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  1. #1
    ShannonCC's Avatar
    ShannonCC is offline Senior Member
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    carbs for workouts

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    Can someone clear something up for me? I'm just confused

    I keep reading that if you are working out, having carbs (like sweet potato) after is a good idea. Why wouldn't it be before?

    And since I am really overweight and my workouts are not really intense, I shouldn't do it either way, right?

  2. #2
    mike_h's Avatar
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    I think the idea is that post-workout the carbohydrate is more likely to replace muscle glycogen and get stored in a useful way. Pre-workout you may already have near-full glycogen stores and fat storage is more likely. For either I think it depends on the intensity of your exercise. For lower intensity work you don't need to worry about sourcing any extra carb, or indeed "fueling" in any special way.

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    If your workouts are not really intense just eat primal, don't overeat, and ignore the carb pre/post or whenever.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    ShannonCC's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't think it's an issue at all for me, I'm just curious and confused

    Mike, so even if we are eating low carb (I know not everyone here is, but I lean that way), we still have glycogen running around our bodies and the intense workouts eat it up? So if the person eats carbs after an intense workout, it will actually help them build muscle or is it just that they'll feel like crap until they get the store up again?

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    Glycogen doesn't "run around the body" — it's glucose (sugar) stored in the muscle and liver. I guess it can move from the liver to the blood stream, but in this context we're talking more about the stuff muscles store for immediate, intensive use.

    Muscles can use their stored glycogen, intra-muscular triglycerides (fat in the muscle), triglycerides in the blood, blood sugar or even ketones (after adaption) for fuel.

    I think that even eating low carb (non-ketogenic) you'll still have mostly full glycogen stores if you're not doing very intensive exercise. At ketogenic levels you probably still store some glycogen through protein conversion.

    So if the person eats carbs after an intense workout, it will actually help them build muscle or is it just that they'll feel like crap until they get the store up again?
    My understanding is it's a bit of both. Having depleted glycogen isn't necessarily a bad thing from time to time, but your obviously much less capable of intense work in that state. Your body also releases water as it loses glycogen and there could be electrolyte losses that go a long with that. People on VLC diets usually need extra salt because the body stores it less when eating that way.

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    Thank you! That helps my understanding a lot.

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