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Post workout carb eating?

Discussion in 'Optimal Fitness' started by PaleoDentist, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. PaleoDentist

    PaleoDentist New Member

    It seems a common recommendation/ practice to eat more carbs following weight training to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores. What happens when we do not do that and eat low carb instead??? how does the glycogen get restored? does it come form protein via gluconeogenesis? from fat? Is it a BAD idea not to eat a more carby meal following LHT (Lift heavy things) exercise. This is for those of us trying to lose body fat. Thanks!
  2. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    When I LHT or HIIT I do it right before my next meal. I eat keto. In the new monster thread Quelsen gives an excellent explanation why you don't need this if you are keto adapted

    No need to eat lots of carbs when you are a fat burner.
  3. PaleoDentist

    PaleoDentist New Member

    OK, but how how does the glycogen get replaced when eating low carb? I thought it was important to replenish glycogen stores by eating carbs after a workout...
  4. Glamorama

    Glamorama New Member

    Because I'm in early fall here in Oz, I still have 30-60 gram carbs daily. 14 grams of those come from a can of pure coconut water with pulp straight after my LHT-sessions. From my understanding, you can build muscle with just fat, protein and CT... My muscle is coming out nicely with strength-increase every week, and I'm low-carb, but not keto yet, as I'm waiting till winter.
  5. Continuum Fitness

    Continuum Fitness New Member

    If you are eating a keto - paleo diet but still maintain a carb intake (from vegetables) and you keep it in the under 50 gram a day range, you will never deplete your glycogen stores. The avg human can store 400 grams of gylcogen in their muscles before it gets stored as fat.

    The trick is by eating keto you turn yourself into a fat burner instead of a sugar burner. Your body will use fat as fuel source saving muscle and liver glycogen for when it is needed in emergency situations or extended bouts of stress.

    The only time you completely deplete them is through intense exercise over a long duration( marathons) or through a diet that is completely void of carbs (Eskimos eating blubber and meat)

    Meal timing is important for muscles. So after a workout consume a protein and carb meal. Think 30 grams protein and 15 -20 grams of carbs from veggie sources. Keep your fat low in this meal so you do not overly slow absorption (the protein will slow it down enough) Spread the rest of your carb intake over your other meals.

    The reason to put the two together is glycogen helps shuttle amino acids into muscle for recovery and repair.

    BAB- protein/fat little or no carbs

    PWO meal- protein/carb little or no fat

    Dinner (if neccessary) protein/fat little or no carb

    adjust timing depending on when you wotkout.
  6. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    your liver does it......gluconeogenesis. IF you decided to be warm adapted you will need the carbs.......if you decide to be cold adapted you do not need them much at all. It really comes down to how you want to live.
  7. Continuum Fitness

    Continuum Fitness New Member

    Dr. Kruse, just so I understand. It was my understanding that gluconeogenesis does not occur until you have depleted all of your muscle and liver glycogen. Through extended intense exercise, bouts of starvation or a diet void of a carbohydrate source. (Inuits)

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that once you become cold adapted the pathway bypasses what you have stored in muscle and liver and that gluconeogenesis (the making of glucose from non-carbohydrates) occurs in the liver. So it fills the storage of liver and muscle and uses the leftovers to fuel the body along with keytone bodies from a ketopaleo diet.

    I will have to reread the CT series to make sure I understand this action.
  8. ChristineKleiber

    ChristineKleiber New Member

    Thanks for this thread. This is really helpful. And my take is that to the degree that you are cold adapted is the degree to which you can do without carbs post exercise. IMHO which is very, very H, it would be possible to have a false sense of how LS you've become other than relative to your LR experience. (unless you test!!) Ditto for how cold adapted one is. So which is the worse error - eating too many carbs post WO because you are more cold adapted than you realized? (Banana in Alaska winter problem) OR eating too few carbs thinking you are cold adapted when you aren't really there yet?
  9. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

    Continuing misunderstandings here :)

    There are no Inuit sprinters/middle distance runners for a very good reason. And don't tell me they CAN sprint to get away from polar bears.

    Hunter-gatherers of any stripe, even those who are persistence hunters, on average do not run all that fast. Many times much slower than even an average calibre modern marathon runner, but they can keep going ALL day. (Modern runners find it very difficult to keep up with traditional persistence hunters because modern runners are used to running in straight lines on even terrain and are not used to ducking under trees and jumping snakes etc - it is not a speed thing).

