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Thread: interval training -best source for carbs beforehand? page

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    Brent*'s Avatar
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    interval training -best source for carbs beforehand?

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    So are the majority of carbs for athletes coming from fruit and vegetables? I do some HIIT at the gym quite frequently and am pretty out of it somedays. Do I just load up on fruit about an hr before working out? I drink diluted gatorade while working out too, as I haven't found a sports drink that has enough sodium in it to replenish my body (I sweat like a mad man).

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    1. Fruit is a non ideal source of carbs. Do some research on this and fructose. Your muscles need glycogen - fructose needs to be processed by your liver before glycogen can be produced unlike the energy from potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veg. There are indications/opinions that fructose in and of itself is not a healthy thing for human consumption by some in the paleo/primal community do some googling.
    2. Gatorade -- why not water? Gatorade will hydrate you but also is basically humming bird food. If your goals are increased performance instead of weight loss or improved body composition it will help to that end; typically people are doing HIIT to lean out -- Gatorade will not help this. humans evolved kicking ass while drinking water - trust me it'll be good for you.
    3. What kind of HIIT are we talking about? You are not at risk for hyponutremia (sodium and electrolyte deficiency) from doing HIIT every day. If you are hiking the Bright Angel Trail of the Grand Canyon in 110 degree heat in direct sunlight each day you are - otherwise you definitely do not need to be chugging Gatorade to avoid dying from sodium deficiency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFastCat View Post
    1. Fruit is a non ideal source of carbs. Do some research on this and fructose. Your muscles need glycogen - fructose needs to be processed by your liver before glycogen can be produced unlike the energy from potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veg. There are indications/opinions that fructose in and of itself is not a healthy thing for human consumption by some in the paleo/primal community do some googling.
    2. Gatorade -- why not water? Gatorade will hydrate you but also is basically humming bird food. If your goals are increased performance instead of weight loss or improved body composition it will help to that end; typically people are doing HIIT to lean out -- Gatorade will not help this. humans evolved kicking ass while drinking water - trust me it'll be good for you.
    3. What kind of HIIT are we talking about? You are not at risk for hyponutremia (sodium and electrolyte deficiency) from doing HIIT every day. If you are hiking the Bright Angel Trail of the Grand Canyon in 110 degree heat in direct sunlight each day you are - otherwise you definitely do not need to be chugging Gatorade to avoid dying from sodium deficiency.
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    So even for ultra-marathoners, and general people who workout intensely, they should be getting all their energy from vegetables? I always hear about carbo loading (even by the best athletes) before big races (starches, pasta, etc). I just have been feeling sluggish lately working out and wonder if it is because of lack of carbs. I eat a lot of veggies throughout the day.

    ps - I do insanity interval training. All body weight exercises. It's the only infomercial style training I like because it's high intensity.

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    Sweet potato! Or rice if you feel like your carbs are on the lower side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    So even for ultra-marathoners, and general people who workout intensely, they should be getting all their energy from vegetables? I always hear about carbo loading (even by the best athletes) before big races (starches, pasta, etc). I just have been feeling sluggish lately working out and wonder if it is because of lack of carbs. I eat a lot of veggies throughout the day.
    I was in the same boat. What I ended up doing was feeding myself a lot of carbs right after my workout and it helped out quite a bit with my energy levels the next day.

    I use sweet potatoes or rice but no fruit or no sugary drinks. I've since stopped eating before a workout and just concentrate on eating something starchy/carby afterwards.
    Last edited by pacificBeef; 09-13-2011 at 11:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificBeef View Post
    I was in the same boat. What I ended up doing was feeding myself a lot of carbs right after my workout and it helped out quite a bit with my energy levels the next day.

    I use sweet potatoes or rice but no fruit or no sugary drinks. I've since stopped eating before a workout and just concentrate on eating something starchy/carby afterwards.

    uhh...rice isn't paleo friendly I thought...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    So are the majority of carbs for athletes coming from fruit and vegetables? I do some HIIT at the gym quite frequently and am pretty out of it somedays. Do I just load up on fruit about an hr before working out? I drink diluted gatorade while working out too, as I haven't found a sports drink that has enough sodium in it to replenish my body (I sweat like a mad man).
    Unless you are doing several hours of high-intensity training I don't think you need to worry about sodium or electrolyte balances. Just eat proper food before or after your workout and drink water while working out.

    As for the carbs, some good alternatives to fruit are white potatoes, carrots, berries, rice and milk. (Yeah, rice and milk are technically not Paleo, but neither is extensive high-intensity training...)

    Personally I just eat an apple or a banana before working out. Works fine for me. I'm not too worried about the fructose content as a single serving of fruit is a very small percentage of my total calories over the course of a day.
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    A couple of things -

    - It isn't the calories from fructose that are non ideal it's the way that your body has to process it in order to use it - norak I'm looking at you!
    - Insanity, Crossfit, PX90 - you're fine with water. You're even fine doing it fasted (as long as you aren't competing for performance). Typically if you are doing these programs for fitness you might be trying to lose weight. If this is the case you want to be fasted and you don't want to be eating immediately before hand (if fat catabolism is the goal)
    - after your workout is when your nutrition is most important. If you are doing HIIT every day you need to replace your muscle glycogen. Whole milk is very good for this as are starchy tubers.
    - If you are doing an hour straight of HIIT (I don't know I have never done Insanity) you probably want more of all your macro nutrients protein/fat/carbs. Everyone's different play around for a couple weeks and see how you do.
    - ultramarathoners are a whoooole different animal. You are out of the human existence zone at that point and anything goes as far as I am concerned -- entire pizzas, Gatorade, whatever. You are pushing yourself beyond human functioning and need everything you can digest to get it there as far as I am concerned. It's more about macronutrients to fuel performance than nutritionally dense, healthy foods. But that's just my take. I have heard of one female strict paleo ultra marathoner out there (a professional I believe) I am sure there are more. The things I have heard have them eating a very high percentage of calories from fat.

    What are your fitness goals? Lose weight? gain muscle? lean out?
    Last edited by TheFastCat; 09-14-2011 at 07:12 AM.
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    TheFastCat is giving great advice.

    I've been on strict paleo for 6 months, under 30 carbs per day.

    I started adding distance running to my routine.

    I have no problems doing my runs (up to 7 miles so far) in complete fasted ketosis.

    But if I fail to up my carbs AFTER my runs to replenish my glycogen stores, it's a disaster. I am a grumpy zombie for days as my body (apparently) tries to redirect every ounce of energy to replenish my glycogen.

    After your workouts: Protien to rebuild your muscels; Starchy carbs to refill your glycogen.

    If you are on low carb, fruit is OK post workout. Your liver stores are always the first destination for glycogen... Be it synthesized from glucose or fructose.

    Fruit is made up of fructose and glucose. BUT... glycogen synthesized from fructose can ONLY go to the liver. Glycogen synthesized from glucose can go to the muscels OR the liver. But, the liver always gets priority.

    You just have to be careful. If your liver is full, then any excess glycogen synthesized from the fructose will go to fat, regardless of how depleated your muscels are. If your eating foods with glucose (e.g. starchy veg), you know that you will get your liver filled, then it will replenish your muscels... THEN it will be stored as fat.

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