T Nation

Morning Carbs??

The morning carbs subject has given me trouble. For most of this year i have been having 2 P+F then training. I like to train in the morning, also it is best with my class scedule. I’m in a delema. I want to have P+C breakfast, but i could only do it 2x’s a week.

Monday it is possible for me to have a a P+C, then P+F then train. Tuesday i train after my first meal, same with wednisday and thursday. Friday is the same as monday.

Over the summer i will probably also be training first thing in the morning. What should i do? However, when i do train first thing in the morning, i can finish my P+C early in the day.

Ryan…L-Train presented some awesome info in his most recent article, Temporal Nutrition. That said, I strongly feel that the absolute best time to take in your carbs is the post-workout period (or during training as well).

This is the time that the body is most sensitive to insulin and the most glucose is taken up in the muscle.

The info that Dr. Lowery presented about morning carbs being most optimal and fat being better in the later hours holds completely true when you don’t train. But when one trains, he throws a monkey wrench in this whole process.

If you train better with pre-training fat and protein meals, then continue doing so. In this case, have a liquid meal after your training (and possibly during), and follow that up with one or two protein and carb meals.

My question comes up after reading L-Trains article several times, ive also been pondering since he was in the guest forum.

I always have 2 carbs meals after training, 3 counting during and post shake. And usually 2 P+F before, but now since im trying to get leaner, im trying to get more of my carbs earlier.

With that being said, if i was not training, yes my carb meals would all come in the morning.

Now with this thought in mind, would it be benificial to have a P+C for breakfast, wait about 90 mins, then train? Or are my better off having a P+F then training an hour later(As ive been doing).
Also, what about wednisday when my workout is cardio and abs? Would i still go with a P+C at about 8:00, and begin training at about 10:45-11?

The thing is with the P+C on non training days, i dont have any non training days.

This protien carb idea, then waiting more time to train is something
i’ve come up with for my tues, wed, thurs days. I also train first thing in the morning on weekends.

A big reason why i want to get a carb breakfast is I’ve had very good results with P+C breakfasts.

Im just very overwelmed with info between L-Train and JB, and then the over feeding bunch throws even more at me. Because i’m also incorportating refeeds.

Basically, I’m trying to incorporate more cabrs into earlier in my day. And i’m trying to do this with increased fat oxidation.


It sounds like you’re suffering from a case of information overload. Let’s say that you go to seven strength/nutrition coaches: Poliquin, Alessi, King, Berardi, Lowery, Thibaudeau, and Waterbury. All of their clients have made outstanding progress-in several ways!

There’s more than one way to skin a cat; you just need to experiment and find out what works best for you. You might even find that a combination of a few of them will help you reach your goals. However, where you tend to get into trouble is when you jump from one to the next from day to day without taking the time to evaluate your progress.

A few thoughts:

  1. You said: “The thing is with the P+C on non training days, i dont have any non training days.” I would make room for at least one day of complete rest per week; your call, though.

  2. You also said: “A big reason why i want to get a carb breakfast is I’ve had very good results with P+C breakfasts.” I think that answers a lot of your questions! You’ve done it; it works. Stick with it for now, and evaluate your progress.

  3. You stated: “Im just very overwelmed with info between L-Train and JB, and then the over feeding bunch throws even more at me. Because i’m also incorportating refeeds.” Here’s your problem; neither JB or LL has advocated refeeds because neither of them advocates extreme dieting! Granted, refeeds can be beneficial in situations other than very low-calorie cutting, but I still can’t see the potential rewards outweighing the risks in your case.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


L-train and John B. present two very different approaches to people but in indirect ways they are comparable advice. L-train is perhaps an individual who does not have a supercharged metabolism, John B does, L-train does not tolerate Carbs extremely well, John B does. So, John B. I remember has mentioned that for himself he does not like to go below 200g of Carbs per day. This is very simlar to the way I am. So, basically I think you really need to decide how well or how bad carbohydrates have an impact on your physique and well being. If you really need Carbs in the morning then have them, if you function well without them - skip them. I always have a P+C meal first, then follow that with only two P+F meals for the day whether I train or not. If I train I like to have them before training. So, if I train say at 8pm for some reason then my day would probably look like this:
8 - P+C
10 - P+C
12 - P+C
3 - P+F
6 - P+F
8 - Train
9:30 - Post-workout nutrition
11 - huge P+C meal

Hope that helped
Da Boxer

I know that jb and l-train don’t advocate refeeds. but i have had pretty good success with them, and i’m not severe dieting.

I think i’m a moderate carb guy. Now,my biggest concern is when i train first thing in the morning. I’ve done P+F all this year should i continue?
Last year i did P+C before my morning workouts and had very good results.

So i think i should try having a P+C, and spacing it out a little more before my workout, any thoughts?

