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Post-Workout Carbs and Insulin Resistance

Hey Guys,

I’m hoping for as many opinions as possible on this. Basically, I know that you should consume high GI simple carbs along with protein immediately after workouts to spike insulin and avail of the anabolic window. However, I also know that insulin sensitivity is a crucial component when you want to see results. So my question is this: Lets say for the past 2years that I haven’t been training as often as I used to, and I’ve been eaten crap. Lets say I’ve been eating so much sugary crap that I’m no longer insulin sensitive and I want to regain insulin sensitivity by limiting the amount of high GI simple carbs that I’m eating and obviously go back to my more regular training regime. Should I still consume fast carbs in my post-workout shake or is this pointless if I am insulin resistant and just storing as fat?

  1. rule of thumb: fat and/or untrained folks do not need a post-WO insulin spike (Hofmekler, Poliquin, etc);
  2. the pre and/or intra-WO insulin spike is more important (Biotest, Meadows, etc) which may make 1. redundant anyway. My two cents worth from personal experience is that 2. is more useful as a strategy in order to fuel/recover from sessions. And that the amount of carbs needed for this purpose is small, e.g. 30g (assuming from a quality source like cluster dextrin). That should not negatively impact on someone with poor insulin sensitivity giving you the best of both worlds.

Thanks JamesBrawn007, I appreciate the advice.:+1:

Just for further clarification, I have been training for over 10 years and also used to compete in Powerlifting between the ages of 20-23, so I do have muscle mass, it’s just I haven’t been training all that much over the last 2 years and have gained a lot of fat. Well I’m probably at about 18%-20%. So would you still recommend avoiding the post-WO insulin spike? Also, should I avoid the pre and intra WO insulin spike too if my goal is to improve insulin sensitivity? I also want to preserve muscle…if it’s possible to do both.
Any further advice would be greatly appreciated!

If you’re not having carbs pre/post workout, than when will you have them? Unless you’re going keto/extremely low carbs, include them in that time frame.

There are studies stating insulin sensitivity is better with around 100-150 gr of carbs (Mertdawg posted it once here)

Thanks outlaws, that’s a very good point. I’m just wondering if they should still be high GI simple carbs?

Will there be an insulin spike if I have low insulin sensitivity?

Sorry for late reply. First, I would not avoid carbs. I would limit them, e.g. 150g on training days. The next question is when to consume them. For me, I would have them around the workout period, i.e. pre/intra/post. If you are eating protein/fat meals outside this window then you should be improving insulin sensitivity (this can be further enhanced by following a form of IF). The carbs around the workout are fuelling the session, aiding recovery, and lowering cortisol post-exercise. That said, if someone said to me ‘I am desperate to drop body fat and I don’t mind losing a few lbs of muscle along the way’, I would say try low carb or even keto dieting and avoid any pre/intra/post workout carbs. It works but there is a price to pay. It’s all about personal choice at the end of the day.