Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Optimal Carb Intake? page

  1. #1
    PrimalGains's Avatar
    PrimalGains is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    23

    Question Optimal Carb Intake?

    Shop Now
    Hi all,

    I found paleo/primal through Leangains, which was a good success for me and taught me a lot about good food choices and nutrition. I'm now keen to optimise health through eating predominantly paleo/primal, but would like to keep some elements of Leangains (IF, CBL etc).

    Previously I was doing no cardio with 3 x heavy weight sessions a week (Leangains training), but now I'm looking to focus on improving my fitness alongside 2 x heavy weight sessions a week to maintain/improve strength.

    • Mon: Heavy weight training (RPT: Military Press, Deadlift, Dips)
    • Tue: Crossfit style workout
    • Wed: Low intensity exercise (run, bike or swim)
    • Thu: Heavy weight training (RPT: Squat, Bench, Pull ups)
    • Fri: Off
    • Sat: Low intensity exercise (run, bike or swim)
    • Sun: Off


    The question then becomes how do I manage carb intake for optimal recovery, gains, health etc. Do I backload purely on the 2 x weight training days with 300-350g (Leangains), or consume a moderate 100-150g per day (MDA Carb Curve and PHD).

    Alternatively a combination of the two with moderate carb days for crossfit and low intensity ex. I'm still interested in body composition, but not so much about being extremely lean or bulking up.

  2. #2
    Zach's Avatar
    Zach is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,869
    Do both. Moderate carb on non training days, higher carb before cardio days and big carb back load on workout days.

  3. #3
    Neckhammer's Avatar
    Neckhammer is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    7,606
    So, looks like 3 fairly intense sessions a week with a decent amount of low intensity stuff. I do this on a 50-100g low carb diet and continue to make gains, but I also eat enough protein and fat to do so. If you like then why not just stick with the lean gains approach of carbing up after your session on those three days and remaining low carb the other four.

    The only reason to carb up at all is to fuel another high intensity effort that is going to take place before your body would otherwise be able to replenish its glycogen stores without the carb up (think either 2/days or maybe even the very next day). I don't bother with them since I put 48-72 hours between intense sessions which gives my body plenty of time for recovery. I do however do an incidental "carb refeed" when I go for sushi once a week or so though.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 12-04-2012 at 08:43 AM.

  4. #4
    primalrob's Avatar
    primalrob is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,142
    if you're not trying to lean out more or bulk up, don't give carbs a whole lot of attention. eat a moderate amount if you think you need them or if they give you an energy kick. but, if it's strength gains you're after, keep working a progressive lifting program with good food and recovery time. plenty of people get stronger while low carb, moderate carb, high carb...what really matters is stressing your muscles and ligaments and letting them heal.

  5. #5
    ChocoTaco369's Avatar
    ChocoTaco369 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Narberth, PA
    Posts
    5,605
    The optimal carb intake is whatever you feel best on. Don't go by calculators, equations or other people's recommendations. Do it by experimentation. There are far more people around here than you think that feel much better dropping fats for more healthy Primal sources of carbohydrate. I typically eat more carbohydrate than fat on average, and while I lift heavy 3 times a week, I'm not setting the world on fire by any means. I sit on my butt all day at work and I do very little cardio outside of walking. I found this out by experimenting on myself over two years.

    I find on sedentary days I feel best eating balanced with more animal fats and on workout days I feel best "carbing up" more. Of course, you need to find that out for yourself. Don't be afraid of numbers, either. Maybe a workout day is 400g of carbohydrate for you. That's not a lot, so don't worry. I know people in the 600's.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  6. #6
    ChocoTaco369's Avatar
    ChocoTaco369 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Narberth, PA
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    if you're not trying to lean out more or bulk up, don't give carbs a whole lot of attention. eat a moderate amount if you think you need them or if they give you an energy kick. but, if it's strength gains you're after, keep working a progressive lifting program with good food and recovery time. plenty of people get stronger while low carb, moderate carb, high carb...what really matters is stressing your muscles and ligaments and letting them heal.
    Why? Most of the traditional lean societies in existence today are carbo-loaders. You're not going to find many traditional societies eating high fat diets because societies developed in equatorial regions where meat is lean and fruits and tubers are everywhere (and when you DO find a higher fat society, you'll find them in the tropics where they eat coconut, not fatty meat). There are few cold-weather traditional societies, so fatty game is pretty uncommon. Chances are, you descended from warm-weather carb-heavy societies. Starch is the very first thing digested for a human - that's why amylase is in our saliva. It emphases its importance in our development as a low-toxin, low-threat, reliable source of energy. There's a reason why we preferentially burn glucose over fat, and it's because we've been eating more of it longer. Also, it's very difficult to store glucose as fat. When you eat carbohydrate-filled meals, it's the dietary fat along with it you store as body fat, not the carbs. When you overeat steak and potatoes, it's the steak making you put on pounds in reality. It all comes down to caloric intake.

