Post – Workout “carb” dispute

Post – Workout “carb” dispute

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When an individual is working out at a high intensity of weight training and the goal is FAT LOSS, do we give him/her carbs immediately after workout or we can take an opportunity to allow the fat mobilized due to exercise to continue to give more fat loss by depriving carbs immediately after workout?





1. Heavy and intense workouts deplete muscle glycogen tremendously and thus need to be replenished with carbs to ensure minimum muscle glycogen loss and ensuring regain of the depleted muscle glycogen. This is the science which has been established.

2. Maximum fat mobilization will take place in those individuals through exercise who will be working out regularly and intensely for a long period of time. And such individuals we obviously assume will be strict about their eating habits only then will it be possible for them to workout at that level. Now, such a person will as it is be pretty close to his/her ideal body composition. For him/her preventing and arresting muscle depletion and further gaining more muscle as early as possible after workout will be on first priority because there are many ways that can be used to further slash down the remaining fat percentage of the body, however it is way more challenging to gain back any muscle lost due to drastic methods of carbs depletions post workout.

3. Besides, in the absence of carbs fat can be mobilized but cannot be completely degraded and broken down. In the biochemical pathway of carbohydrate metabolism there is a product called OXALOACETATE which enters the Beta oxidation of fatty acids during the fat metabolism. OXALOACETATE combines with acetyl CoA in the beta oxidation of fats and completes the chemical breakdown of fats into providing energy. In absence of carbs , OXALO-ACETATE produced is negligible thus the complete degradation of fats does not take place as the bio chemical step of acetyl CoA combining with oxaloacetate does not get proceeded. Which actually slows down fat breakdown completely. this further induces gluconeogenesis, breakdown of muscle proteins for maintaining the dropped blood glucose levels.

4. Post and intense exercise session the blood glucose levels have also dropped and the risk of hypo glycemia is high. Thus a carb meal will ensure recovery of blood glucose levels. In order to induce further fat loss through cutting out carbs post workout it is is advisable to replenish muscle glycogen which will bump up the Basal metabolism and improve fat burning capacity of the body over the entire day.

5. During an intense workout the CNS is harnessed to function on an elevated adrenaline rush. High adrenaline means higher catabolism because adrenaline thrives on muscle glycogen. Carb cutting or carb delaying post work will induce carb cravings and then the individual may indulge in bad carbs or dense carbs or cheat a meal.

6. With the kind of lifestyle people lead in the urban areas. Catabolic hormones are always on a high like the cortisols. High cortisols also induce cravings for sugar or junk food. And if the exercising individual is going to work after a workout sessions which involves a lot of mental work, he/she will very easily be driven towards cheating on the diet with wrong foods due to carb delay in a muscle glycogen depleted condition or in low blood glucose condition.

7. Any individual who is going through any kind of mental stress or anxiety or is generally very mentally hyper will be under constant influence of the catabolic stress hormones which are detrimental to maintaining a good BMR and a good muscle percentage. Such an individual after an intense workout is in an intense catabolic phase. The priority for such and individual is to be given carbs so that at least his brain is immediately getting enough glucose through the blood so that he/she further does not deplete blood glucose in his intense mental activity.

8. A mesomorph is genetically gifted with a good body composition and muscle density. You may allow him/her to get away with this approach but and endo and an ecto both will experience muscle damage with this aggressive method.

9. If this approach has to be used, its better to start in a mild way to allow the CNS adaptation to set in before we see repercussions of the carb cutting post workouts.

CONCLUSION: Better to give carbs post workout and manage the total carbs in the rest of the meals to further enhance fat loss and achieve ideal body composition.