Manipulating your carbohydrates

Piotr Leniart

Want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? Want to have a ripped physique but also have super-freak strength? Having a great training program and doing some cardio will get you far, but to get massive muscle and be lean, it’s all about manipulating your macronutrients – and one in particular.


The deal over carbohydrates

Protein and dietary fats are easy to manipulate because you just have to eat the right amounts for your goals and have high-quality sources during your meals. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are macronutrients that need strategic manipulation. Do it correctly, and you can enhance your physique and performance greatly. Manipulating your carbohydrates is all about having the right types of carbs, eating them at the right times during the day, eating the right amounts, changing how many carbs you have on different days of the week based on your training (carbs cycling), and strategizing pre-workout and post-workout carbohydrates. If you want success and the best results possible, you must learn to “Dominate With Carbohydrate.”

If you want to get a lean physique and also get the most muscle gains possible, it’s all about timing your carbohydrates correctly. If you are trying to get cut, you obviously are going to be decreasing carbohydrates. If you want to gain muscle, you have to increase carbohydrates. The best times to consume your carbohydrates are at breakfast, pre-workout, and post-workout. You don’t really want to go above 80g of carbohydrates in one meal so although this might sound vague, try to spread out your carbohydrates throughout the day (with the exception of having them before bed) but trying to have the majority of them at breakfast, pre-workout and post-workout.

Fats and carbohydrates comprasion as source of energy
Fats and carbohydrates comprasion as source of energy

Here is why you want to concentrate your carbs at these times:

Breakfast

You haven’t eaten for the last 6-8 hours due to sleep and your body wakes up and it is craving nutrients. This results in your muscles having greater uptake of nutrients so take advantage of this time and feed it some high-quality carbohydrates. Choose complex carbs at this time.

Pre-Workout

This is a time that you want to consume carbohydrates that are going to help to give you a consistent and steady release of energy to help you power through your workout.

Pre-workout carbs should be mostly complex but in order to achieve that rush of energy from them, they have to be a bit faster digesting. That is why white potatoes or sweet potatoes would be an excellent pre-workout choice. Consume your carbohydrates 60-120 minutes before your workout to ensure complete digestion of your foods.

How does glycogen work during the workout
How does glycogen work during the workout

Post-Workout

Here’s where it gets interesting. During your workout, your muscles are plundering stored glycogen for energy, resulting in glycogen decreases of up to 60% in muscle tissue. Once your workout is concluded, your muscles will open up and nutrient uptake is greatly enhanced. The post-workout time is a crucial “window of opportunity” in which you must take in the right nutrients in the correct ratio to spur recovery and growth. Carb ingestion following resistance exercise stimulates muscle glycogen resynthesis. This, in turn, will decrease post-exercise recovery time and enhance muscle hypertrophy. It can also increase anabolic hormone levels (insulin, IGF-1, growth hormone) while reducing cortisol, thus creating the ideal environment for significant size and strength gains.

The key to getting a ripped physique and high performance is all about proper nutrition. Getting enough protein, carbs, and fats are essential but it is focusing on the carbs that will make the most difference. I highly suggest that you look over this article a few times, write out a few different plans, try out the different carbohydrates, different timings, etc. and really figure out what works for you. I guarantee if you find your sweet spots for all of these factors that your training will be taken to a new level and your body will be sure to turn some heads.

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