Timing And Carbohydrates!

Fact! The human body tends to crave carbohydrates. Fact! We need carbohydrates to maintain muscle health and for nutritive/energy purposes. Carbohydrates are best tolerated during two primary windows of opportunity throughout the day.

Fact! We need carbohydrates to maintain muscle health and for nutritive/energy purposes.

Carbohydrates are best tolerated during two primary windows of opportunity throughout the day. The first window is in the morning. This is when the body has previously undergone a complete carbohydrate fast due to the 6-8 hour sleep that you have just enjoyed. Most people do not eat while they are sleeping. The few bodybuilders that do are consuming some sort of protein.

The second more effective window is when you manually activate the receptor sites along the muscle cells. These sites are activated through glycogen exhaustion or in simpler terms an intense weight training session. So, when you are trying to lose weight (fat), or reload the muscles with glycogen, the only time that you really want to "hand an intake" of carbohydrates would be after a hard-core glycogen depletion training session.

The Anabolic Window Is Critical

If fat loss is your goal, hold off on the carbohydrates until 45min-1hr upon completion of your training session. This will allow your body's hyped-up metabolism to keep burning fat as fuel. This is considering that you have raised the heart rate by training "intensely". This can be easily achieved by utilizing a stopwatch and resting for about one minute between each set. If you train with a partner play the "you go I go game". You are in the gym to train right? Socialize after your training session.

You will still have a window of opportunity to load the carbohydrates back into the muscle cells. Research has shown that glycogen compensation or carbohydrate reloading can occur at a speedy rate prior to training and a 2 hour window of opportunity is allotted. So after holding out for a while (45min-1hr) you would then consume carbohydrates to reload glycogen in the muscles.

What Is Glycogen?
Glycogen is the principal stored form of carbohydrate energy (glucose), which is reserved in muscles. When your muscles are full of glycogen, they look and feel full.

Use Carbohydrate Timing To Your Advantage

The reason for the short-time (sleeping fast & training on an empty carb stomach) carbohydrate restriction is to prime the body to take them up. If we continue to eat carbohydrates but never empty our glycogen stores then the carbohydrates consumed will be converted into fat (ugly adipose tissue).

Our body releases the hormone insulin in the presence of carbohydrates and insulin will do two things. Insulin can shove the digested carbohydrate molecule into a muscle cell for latter use as energy (AKA Glycogen), or it can cram the molecule into a fat cell.

Additionally, the carbohydrate reload will give the bodybuilder an aesthetical advantage, hence the term carbohydrate loading that bodybuilders use prior to a competition. Theoretically, the fat cell could also be used as energy, but it is much harder to break down than glycogen.


In culmination, I leave you with two questions and a thought to ponder on until next weeks article appears ("Best Types of Carbohydrates & How Much to Consume"). Question one, would you like to store your carbohydrates in the muscle cells keeping them healthy, full, and round? (-OR-) Question two, would you like to store your carbohydrates in fat cells (Nasty Adipose Tissue) and contribute to unwanted fat deposits? The choice is yours; however, I strongly suggest the first.

You see as bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike we must approach eating as iron clad warriors. We eat often, this is true, but we mostly never eat for pleasure. That grid iron determination could make the difference in accomplishing your goals and dreams or letting them be transformed into mere wishes and dreams. It has been said several times by the most successful of bodybuilders that nutrition has been 70-75% of the contributions to building their physiques while on their path to victory. Think about it!