T Nation

Working Out Late & Carbs

I’ve heard that carbs should be avoided later in the day. However, if I workout at 6 pm, have a protein shake after my workout and eat my dinner around 8 or 9 pm…should the dinner be low in carbs? Generally, mine is moderate or high in carbs since it’s after my workout. This conflicts with the eating less carbs later in the day.

There is the Lowery and the Berardi school on this and I always forget which one is which.

Anyway, if it bothers you, I would bring dinner closer to the workout and save the protein shake for the evening.

2-3 hours after training is not unreasonably late, but, like I said, if it bothers you, the carbs would be closer to training earlier in the evening and the protein shake could last well into the night.

Do you think it even matters when I have my carbs? Should they be limited later in the day? What are people’s experience with this?

Your ability do process them is best in the morning and right after a workout.

However, while this makes no difference for some people, for others it does.

I do not know how you handle carbs or if you ever have been significantly overweight.

If you are naturally skinny this is probably not so much an issue in terms of fat gain.

anytime after intense exercise your muscles become sponges for carbohydrates because you just placed an enormous load on their glycogen supply. Muscle growth happens most in glycogen rich environments. A full muscle=a happy muscle. A happy muscle=a growing muscle. Eat your damn carbs.

what are your goals? Bulking, cutting, maintaining?
For bulking, if you had some low/moderate GI carbs about 1-1.5 hrs after training, then you should be fine.

For cutting, you’re most likely going to want to avoid carbs that late in the day (except your post workout shake)

For maintaining, that’s a bit tricker. You can have some carbs, but I don’t know your body type. So I couldn’t say whether to have a greater or lesser amount. If your thin/ectomorphic, then more carbs are acceptable whereas if your overweight/endomorphic, fewer carbs would be applicable.

Although I’m currently cutting, I still allow myself 30-40g post workout. I’ve noticed in the past that this helps me hold on to a greater amount of muscle as my weight drops.