The importance of carb timing
There are 3 main classes of nutrients that provide energy for the human body: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Each nutrient is handled differently by the body. Nutrient timing is probably the most important diet factor in muscle gain and weight loss. That’s because your metabolism is activated differently during different hours of the day. If you’re trying to keep a good diet, timing your nutrient intake will not sabotage your training efforts.
Furthermore, there are a few different classifications for carbohydrates that you can eat. But you should be interested in one classification in particular. The first type is the refined sugary carbohydrates. These are probably the most harmful class of carbs, and you can see their effect every day on the streets. However, sugary carbohydrates can also be good for workout gains. You should eat them rarely, and only after your workouts. The suggested products that contain sugary carbs are energy bars, figs, and raisins or other dried fruits.
Starchy carbohydrates make up the second type of carbs on our list. Usually found in potatoes, oats, and pasta, but also in different types of cereal. Just like sugary carbs, these products should be consumed after your workout. Preferably in the first 3 hours after you’ve finished your exercises.
The third type of carbohydrates is the fiber-rich type. These are most commonly found in vegetables, legumes, and most fresh fruits. Because of their richness in fibers, you should be eating these on a regular, daily basis. It doesn’t matter whether you eat them before or after your workouts.
You consume all of these types of carbs every day. Now you know the ideal timing based on your workout sessions. However, there are other aspects that need to be taken into consideration. For example, quantity is very important. All of these should be consumed with moderation, unless you’re following a very intense workout session or you’re low on body fat. If you’re much more sedentary or you don’t work out every day, a lower intake of carbohydrates is necessary.
Everyone has a certain level of carbohydrates tolerance. Usually, outside of your workouts, your tolerance for carbohydrates is lower. During your workouts and in the first 3 hours everyone has a higher tolerance for carbohydrates. This happens because muscles use glycogen during training, and carbs are responsible for replacing that used up glycogen. That’s also why some types of carbohydrates are only indicated during or after workouts.
You should create your diet and carbohydrate intake based on your current weight and goals. If you’re trying to gain weight and increase your muscle mass, you’ll need a different amount of calories and carbohydrates, than if you’re trying to lose weight. Moreover, if you want to maintain your current weight and body shape, you should be consuming carbs moderately.