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To Carb or Not to Carb

Hello! I bet you’ve heard conflicting advice about whether to eat or to avoid carbs before and after a workout. There are good reasons to do it either way, depending on your goals.

  • If your goal is primarily to burn fat, and you are not doing a killer workout, and you don’t mind recovering less quickly or being more sore, go ahead and skip the carbs. This will help you achieve lower blood sugar, which promotes fat burning.

  • If your goal is to have good strength, speed, power, performance, or recovery and less muscle soreness, then eat more carbs before, after, or even during your workout. This will boost energy and preserve muscle glycogen.
    I know what you are saying: “I want both!” So here is my advice. Decide your goal for each workout and eat accordingly. If you are training hard for an event, for example, by all means eat carbs so your poor muscles can rebuild stronger. If you need your muscles to be fresh the following day, eat carbs. If you are doing an easy workout, or are doing your regular routine without need to build new muscle or recover quickly, consider foregoing the carbs and burning more fat. In either case, eating about 10g protein both before and after your workout will help you build or retain more muscle. Happy exercising! Jill

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