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PWO Carbs and Fat Loss


Are post work out carbs necessary on a fatloss diet? Im talking about immedietly PWO with my protein shake.


I wouldn't go without unless I absolutely HAD to go the zero-carb route for a stretch. I'd at least try to get 50g carbs in around a hard training session. I usually start drinking my drink 20-30 min before training and aim to finish it by 20 min afterward.


Eating enough protein and being in calorie deficit is necessary for fat loss/maintainance of muscle mass. Other than that there are different approaches in fat loss which are equivalent. Some of them are high fat/almost zero carbs, others are high carbs/low fat etc. Some of them require carbs PWO others not. IMO everything works as long as you are in calorie deficit. In theory PWO carbs are necessary on a fatloss or bulking diet (insulin response, glycogen replenish,...) but in practice you can live without them.


Strictly speaking, no.

More importantly, what are your particular concerns here?


Concerns as in?


You need to find out what works for you. The only way to do that is time and some experimentation. I personally have tried to cut with and without carbs peri-workout, and both worked. I may have lost fat more quickly on the no-carb approach, but I think recovery suffers.


It's just that i read somewhere that having carbs in general, even PWO, shuts down your fat metabolism for the day. And lets face it...thats a bad thing lol.


There is a transient decrease in fat oxidation that lasts for only a couple hours at the most. We run a small experiment every year to show the new guys how insulin impacts fat oxidation. When given a small, low GI meal most people (fit, healthy volunteers) don't even have any decrease in fat oxidation.

Remember, calorie deficit and fat oxidation are best buddies.


I always hover around 45-50 grams of high GI carbs with my shake. So youre saying that that won't ruin my fat loss for the day?


No, that will not ruin your fat loss for the day. There is no reason to be afraid of carbs, whether it be post-workout or not. They will not ruin your fat loss efforts. In fact, they can help your fat loss efforts.


Alright thanks for clarifying guys. Its unbelievable how much this site helps.


What would be your reason(s) for including or restricting PWO carbs intake?

Regardless, that advice to "find out what works best for you" is always sound.


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After a proper workout you would have depleted the vast majority of your glycogen stores. (stored carbs in your muscles) Any carbs you then consume, assuming they're not fruit based, should then go towards replenshing these stores. I think what you're refering to when you ask if this will ruin your fat loss for the rest of the day is the insulin response which goes with consuming any carbs. If insulin is high, then yes, fat loss will be impaired. But, the insulin response following post workout carbs certainly wont last all day so i really wouldnt worry too much. Just dont go consuming carbs every hour for the next 12 hours after a workout, which i'm sure you wont. Hope this helps.


Weight training is not so "glycogen-depleting" as some think.

But I've always found that pre-during-post supply of carbs is the best way for lean physique. I've used the cheapest method with rice/oats pre, dextrose during and oats post-workout.

It's great. Supplies you with energy for the workout, suppresses appetite for the rest of the day, esp. your "tooth for sweet". And remember, getting in productive and quality workouts is paramount, because the better are your workouts, the more energy you burn and also, the metabolic impact which you'll get is also affected positively.

So yeah, carbz are good for fat loss if utilised properly in the right time!


Okay this is kind of off topic but it has to do with PWO nutrition. I heard from several sources that Fat immedieatly PWO...like with your shake...is bad because it slows down protien synthesis. Is that true?


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Why would people cut their shakes with Milk then?

After all, milk is high in fats. Even skim milk isn't completely fat-free.


I dont, but i'm guessing it would be for a couple of reasons:

  1. add more calories while bulking
  2. taste
  3. (i dont actually think this is the reason but it ties in with your question) I'm guessing the sugar in the milk, obviously high GI would offset the impact of the fat in terms of slowing absorbsion.

I'm not sure on number 3, BBB is much better educated to answer that question


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