    The keto/ low-no carb plans is great for endurance and abysmal for speed or speed/endurance. During any activity with a wodge of anaerobic quality to it you will fail big-time without carbs. The reason is that even if you are a fat-burning machine (and many successful ultra endurance athletes like the long course and Ironman triathlon specialists have achieved this - it is a routine effect of typical base building), during a highly anaerobic event, the body cannot produce glucose from fat fast enough. That is why studies have shown big gains in endurance with loss of speed in athletes switching to fat-dominant diets.

    Yes, you can see huge gains in V02 max from becoming a fat-burning machine, but it case this gets tossed back at me, v02max is a very poor predictor of competitive performance. Other facts such as economy are more important. In other words, having a high V02max does not necessarily mean you can out-perform anybody with a lower Vo2max. As Prof Tim Noakes has pointed out - if that were true then all competitions would be decided in the lab.

    Recently some elites have been playing around with a "train low, race high" thing, where they train on a high fat diet (and feel absolutely crap) and then race on high carbs, and it seems promising. Arguably the world's #1 endurance guy ultraman world champion Jonas Colting eats low-carbish Paleo in training and scarfs high carb, even junk high-carb, while competing.

    Carbs for higher intensity exercise are absolutely essential: Armstrong (cold adapted?) 70% carbs; Phelps (cold adapted?) massive amounts of carbs; Sherpas (cold adapted) eg Apa Sherpa - record holder with 22 Everest summits - high carbs, and high carbs + high fat once working past base camp; Kenyans (world's dominant runners above sprint distances) - high carb.

    Dr Kruse makes the valid point that the longevity of high-carbers like the Kenyans is probably not good, and I have lost track of the number of former Olympic-level athletes who are suffering in later years with very serious health conditions...so it may be, as Dr K says - that there is a trade-off here - short-term glory (on carbs) or long-term health.

    So, @cgk, when you ask

    "So which is the worse error - eating too many carbs post WO because you are more cold adapted than you realized? (Banana in Alaska winter problem) OR eating too few carbs thinking you are cold adapted when you aren't really there yet?"

    the answer probably is...it depends whether quick recovery and ability to do the training necessary to develop anaerobic capacity and power is your aim, of whether you are more focused on health and longevity and the ability to sustain a lower-level performance over 4 hours +.

    Great thread! Thanks guys.
  10. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Simon & co

    some very good points there, this is certainly a big topic though and its one I have a fair bit of experience with. I'll outline a few things here, theory, hypothesis and practical experience. Need Dr K's input and then we'll see where we go from there

    I'll start from the top and work backwards:

    For about 3 years I have been keto adapting. Its been a gradual process of increasing fat intake, cycling carb intake, and gradually reducing carb intake. I've aided the adaptation through my training strategies. Basically, I;ve done a lot (and I mean a lot) of fasted state training. When I say "training"... I mean ultra endurance stuff.. Ironman type training... 4-5hr bike rides, 3-4hr runs (and longer but I'll get to that) and long swims. I built this up over the years from doing say a 1hr run fasted to a 5hr bike ride fasted, with minimal eating during too. I now do all my morning training (5-6days a week) fasted, i.e. no breakfast. It could be a 2-3K swim in the pool or a 5hr bike ride. Always fasted, coffee being my breakfast of choice ;-). All this was done based on the research I've studied on glycogen depleted training, PPAR, CPT-1, IMTG, Mitchodrial Biogensis, IL-6 and basically everything related to upregulating fat adaptation.

    I now run ultramarathons and have competed in 100mile mountain races. I've raced in 8 ultramarathons over the past 2 years, distances between 30 and 100miles, all trail mountain type. I raced each of them fasted. That is, I get up, while everyone else is shovelling porridge, banana's, bagels etc into them to "fuel"... I am sipping on a fresh coffee, and maybe one or two ergogenic aids. I've won 2 races, finished 2nd twice, 3rd in another and been in the top 10 in the remainder. I mention this not to "bragg" but this to put things in context in terms of the level I am competing at.

    Theory and Hypothesis

    This is where I am hoping I can link in with Dr K. So the theory is all based on fat adaptation and fuel efficiency. So upregulate PPAR, switch on beta oxidation, improve CPT-1 function and various other enzymes and transporters. For more info on this, I've written an article which explains most things: http://www.optimumnutrition4sport.com/?page_id=547 ... looking back on it, I have missed out on a couple of things which I;ve read through Dr. K's work. The effect IL-6 has (and I mean good affect in terms of lipolysis), UCP3 and possibly 1 or 2 other mechanisms.

