More carbs then Protein or More Protein then Carbs?

Convential wisdom in flex says that unless you want to be on small status, you must take in more carbs then protein. Ok, it’s a fair opinion. I have also read a counter opinion from a group dealing with much less drug-depenedent bodybuilders that claims that no, in fact, carbs should be just high enough to provide energy for the day and no higher, and that protein should be the overwhelming calorie source.

So one philosophy says: 300g C, 200g P, minimal fat, the other philosophy says 200g C, 300g P, minimal fat.

Does anyone have any experience who has tried both and can speak objectively?

I think diet can be very individual, depending on many factors including, your natural metabolism (natural lean gainer or gain fat easy),your goals (ripping/cutting or maintenance or bulking), and your insulin/carb sensitivity. If you are a natural lean gainer with good insulin sensitivity, you will probably need more carbs. Myself, being 45 yo, my insulin sensitivity has decreased over the years and metabolism slowed and hormonal profile changed due to middle age which all allows me to gain fat easily if not careful with carb consumption. So if your metabolism can take extra carbs with out getting fat - go for it. If you gain fat easily or want to stay very lean, then you will have to watch carbs very close. While on an androgen assisted bulking cycle, most do better with higher carbs, lower fat until coming off at which time you may want to lower carbs and up fat for hormonal recovery.

Read Appetite for Construction column in this issue; it will give you some insight on dietary fat.

I agee with Heb’s observations. However, I do have one thing to add: any diet or philosophy that advocates “minimal” fat is suspect, and most likely should not be followed. While the exact percentage of total daily calories can be debated, somewhere between 15-20% of total daily calories appear to support both anabolism and proper hormonal production and function.

The myth that “fat makes you fat” dies hard…and it STILL permeates modern thought, including the fitness and nutrition community.

Conventional wisdom in flex is usually ridiculous so get your info from sources other that. As far as protein intake goes, when i prescribe an intake for an athlete i usually don’t go higher than 2g/kg of bodyweight so if your taking in 1gram/lbs you will have plenty of protien. Make sure you are getting plenty of carbs in you, remember you can store carbs in your muscle and liver. If you don’t get enough carbs the extra protein and/or your muscle will be broken down by a process called gluconeogenisis to form glucose anyway so it would be better to have the glucose there in the first place.

By the way…that 15-20% of total daily calories from fat represents a MINIMUM. You certainly can push it higher, especailly with Isocaloric diets that run in the 30% or so range.