T Nation

The Pro High Carb Thread

May not be suitable for the insulin resistant.

This thread is for the people who happen to like their carbs. Who aren’t “carb sensitive” like every poor soul claims to be.

I wake up and have a bowl of yogurt with honey and cinnamon and whatever chopped mixed fruit I can get. I have no aversion to grains or sweetpotatoes or rice with my fish and meat. And I pile on the veggies and fruit and milk with every meal.

If I need more calories, well I eat more food. I was even fat once. Yet I can somehow train and eat a shitload of carbs and react great to them, even at night. Magic?

Other benefits I’ve experienced:

High energy, great recovery, huge amounts of fiber and vitamins, and improved health via blood work. My test, cholesterol, and general blood lipid profile were all far better on a higher carb plan than on a gaining plan high in saturated fats and low in overall carb intake. I feel better, look fuller, and am physically stronger. My skin even improved.

I don’t see any reason that I won’t eat like this for the rest of my life, because unlike eating lard all day and supplementing like mad just to get the vitamins I need to be healthy and regular, it’s easy and effective and healthy and sustainable regardless of goals. Just that simple.

I feel like there is WAY too much carb hate here, even among bulkers, and that some newbs might get lead in the wrong direction and just automatically assume they should be eating low carb. When the fact is that carbs can be great, that they pull water into your muscles, and improve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy- one of the things making the muscles of the Olympia freaks so huge.

Who else regularly enjoys plenty of the tastiest nonessential nutrient there is?

Do you mix carbs and fats with any other meals apart from breakfast?

I mix carbs and fat with EVERY meal that isn’t peri or post-workout. I eat when I’m hungry, and to be full I need a little of everything.

I don’t see why you wouldn’t unless you were using it as a calorie control method.

How many athletes, top bodybuilders, or even of the big guys on this forum, do you think worry about macro partitioning? I would say very, very few.

Awesome.

Here, have a cookie.

at 10 foot and barrel chested, 193lbs and 12% BF, i definately think the carbs are a very good idea.you go for it.

I eat as many carb grams as protein (200), but they mostly come from fruits, except for breakfast, when I have some yogurt and oatmeal. Haven’t had any bread or pasta for quite a while. I’ll add some brown rice on weekends for a carb up.

I eat 400g+ of carbs a day and I have no problems at all. I do wonder if it’s because I’m young and my metabolism is on hyperdrive though.

Sometimes I’ll drink a half gallon of water with a cup of sugar in it (like 770 calories or something… god knows how many carbs) and lemon when I didn’t feel like eating solid food. Calm me crazy… but I think I get leaner the more sugars I take in. shrug

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
I mix carbs and fat with EVERY meal that isn’t peri or post-workout. I eat when I’m hungry, and to be full I need a little of everything.

I don’t see why you wouldn’t unless you were using it as a calorie control method.

How many athletes, top bodybuilders, or even of the big guys on this forum, do you think worry about macro partitioning? I would say very, very few.
[/quote]

Obviously carbs are important for growth and repair, but insulin resistance is a crazy thing. I can eat a few pieces of pizza and look noticably carbed up for a while, and I know people that can eat bowls of ice cream and shit and be just fine.

But then again, the same people worried about carbs are the same people trying to grow on a 2,000-3,000 calorie diet.

The only way I’ve ever been able to grow, is on a high carb diet. I have always tried to get at least 50-60% of my cals from carbs when bulking.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
I feel like there is WAY too much carb hate here, even among bulkers, and that some newbs might get lead in the wrong direction and just automatically assume they should be eating low carb. When the fact is that carbs can be great, that they pull water into your muscles, and improve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy- one of the things making the muscles of the Olympia freaks so huge.[/quote]

I suspect there’s a definite overlap with the anti-carb crowd and the too-lazy-to-train-with-any-real-intensity crowd.

[quote]alit4 wrote:
at 10 foot and barrel chested, 193lbs and 12% BF, i definately think the carbs are a very good idea.you go for it.[/quote]

Exactly

I feel like far less people are “insulin resistant” than they think. How many of those people in their brief experimenting have actually removed enough fat kcal to have isocaloric situations and compared training and effects on body composition for extended periods of time?

I think automatically taking the “safe road” and minimizing carb intake is a bad decision, especially for those who don’t train purely in the low rep range, and could have negative effects on performance and progress.