    The Link/Hypothesis:

    My speculation (and it is just a speculation which is why I am sharing this here) is the adaptations gained from CT in relation to ketogensis can be also gained through ultra fasted state endurance training.

    - it improves insulin sensitivity and thus leptin sensitivity

    - it increases fat oxidation both adipose and IMTG

    - it increases mitochondrial biogensis

    - FAT/CD36 is upregulated

    - NPY is swtiched off during exercise

    - UCP3 is upregulated

    - other pathways that i have forgotten !

    There are studies on athletes which support the above, mostly. The studies show that the adaptations take place but that performance doesn't improve in most cases. The reason for this is quite simple. As Dr.K mentioned, it takes time to fully adapt 24-36months. Most of the studies are carried out between 4-8weeks. On top of that they are neither CT adapted, keto or in my case "fasted state" adapted.

    I'm probably leaving a few things out as my head has literally been melting since I started reading Dr K's blogs !! but I hope he can comment on the above !

    Another Link:

    Just to put things in a bit more perspective. I have run over hills and mountains for 6-7hrs, at a decent pace, with some big max heart rate climbs and efforts, on empty - no breakfast, and with only 2 snacks during - I use coconut/nut butter/oat homemade bars. So we're talking maybe 40-50g of carbs for the entire run. I know there are going to be some serious concerns about cortisol and telomeres etc but I don't want to conversation to center around that for now. I do what I do because I love it. Its an amazing feeling and experience. And with that I think comes some big time epigenetics. There has got to be some gene expressions as a result of this possibly relating to SIRT-1 and PDC-1 amongst others. Again, hopefully Dr K can comment on this !

    Grey Area

    As mentioned I think by Simon, the big grey area for me is top end intensity training, so flat out intervals whether that be 600-1200m reps on the track or 2-3min efforts on the bike or even just threshold work. If we are in the anaerobic state, we need glucose. Now the thing is, there are other systems - Cori Cycle and Glucose Alanine Cycle. Possibly also so glycolytic amino acids can work too.

    Apart from my own athletic adventures, I work with elite athletes too - Tour de France Cyclists, Olympic Triathletes and World Class Distance Runners. From my experience in this field, I can tell you that I know of none that are following a ketogenic diet. Some of my atheletes are close, but nowhere near
  11. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

    Great stuff Barry!

    Just to reiterate, when you say

    the problem as I understand it is that these are just not fast enough to fuel sustained high intensity/speed efforts.

    I am a masters world champion (5m x-country), but my current emphasis/obsession is running a superfast track mile, so like you I am in a highly practical n=1 experiment where feedback on fuel/training choices is relatively obvious.

    Thanks for opening up on here! Look forward to continuing conversations.
  12. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

    Oh, and I hope you are now out for a St Patrick's Day night :)
  13. Barry

    Barry New Member


    yes, celebrated in keto style ;-)

    I'm not sure of the exact speed of ATP production via Cori or Glucose/Alanine... I would imagine they are faster than ketones though.

    In terms of speed work, I guess its a case of volume. If you are just focusing on 1mile, with say 3-4gCHO/min requirement... thats say 16g of glucose required... which surely you will have stored in the muscle if you eat 40-50g CHO daily.

    What do you think ?
  14. Hi guys, I want to jump in this thread as I am looking for performance gains, though not quite in the same vein.

    I am 40 yo female powerlifter, I have been using CT going on 3 weeks now. Cold baths, 55F for 35-60min, almost daily in the evening after I train and have dinner, and 5 min cold showers 55Falso, in the morning.

    I have seen some promising results, but it is too soon to be sure. Subjectively, I feel less sore, and have greater energy. I feel recovered from training sooner, like I could handle an extra day's training, but I won't do that just yet. I have hit some PRs on body weight movements, like pull ups, and I have hit some recent PRs in squat and DL, but I switched programming (and coaches) so I can't truly say my recent improvements are direct result of CT. It sure feels like it though!

    I have a meet in 4 weeks. I will not do anything different from what I am doing now, eating VLC, about 120g of protein, baths in evening, random spot icing and the AM showers.

    I'm thinking of trying CT before training, or even crazier, during. As in, when I am done with squatting, icing my glutes hammies while I bench. Then when I move onto deadlifts or powercleans, icing, chest, delts. Or icing before my lifts. Yeah, nutty. Which is why I won't do it until after the meet.

