/when/what he should eat, but hell this is a community. Other people can throw in their 2cents. There are probably some out there w/ differing opinions than my own even when it comes to a PWO shake.

Last time I dieted down I consulted with Shelby Starnes(probably the most known carb cycle guy out there), my PWO meal was usually chicken and a sweet potato or oatmeal.

I agree dropping the extraneous junk is a step in the right direction.

OP, If you really want to carb cycle have your carbs on the hardest training days in the form of complex carbs in the first 3-4 meals you have that day. You don’t NEED a huge supply of carbs to train and calories need to be cut somewhere. Oats, rice, sweet pots, you know the drill.

About the second question and carbo-max… you don’t need it. Make your PWO meal something simple like 2 scoops of MD with oatmeal.

What sort of cardio are you planning on doing?

I know that there are much more important things than the PWO shake. I already know a lot about nutrition and have started implementing it again (lost A LOT of weight a few years ago, but have since gained it back). However, the area of workout nutrition (is it peri- or para-?) is an area I have very limited knowledge, so, naturally, I have questions. Until today, I thought that the only thing that mattered was flooding your body with as much protein has possible, now I know it’s a little more complicated than that.

As far as carb cycling, it was recommended to me on another thread on here. My original plan was to do a very low carb approach (such as from CT’s physique transformation article, like I said earlier). However, after having carb cycling recomended to me, I did a little research and want to try to implement it for a month or two and see how it works for me. I know the very low carb approach works from experience, but it was also very hard/taxing. I want to see what the carb cycling is like and how my results are on it.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
What sort of cardio are you planning on doing? [/quote]

I’m going to try to stick closely to the 5/3/1+north of vag combo. With north of vag, Wendler calls for three days a week of hill sprints and sled drags. I’m going to do my first day of hill sprints tomorrow. Then Sat, see how I feel. If I think I can handle it, another day of hill sprints or Ill do the sled drags.

I eventually plan to work up to the three days a week, but right now, I’m pretty deconditioned and am being a little cautious. When I get up to three days though, it will be the hill sprints, sled drags and maybe some complexes (be they bodyweight or barbell or kettlebell).

You can take whatever approach you want for this, believing in a diet/program is 1/2 the battle.

You have to be careful. whatever dietary approach you decide to take, you cant leap into cardio too quickly. Dropping calories too quickly paired with too much cardio can result in a lot of muscle mass loss. You have to ease into one, and then later ease into the other.

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
You have to be careful. whatever dietary approach you decide to take, you cant leap into cardio too quickly. Dropping calories too quickly paired with too much cardio can result in a lot of muscle mass loss. You have to ease into one, and then later ease into the other. [/quote]

Yeah, trying to ease into things for a couple reasons. One, I’m coming from a deconditioned state. Two, something CT said once,

'This is one problem I see with a lot of people attempting a body transformation: they do too much too soon. They set their caloric intake at a super low level from the start, perform tons of cardio, and use all the fat loss supplements known to man. They lose fat fast, but eventually the body will adapt and they’ll stop progressing.

Where can they go now? They can’t cut calories even more without risking muscle loss, they can’t add more training without interfering with that little thing called life, and they don’t have any more fat burners to add to their arsenal. Bottom line: they’re stuck!

We all want fast results. Fat loss if a very emotional issue; we want to be lean ASAP. But you must realize that the ones who will reach their goal are the ones who can progress for the longest period of time. And that requires doing the minimum necessary to get the job done and only adding things in as progress stops. In other words, gradually cut calories, increase cardio, and add supplements, but only as needed.’

I’m trying to keep my calorie cut small so I can cut it more as time goes on when needed without detriment. Only planning on doing one day of cardio for now, will work up to the three days over two or three cycles. And not even going to think of something like HOT-ROX til like the last 15 or so pounds.

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
You have to be careful. whatever dietary approach you decide to take, you cant leap into cardio too quickly. Dropping calories too quickly paired with too much cardio can result in a lot of muscle mass loss. You have to ease into one, and then later ease into the other. [/quote]

Could be true for someone who’s moderately lean, not someone who’s 30%.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
You have to be careful. whatever dietary approach you decide to take, you cant leap into cardio too quickly. Dropping calories too quickly paired with too much cardio can result in a lot of muscle mass loss. You have to ease into one, and then later ease into the other. [/quote]

Could be true for someone who’s moderately lean, not someone who’s 30%.[/quote]

you think so? meh, yea i could be wrong =p