Does it matter when I eat carbs? That’s a common question we receive, when it comes to health and weight loss, depending on who you speak to, carbs can have a bad rap. However, it really depends on the types of carb – and when you consume them.
For example, eating too many processed carbohydrates, like white rice, white bread, pasta, or baked potatoes, will dramatically increase your blood sugar, triggering the release of insulin. To get your blood sugar back to normal, insulin tries transporting all the sugar to your cells for energy. But, if there’s too much in your blood, your liver begins to turn sugar into triglycerides, resulting in carbs being stored as fat.
To make the most of your fat loss, you can use carbs to your benefit by consuming them either in the morning, before a work-out, or after a work-out.
Morning. While you sleep, your body is fasting and going through carbs that are stored away. The reason carbs are best consumed first thing in the morning is that you replenish what you lost over night, rather than having those carbs stored as fat.
Some of the best “morning” carbs include: steel cut oats, granola, fruit, sprouted bread, quinoa, or yogurt.
Pre-workout. Carbs are essential before a workout to provide energy, especially if you will be training hard. An hour prior to a workout is when carbs should be consumed. The same carbs suggested for breakfast are also good for a pre-workout meal. Or, for diversity, sweet potatoes or brown rice are good choices.
After a workout. It’s critical to replenish your glycogen stores after a workout, especially if you trained hard. If you overlook carbs during this time, your muscles won’t recover properly. Your muscles may be sore. You could also lose lean muscle tissue over time. Your metabolism also drops when you don’t feed your muscles and your training session won’t work in your favor.
For a meal after a workout, you need to consume a combination of both faster and slower digesting carbs. This would be the best time for a higher glycemic food such as pineapple or other fruits and/or minimally processed carbs such as s sprouted grain or whole wheat bread.
After a workout, you should accompany your carb meal with a fast digesting protein. Whey protein would be a perfect choice. This post-workout meal is often the largest meal of the day.
By eating carbs at the right time, they are used to your advantage and over time you will see positive changes – not only in your body, but in your performance as well.
For the rest of your meals, go for healthy proteins like grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats like avocados and nuts.