    What forms of CT are you using regularly, and when?
  15. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

    Hey Barry,

    Interesting. My figures put the cost much higher. I am running sub-5-minute pace = minimum 11kcal from carbs per minute required, which I *think* means that I am looking for around 66g of glucose to cover the race itself (assuming it lasts 5 minutes). Then I also have to cover the energy cost of the warm-up - some of which is intensive - not to mention travel, not to mention just getting out of the house! OK, some of that is going to be fuelled by fat, so I don't want to exaggerate, and we also need to bear in mind that all activities use all the energy pathways, there is no clear delineation. Also, I am rating the mile effort as 50/50 aerobic anaerobic.

    Whatever...you make a good point. I'd never done the sums before, but it does validate that eating low carb (ie
  16. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

    Hi Teenie Leek,

    I think this is where the effects of CT become really obvious :) Elites have been using ice-cold baths (usually just for the legs) for at least 20 for exactly those reasons. The benefits are even more obvious if you *have* to train 2 or 3 times a day. In which case it becomes essential. This puts CT on a par with steroids: better recovery = more and higher quality training possible = improved performance. If you combine CT with low-carb, which Jack says is what works and what you are doing, then Jack seems to say you will access that "superpower" zone. It will be great to hear what happens when your other variables have evened out.

    Did you see Jack's post/blog where he mentioned the Vasper training system? http://www.vasper.com/ This is the origin of "Freeze and Squeeze" - I'd love to know what results you could get doing that!
  17. Barry

    Barry New Member

    SimonM;2477 wrote: Hey Barry,

    Interesting. My figures put the cost much higher. I am running sub-5-minute pace = minimum 11kcal from carbs per minute required, which I *think* means that I am looking for around 66g of glucose to cover the race itself (assuming it lasts 5 minutes). Then I also have to cover the energy cost of the warm-up - some of which is intensive - not to mention travel, not to mention just getting out of the house! OK, some of that is going to be fuelled by fat, so I don't want to exaggerate, and we also need to bear in mind that all activities use all the energy pathways, there is no clear delineation. Also, I am rating the mile effort as 50/50 aerobic anaerobic.

    Whatever...you make a good point. I'd never done the sums before, but it does validate that eating low carb (ie
  18. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Hi Teenie Leek (sounds a bit funny saying this, anyway)

    CT I've done has not been specific in terms of Dr K's methods, more just training outdoors for hours in minus temperatures.

    In terms of timing, most say post CT is best time to train.

    I think we do all have to bear one thing in mind. Over recent years, ice baths etc have been shown to blunt adaptation to the muscle stress. So while it does numb the pain when used post heavy training, it can actually inhibit the beneficial inflammatory response

    So my advice to you would be to CT pre workouts, not during training or not post training. However, during competition, this is where CT post is fine and even during, albeit this is something I have never really seen or have experience with

    hope that helps
  19. Simon, I did look through the Vesper site, and have a few ideas: sleeping on a conductive mattress pad would be a start for the grounding. As far as compression and cooling, I was also thinking about training while wearing a cooling vest. The compression part is a bit more difficult. Powerlifters can lift massive amounts with compression clothing, squat suits and bench shirts. I compete "raw" which is just belt and knee wraps, when one competes with compression suits/shirts, that is "geared" and a different category. I cannot wear compression gear in competition. Just cotton tshirt, lycra singlet. I don't want to train in anything that I won't be able to compete in.

    Now you have me thinking though, I could train my volume days in semi-compression (under armour) and do my intensity days (which mimic the meet, 3 attempts at the 3 lifts, low volume but very heavy) in my regular gear. hmmmmph. lots to consider :)

    I work 2 jobs, and I have tried to do 6 days a week, experimented with Bulgarian/Romanian methods, and was too much with my work schedule. After the meet, I may add in a 4th day, on the weekend of "accessory" work: farmer's walks, tire flips, weighted pull ups and dips. I'm still in the idea stages.

  20. My XH spent a summer in Scotland years ago, came back with a few new expressions that charmed my ears :)

    I seem to remember for the Summer Olympics in Athens that the US marathoners wore cooling vests and stayed indoors in the air conditioning right up to the last minute, while other athletes were outside "acclimitzing" to the heat that they had to run in. I remember reading that in Runner's World (I used to run marathons, and followed the US racing scene for a bit) Also that Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezghi used ice baths after all workouts. I used to jump in my unheated swimming pool (65-70F) after long runs (15+ miles) with seemingly no ill effect. I wasn't competitive, I just did them to hide an eating disorder, but that's another story for another day.

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