T Nation

Pre WO Carbs vs Post WO Carbs

Hi friends,

I know the ultimate answer is most probably “it does not really matter”, but I was thinking if there was any difference between the effect of pre-workout carbs vs post-workout carbs.

If you could choose from only one, would you choose to have pre workout carbs or post workout carbs? What are the advantages/disadvantages of both? Would your choice change is you are more concerned about performance vs. hypertrophy vs. recovery?

Discuss.

tweet

[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi friends,

I know the ultimate answer is most probably “it does not really matter”, but I was thinking if there was any difference between the effect of pre-workout carbs vs post-workout carbs.

If you could choose from only one, would you choose to have pre workout carbs or post workout carbs? What are the advantages/disadvantages of both? Would your choice change is you are more concerned about performance vs. hypertrophy vs. recovery?

Discuss.

tweet

[/quote]

For me personally, if I an eating more carbs on training days and not doing a low carb “cutting” diet, I prefer them prior to training. I’ve tried it multiple ways - carbs pre-workout, post-workout only, fasted training, etc. I personally perform better, since I work out in the afternoon between 3-5 PM, if I eat a protein + carb meal for breakfast. If I had to choose either/or, it would be pre-workout. However, I normally split it up. I figure up how many carbs I need on training days, and then divide them between two meals: breakfast and post-workout. Everything else is protein + fat (e.g., lunch and a snack or two).

post.

It depends on when I’m lifting, if I go first thing in the morning then about 30-40g of carbs 30 min before will help with intensity during my lift. Your insulin sensitivity is highest when you wake up after fasting all night and within 30 min after a workout (hypertrophy workings leave more room in muscle for sugar)
If I go in the afternoon after 1 or 2 meals i’ll save the majority for post workout with a protein shake.

If I were to choose one or the other though it would be post workout carbs. If you have enough time for digesting, fats would give plenty of energy in a pre workout meal 2-3 hours before a workout.
Make sure to always include protein with carbohydrates in a post workout meal. The carbs will help shuttle the protein into the muscle.

For me it’s definitely pre workout. Workouts are much more intense and I’m much stronger with fast acting carbs right before the workout.

Tried lean gains, tried carb loading, tried just eating a meal and hour or so beforehand and for me none of it worked like gatorade and whey preworkout or now the Plazma which blows everything away.