T Nation

What's the Deal with Starchy Carbs?

In his 7 Habits article ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_diet_nutrition_bodybuilding/7_habits_of_highly_effective_nutritional_programs ), which is referenced here (esp. to beginners) with about the frequency as the Sermon on the Mount is in Christian circles, Berardi states:

In Precision Nutrition he talks about this having to do with research pointing to our ability to metabolize starchy carbs better PWO. Someone mentioned that on the PN forums, that he said that window was 6 hours.

Does anyone know about this research? To be fair to Berardi, in the diets I’ve reviewed by other coaches, they seem to echo this sentiment and most carbs seem to come from fruits and veggies. However, in the layperson’s diet (doing a general search on “meal plans”) no one here seems to have a problem with people eating bread and pasta, so long as it is whole wheat, and they tend to applaud eating oats and things like brown rice regardless of the time of day.

Can anyone provide an answer to this discrepancy?

I think I can help.

Some people are trying to gain mass and bulk up. It doesn’t matter to them if they gain a little fat or if they’re starting very skinny; carbs really aren’t going to put fat on them. And some are just insulin sensitive and can eat a bunch of carbs and not worry.

Some others follow Temporal Nutrition by Lowery. This states that you can have carbs at breakfast 1 and 2 and PWO because your insulin sensitivity is higher in the morning.

Others are following Tom Venuto’s advice about having a starchy carb at nearly every meal. (and I think Justin Harris says this, too).

And yet there are more who will eat carbs all day long and have a carb cutoff 4-5 hours before bed. This seems to utilized by the bigger fellows around.

Some here are athletes and cannot operate efficiently on low carb diets. They need to have plenty of energy avialable, particularly if their sport is more endurance oriented (a la soccer).

However, I think Berardi’s advice is very good for the person who is trying to gain slowly and is trying to avoid getting a little cushioning. Personally, I think that a mix of the carb cutoff and temporal nutrition is great and that there is evidence behind the P+C and P+F.

[quote]Fiction wrote:
However, in the layperson’s diet (doing a general search on “meal plans”) no one here seems to have a problem with people eating bread and pasta, so long as it is whole wheat, and they tend to applaud eating oats and things like brown rice regardless of the time of day.[/quote]

I have a problem with it. :wink: I would recommend that type of eating to skinny beginners who desperately need to gain some size and strength. Thus the reason you see it recommended on here often.

First, it depends on your goals. If you’re trying to bulk up, put on mass, etc., then yes, you may need some starchy carbs in your diet (more than just breakfast/post-workout), thus the reason it’s recommended often.

Second, most people do best taking in starchy carbs for breakfast and post-workout only - when you “earn” them. I agree with Poliquin that most people don’t need and shouldn’t take in too many carbs (outside of fruits and veggies).

Third, you don’t necessarily need a ton of starchy carbs to gain muscle and size. There are other things to take into consideration (calories, protein intake, body’s ability to use nutrients, training, rest/recovery, etc.). A calorie surplus from protein/healthy fats is more important than carb intake in my opinion.