    Moral of the story: eat what makes you feel best. If it's fat, starch, fruit or a mix of all three, do it.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  7. #7
    primalrob's Avatar
    primalrob is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,142
    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Why? Most of the traditional lean societies in existence today are carbo-loaders. You're not going to find many traditional societies eating high fat diets because societies developed in equatorial regions where meat is lean and fruits and tubers are everywhere (and when you DO find a higher fat society, you'll find them in the tropics where they eat coconut, not fatty meat). There are few cold-weather traditional societies, so fatty game is pretty uncommon. Chances are, you descended from warm-weather carb-heavy societies. Starch is the very first thing digested for a human - that's why amylase is in our saliva. It emphases its importance in our development as a low-toxin, low-threat, reliable source of energy. There's a reason why we preferentially burn glucose over fat, and it's because we've been eating more of it longer. Also, it's very difficult to store glucose as fat. When you eat carbohydrate-filled meals, it's the dietary fat along with it you store as body fat, not the carbs. When you overeat steak and potatoes, it's the steak making you put on pounds in reality. It all comes down to caloric intake.

    Moral of the story: eat what makes you feel best. If it's fat, starch, fruit or a mix of all three, do it.
    i'm not saying be afraid of carbs...i'm pretty sure we agree on the eat what makes you feel best. granted, i said "eat a moderate amount if you think you need them or if they're going to give you an energy kick," but moderate, to me, is anywhere from 100-400g.
    what i'm saying, perhaps not very clearly, is that if strength is his focus (rather than getting lean) then carb amounts don't really matter.

  8. #8
    ChocoTaco369's Avatar
    ChocoTaco369 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Narberth, PA
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    i'm not saying be afraid of carbs...i'm pretty sure we agree on the eat what makes you feel best. granted, i said "eat a moderate amount if you think you need them or if they're going to give you an energy kick," but moderate, to me, is anywhere from 100-400g.
    what i'm saying, perhaps not very clearly, is that if strength is his focus (rather than getting lean) then carb amounts don't really matter.
    I can tell you if strength is the goal, for me, carbs are vastly superior. Having full glycogen stores allows for more explosive power, and the extra 5-10 lbs of water I carry when I'm carbed up vs deflated gives me more mass to throw around. Because of this, I can lift more weight more times on carbs than off. We won't even get into sprints...the stamina drop while off carbs is unreal.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  9. #9
    primalrob's Avatar
    primalrob is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,142
    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    I can tell you if strength is the goal, for me, carbs are vastly superior. Having full glycogen stores allows for more explosive power, and the extra 5-10 lbs of water I carry when I'm carbed up vs deflated gives me more mass to throw around. Because of this, I can lift more weight more times on carbs than off. We won't even get into sprints...the stamina drop while off carbs is unreal.
    this just reaffirms what i think we're both after, the "do what feels best for you mentality." for me, i feel like i perform better on lower-ish carbs...i just find it more comfortable.
    so, primalgains, do some experimentation. even better, keep a journal so people can follow along.

  10. #10
    ChocoTaco369's Avatar
    ChocoTaco369 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Narberth, PA
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    this just reaffirms what i think we're both after, the "do what feels best for you mentality." for me, i feel like i perform better on lower-ish carbs...i just find it more comfortable.
    so, primalgains, do some experimentation. even better, keep a journal so people can follow along.
    Then I'd say what you're doing is probably right. I never have a problem with those that genuinely experiment and have found a balance. What I take issue with are those that are scared of (insert real food here) because it will "make them lose control and get fat" without ever trying. And no, having a sweet potato once and feeling lousy after 6 months of chronic low-carbohydrate dieting does not count. Chronic low-carbohydrate dieting makes you insulin resistant, and you need to regularly include tubers and fruits in your diet for awhile to regain your insulin sensitivity (weight training doesn't hurt, either). Carbohydrates and fats aren't inherently fattening. Quality of calories and total calories can be inherently fattening.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •