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  • Writer's pictureBrad Cunningham

Are Carbs Really Evil?

You hear it all the time, "carbs are bad", "don't eat them after 6pm", "don't eat carbs with fats", "high carb is better", "low carb is better" and so on.

The fact is most of these points can work, but for many people they're just unrealistic and not maintainable. We need carbs for brain function, recovery, lean muscle building and for energy.

We do recommend having a balanced approach and having a serve of 'clean carbs' at each meal. This includes sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, pumpkin, berries and some other fruits. And just do your best to avoid sugary, highly processed carbs.

But there are some ways you can utilise your carbohydrate intake to optimise your results and better ustitlise the calories (energy) from the carbs you consume.

So here is my Top 4 Guidelines to Optimise Carbohydrate Intake

  1. Consume the majority of your carbs post training — The majority of Carbohydrates eaten immediately before working out are used for energy demands from muscle contraction. None of these are stored in fat cells; instead, most of them will be recycled as heat and a small amount stored in muscle. After exercising, most of the carbohydrates that you intake are burned in heat and stored in muscle. In fact, some studies show that up to 500-700 grams of carbohydrates can be stored in muscle while your body still burns fat.

  2. Re-feed Meal — No need to completely restrict - Once a week you should have a strategic 're-feed meal' which is of higher carbohydrate content. This is designed to help regulate your hormonic levels to ensure you don't go into homeostasis (fat storage/survival mode). The best day to have this meal to avoid a total binge and to avoid falling off track, is on a Sunday night. This way you are straight back into routine. Still try your best to avoid highly processed meals.

  3. Aim to consume within 30minutes — The consumption of carbohydrates by your body 30 minutes after exercise is 3 times faster than any other time during the day. This window of opportunity lasts up to four hours at a slightly slower rate. After this time period it significantly declines.

  4. Eat carbs in your pre-training meal — These four hours apply to pre-training as well, which mean that if you are taking in solid food eat 2-4 hours before heading to the gym, if possible.

Now after reading all of this please don’t think that timing takes precedence over total calories/macro nutrients. This is simply a guide on how to optimise your carbohydrate intake to build muscle and burn fat. Because, bottom line, we all want to be able to do both.

If you want to gain more confidence and feel great in your skin, but struggle with where to start or staying on track, be sure to register for our 2 week trial and start working your way to a confident, strong, fit, healthy and happier you today!

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