But im not sure, i might stick with what ive been doing, i’ll play it by ear. thanx guys…

Ryan, when you say, [quote]A big reason why i want to get a carb breakfast is I’ve had very good results with P+C breakfasts[/quote], what exactly do you mean by good results? Better training sessions? Better fat loss?

From a physiological perspective, to maximize fat oxidation, I think you’d be best off waiting until during (or after) training to begin consuming your carbs.

By ingesting carbs prior to training, you’re going to totally blunt fat oxidation. And, if you don’t ingest enough carbs, you’re likely going to have diminished exercise performance. If you don’t supply enough exogenous glucose to account for the loss in fatty acids, then you’ll likely become hypoglycemic and also deplete more muscle glycogen.

I would not advise protein and carbs prior to your cardio sessions, particularly because the hypoglycemia and glycogen depletion may be more pronounced especially if you’re going the HIIT route.

The “Carbs early in the day, Fat late in the day” theory makes complete sense when one is not training or when one trains early in the day. However, training in and of itself throws a huge monkey wrench into this whole ball of wax.

If you want someone else’s take on it who’s more credible than myself, re-read some of JB’s articles like The Winning Formula and The Carbohydrate Roundtable. JB recommends carbohydrate intake predominantly around the workout period, even if that means carbs as the last meal of the day!

I am late in the game here. I think T-Diddy Dawg and Eric Cressey, along with Boxer Al have hit all the major points. You pretty much answered your own question pertaining to P+C or P+F meals prior to training…you seem to get better results with P+C meals. Personally, I tend to agree with Timbo in regards to P+F meals prior to training. My workouts are much more productive and I feel that I am stronger! I think carbs should be consumed around training time and post-training…mainly for all the same reasons Timbo has elaborated on already. I was in the same predicament as you not too long ago. I had a bad case of information overlload. but like Eric said…you need to find what works best for you. By contantly going back and forth between different theories and opinions…you will drive yourself nuts!!! Not to mention you wont find out what clearly works for you. Based on the research…JB and LL are the guys I generally lean towards. Yes, they both have different perspectives on many topics, but for the most-part…I feel as if they have the same idealogies. You are on the right track Ryan! Keep up the good work and as always…the forum is here to help!

Timbo, by good results i had good fat loss results. I remember being lethargic training though. It was also 6AM, that could have had something to do with it.

I think im going to stick with a P+F if i have 1 meal pre workout. However, if i have the oppurtunity to have 2 meals pre workout I think i will go P+C as my first one. Like today
8: P+C
10:20 P+F
11:30- train, during post workout drinks
2:30 P+C
Finish the day with 3 P+F

The reason i threw out the question about pre workout carbs is, L-train if i understood correctly, when dieting has 3 P+C pre workout. Fasting 90 mins before he trains. Also i have read CT suggesting pre wokrout carbs for athletes.

Now Tony G, you also had said carbs around your workout, are you considering pre-workout as well?

Oh and BTW…I def recommend taking atleast one day per week totally off from training!!! And of those days…do the carb taper method. Eat your carbs in the morning and taper off during the day. Thats what works best for me and I am sure most would agree. Good luck

Hey Ryan,
Must have just missed you! Lately I have been doing most of my training in the morning (say around 10AM). I have been eating 2 P+F meals prior to training. Sipping my post-workout drink during workout and finishing it off after my workout. Then I wait about an hour and I eat a P+C meal followed by two more P+C meals within that 6 hour anabolic window JB always talks about. Then I switch back to P+F meals for the remainder of the day. Of coarse if I workout later in the day…my meal timing will change obviously. Hope this helps or atleast gives you an idea. Talk to ya later.

Ok, Ive been doing the same thing as you guys pretty much. I think i’m gonna stick with breakfast P+C 2x’s a week though. And the remainder of the days i will do P+F breakfast. This is just to get my last carbs meal at about 2Pm.

With your 1 day off recomandation, Im doing outlaw training. This is 4 days lifting and all off days are cardio. I’ve been doing HOC, and i’m also doing CT abs program. This is all while cutting. I have had good results thus far. I dipped into week 6 today, and im dragging ass, this might be due to comming off md-6 though.

Ryan, just to clarify, L-Train suggested that he would only consume a third P/C meal if the goal was gaining/replenishing. In other instances, in this third meal, L-Train mentioned he would start avoiding carbs (i.e. eat a P/F meal).

As far as one day of complete rest, this is up to you; however, I second E-Man’s suggestion of taking a day of rest. I will not assert that your current state of being (i.e. dragging ass) is a result of training every day. Do not underestimate cardio.

If you’re performing high-intensity sessions on your days off from training, this can easily be as or more demanding metabolically than weight training; similarly, you’re not giving your nervous system much of a breather by incorporating this intensity of cardio.

Again, my feelings on carbohydrate timing remain stolid. The recommendation of carbs early and fat late is too general for my liking.