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Figuring out carbs for sports days

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  • Figuring out carbs for sports days

    Hello all,

    I've been more or less primal for about 8 months now, and I'm trying to figure out the correct adjustments to make for the sports/exercise I do. Comments and advice are welcome.

    Some background: I'm a 42 year old male. I started at 210 lbs and I'm down to 185 now and have been stable there for a couple months. My goal is 175. I was diagnosed in January as borderline diabetic. My primal diet was in part motivated by a need to lose some weight, and in part by a need to get my BS and HbA1C adjusted. In early August, my HbA1C was very good (mid-5s), and my BS was high-normal.

    Typically, on non-workout days, I eat about 1700 calories. I try to keep carbs to about 100g (it varies from 50-150 typically), and I try to eat about 150g protein. The rest is in fats. I rarely track my eating anymore, and my discipline is not perfect, so it's possible I eat more than I claim to. This is particularly true for the last two months for a variety of reasons.

    Workouts: I do 45-60 mins of karate 2-4 time per week, and I run 3-5k about 3 times per week. My schedules are a bit chaotic, so sometimes I do both on the same day. I make sure to have 1 rest day a week, and usually 2.

    My question is really about how to add carbs in to account for workouts. As it stands right now, I typically eat about 80% of the calories I burn in sports (with the rest contributing to weight loss in theory), but I dont have a clear strategy for what/when to eat in addition to my normal primal eating, so some is in carbs, some is low carb foods (like eggs). Some is eaten after workouts, and some is just generally eaten. Part of my problem is that my karate workouts are mostly in the evening, and I generally try to avoid eating in the evening, so I'm not sure if I should be eating carbs (or anything much at all) late in the evening.

    So what's a good strategy for nudging my weight down a few more pounds, maintaining good insulin sensitivity, having good workout energy, and having the right nutrients for proper recovery? Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    Backload your carbs.

    Nothing wrong with eating in the evening, I myself eat my PWO (krav maga. BTW, the 19th century called and they want their martial art back LOL) meal 60-90mins before sleeping. With this approach, I have gone from 450+lbs with an A1c of 9.9 to 225lbs with a recent A1c of 5.0.

    What do I eat PWO? Sweet potatoes, White potatoes, wild rice, plantains and some sort of protein+green vegetable. My only other meal in the day (lunch) is pretty much zero carb and has about 80G of protein. Try it out, and see how things react.


    • #3
      I never experienced any magic in the timing, just don't try two consecutive workouts without a meal inbetween. Running is not necessarily very glycolytic unless it's high speed. Not sure about karate.

      I find 50~150g carb is a good range for most moderate forms of exercise. If I'm dragging ass and can't improve then I'll nudge up the carbs--preferably with an equal mass of starchy and sweet plants, and maybe half-portions of cooking and dressing fat to compensate. Keep the calorie deficit small though--if you reach the point of light-headedness or insomnia it's not really helping.

      My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list