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The PB: Glycogen and You!

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  • The PB: Glycogen and You!

    I am starting to be stritcly primal once more after a savagly wild carb-bender stretching many weeks. I am now going to commit fully once more. However there is one nuance with my time with primality and that is energy for my workouts. I just noticed the post about workout nutrition on the main site and this has what's got me wondering.

    I tend to lift heavy on the Monday, preferably do a sledgehammer workout on the Weds, and hopefully incorporate a sprinting workout on the friday and bodyweight stuff If i am lucky. Thing is, I don't have the energy to do these anymore. I used to lift heavy 3x a week on carbs! f###!

    Im thinking of upping carbs, but not sure where. before my workouts? In Shake form?

    I like being low carb, i do, but I am missing the raw-brute force of a carb fuelled workout. I want that feeling.

  • #2
    How long have you been on your reduced carbohydrate intake?

    Some say it takes about 3-4 weeks for your body to shift energy sources and you will encounter some performance decrease during that time.
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    • #3
      A timely topic for me too! I'm having an operation on Wednesday so I am using this time to adapt to VLC and see how well I workout.

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      • #4
        I hate working out VLC.

        Take your carbs with the meal after your workout.

        The closer to the end of the workout the better. But don't be so anal about it that you feel you need to down a shake immediatly after the gym. It can wait until you eat a real meal. That way you take advantage of the fact that your muscles will be the most insulin sensitive so the carbs go directly to the muscle for storage ready for your next workout as well as keeping the carbs primal by eating them with a real meal.
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        • #5
          I know it's totally non-primal. But how about adding peanut butter into a shake with my post workout real meal. Or some other carb source (my real meal is a salad)

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          • #6
            I time my carb intake around my workout before and after but I'm not trying to lose any weight.

            What are you trying to accomplish?

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            • #7
              How low carb are you? I workout most days and haven't had a problem with going primal, but I am not very strict or very low carb (not trying to lose weight really, on about 120g per day) ... why not just add in some OK carbs (fruit, sweet potato, that sort of thing) at least while your body is getting used to the transition from high to low carb?

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              • #8
                Nothing wrong with eating good carbs post-workout. I've been eating probably ~200g of carbs, mostly from sweet potatoes in my post-workout meal for the past few months and I've only been improving (strength + body composition). Leangains ftw!

                A little bit of peanut butter would be alright, but I've found success in keeping my fat intake down somewhat if the meal is also high in carbs. I tried just getting more calories through added fat and it wasn't pretty. If you're lean, active, and insulin-sensitive, don't fear carbs! I usually have a second dinner that it much higher in fat and lower in carbs after the high-carb post-workout meal.
                Last edited by yodiewan; 04-25-2011, 04:37 PM.

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                • #9
                  Interesting.

                  Although, will the stored carbs 'last' a day? Let us say I eat a carby post-workout meal on the monday. My next rigorous workout is on the Wed.

                  Should Tues be a low carb day, and if so, will the carbs that I have eaten on the Monday, still be ready to use up on the Wed?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chima_p View Post
                    I hate working out VLC.

                    Take your carbs with the meal after your workout.

                    The closer to the end of the workout the better. But don't be so anal about it that you feel you need to down a shake immediatly after the gym. It can wait until you eat a real meal. That way you take advantage of the fact that your muscles will be the most insulin sensitive so the carbs go directly to the muscle for storage ready for your next workout as well as keeping the carbs primal by eating them with a real meal.
                    yep. totally agree. My workouts sure suffered when I went VLC and if I'm going to take the time to workout, I want it to be a GOOD workout - physically and mentally.

                    Primal Blueprint does't have to be low carb...and low carb is, IMO, relative to activity level anyway. Low carb for me as an inactive person is not the same as low carb for me as an active person. I eat enough carbs to support activity, but not really any extra.

                    Rather than PB, I'd skip nut butters altogether or go with almond butter (since you seem to be recommitting to primal). Cook up a huge batch of sweet potatoes, mash it all up with some cinnamon and butter, store in small containers that you can nuke for a PWO carb source. Combine with meat and you're good. Or just eat your next regular meal and add in some carbs - sweet potato or fruit.

                    The energy you get for a workout is coming from the glyogen stored in your muscles, so if you eat carbs PWO your muscle glycogen will be depleted and they'll be ready to soak up the carbs in your meal. This will also happen slowly over the course of the day or two after a workout. I've found, if I don't eat enough carbs I can't re-stock my muscle glycogen and I start to bonk during a workout/can't achieve any real intensity or have less strength. Once stored the glycogen stays stored in your muscles until you need it for energy.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bolivar View Post
                      Should Tues be a low carb day, and if so, will the carbs that I have eaten on the Monday, still be ready to use up on the Wed?
                      If Tuesday is a rest day, it'd probably be best to drop the carbs and the calories. Your liver glycogen will probably be depleted (especially if you're fasting pre-workout), but if I remember correctly, your muscles can't "share" glycogen like the liver, so it can only be used locally. Therefore you should still have muscle glycogen unless you use your muscles in a manner that requires glycogen. If you want, you could eat a small meal pre-workout on Wednesday to get in some carbs also.

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