I just see questions about low carb bulking and the vast majority of plans layed out here being low carb-centric and it concerns me. I used to be too detail oriented wrt diet too.

alit4 wrote:
at 10 foot and barrel chested, 193lbs and 12% BF, i definately think the carbs are a very good idea.you go for it.

Hey, I have giantism. And I’m built very skinny =)

Carbs. have always made up 40-50% of my calories. With the exception of pre. & post workout all my meals have protein, carb. & fat. (4500-5000cal/day) I have never had a problem with fruit or dairy. I do focus on low glycemic carbs. and would discourage drinking sugar water (wreaking havoc w/your blood sugar man!).

When I have played around with limited carb. diets I experience periods of low energy and my training becomes inconsistent. I think this is an individual thing. I have had many friends and workout partners that ran their diets differently.

I was able to live on bagels and peanut butter when I first started training… of course I was running a lot, playing hockey twice a week, and on a weekend football team -lol. As I got older, and overall more sedentary with my outside the gym lifestyle, I just couldn’t handle so many carbs as well.

S

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
Carbs. have always made up 40-50% of my calories. With the exception of pre. & post workout all my meals have protein, carb. & fat. (4500-5000cal/day) I have never had a problem with fruit or dairy. I do focus on low glycemic carbs. and would discourage drinking sugar water (wreaking havoc w/your blood sugar man!). When I have played around with limited carb. diets I experience periods of low energy and my training becomes inconsistent. I think this is an individual thing. I have had many friends and workout partners that ran their diets differently. [/quote]

Yeah, I’m the same way WRT everything. I feel like weak crap without my carbs

I mostly eat fruits, veggies, and dairy, but I don’t mind a mixing of grains and other stuff.

I agree w/the sentiments that some people definitely do better without as many carbs due to insulin sensitivity or other issues. But at the same time I don’t think assuming you do best on 120g+ fat and low carb by default is a good idea for the average trainee, that’s all.

I see so many people setting up plans that aren’t even a deficit with really low carbs, and the most common rationalizations is carbs are evil, I used to be fat, I think I’m insulin resistant, etc etc. They also think that they can eat as much as they want if they don’t eat many carbs. Not true.

Carbs may be better for some but an anabolic diet approach works very well for others. For me, regarding recovery, I can recover just as well with zero carbs (just bcaa, glutamine, whey, enzymes). Low carb week days and carbs weekends (with plenty of balanced fats with anabolic diet approach) definately does not stop growth.

If I were bulking and I had to choose between high carbs or high protein, i would DEFINATELY stick with high carbs.

And as for cutting, the only real change I would make, is I’d cut the carbs, and replace them with protein.

The whole anti-carb craze has really taken it overboard. People assume that if TOO MUCH carbs is bad, then lower is better. But there IS an optimal amount.

For the most part, not looking at your goals, the amount of carbs you should eat can be summed up by this statement: “The harder you are working out, whether it be intensity or volume, the more carbs you should be eating”.

If you are completely sedentary, then you should be eating very few carbs, and mainly just veggies. And if you are a bodybuilder, or an elite athlete training hard, then your optimal level might be 400+ g of carbs coming from veggies, fruits, starches, and even simple sugars.

I’m convinced if you’re skinny, you cannot gain weight without alot of carbs. After so much experimentation, I can only conclude that carbs are the X-factor to move up the weight classes.

[quote]acelement wrote:
I’m convinced if you’re skinny, you cannot gain weight without alot of carbs. After so much experimentation, I can only conclude that carbs are the X-factor to move up the weight classes.[/quote]

Thats somewhat close to an accurate statement. As far was weight or weight classes go though, that just comes down to total calories. But like I said, eating 400g of carbs is much easier than eating 400g of protein. So the more carbs you eat, the more calories you’ll likely eat

i grew up bein skinny and eatin a lot of carbs. for me, i always wondered why i couldnt consistently work out for several weeks, why i hated mornings, why i was alwyas tired. ive since increased my fat intake dramatically, and really cut a lot of direct carbs out. but 2-3 times a day i eat big salads, with 2-3 servings of fruit at night. theres some oats, but im lookin to sub those with quiona. basically if man invented it (grains mainly) i try avoid it

I ate low carb and felt fine, I currently eat low fat and feel fine.

At the end of the day I wonder just how much difference it makes beyond the total calories ingested.