Benefits of carbs post workout

In the world of confusion, let’s just start by stating a few facts:

1: Carbs are NOT your ENEMY

2: Carbs are your BEST FRIEND

Wait, what?

Yes, so once settled into the shocking news that things can be a bit more than one dimensional, let’s move on.Carbs are a bit of a tricky game- if you make it so.. But it doesn’t have to be! For simplicity sake eating carbs and the effects it has on your body depends on:

-When you eat them

-What your goals are

-How close you are to those goals

Now if you don’t like numbers and science and want it to be as simple as possible:


A Long-distance relationship would be your best bid (and stick to LOW GI, when you have them- continue reading).

Gains in STRENGTH, MASS or ATHLETIC  performance

You would be an idiot (guilty in crime) to leave them out!


Now once you’ve established them as a important variable – next thing to keep in mind is TIMING- which influences what effect they will have on your performance and whether you will get a bonus for the work you’ve done or not!

Post WORKOUT AKA-  ‘SUPER COMPENSATION WINDOW’-Because we love fancy words and shiny things!

Post workout- and by that I mean WORKOUT- Your body is in a catabolic state- muscle tissue are broken down, and you’ve used  stored fuels -glycogen and aminos.

This means the body’s in a ‘SOS’ mode- and hungers to replenish and repair what is lost, and FAST! So everything is more readily alert to work in your favor and work back to homeostasis- aka balance! Now this is what we are talking about with SUPER COMPENSATION  Do it in time= Additional benefits to body composition and  exercise performance.

If you don’t do it in time.. It’s not like the workout was wasted, but you’ve missed an opportunity to get some extra creds for the work you’ve doneIMG_7682


Actually whether you are the king of Low carb or have established that- okay carbs are my friend and I accept it, it looks like we can all benefit from adding a bit of extra carbs into our dinner or evening snack!

Why is that?

Now it’s not newsflash that food changes how you feel.


It works with your neurotransmitters/ nervous system. Carbs have an effect on your serotonin levels- the GOOD VIBES, makes you feel relaxed and gives you a sense of calm.

When carbs are taken with a solid chunk of your lovely aminos, including tryptophan, tryptophan are not taken up with the other aminos but does a loop dance into the  blood brain barrier- and converts into serotonin. Insulin also works as an antagonist to the hormone cortisol – which then lowers your stress levels- helpful when trying to fall asleep!

Now last thing- building up your glycogen storage WITHIN THE MUSCLES takes time… SO adding carbs to your evening meal- allows the body time to do so and by that nailing down your  pre game for training the next day!


This is a controversial battle- so you would be better off with a bit of trial and error.

As a general:

Fat loss- you know the game- Stay away.. Picture it like this- Your boy-friend/ girl-friend have been a bit too clingy… And you need a distance for a while to learn to appreciate them again.. Same thing here…  You’ve been a bit too clingy to your carbs.. And so you need some distance.… Now here you can guarantee that you will be a good match again after- if you do it right (which is not always the case for my point of reference.. But that’s a different topic.. )



For gains or athletic stuff:

Trial and error- Does it work in your favor? Keep it! If not- Leave it alone!




So again..No one likes clingy people.. It’s too much of a good thing, and for simplicity sake and because we learn very well by attaching to things we already know.. Think of your carbs like the friend that you love to bits and pieces, but that would drive you NUTS if you saw him/ her all the time…

Cycling your carbs increases the  brain’s sensitivity to the metabolic hormones insulin and leptin. This makes it easier for the body to more efficiently switch back and forth with using fat as fuel and  carb as fuel- depending on the goal of the activity!


TO make this one SUPER SIMPLE:


POST WORKOUT- and make sure you have them; Why wouldn’t you get more bang for the buck if you could?

Choose simple carbs HIGH in GLUCOSE/ Low in FRUCTOSE

Now mr Poliquin (smart guy) suggests that the optimal intake of those carbs- if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of it will be:


  • Carb/protein ratio 3:1 / 4:1 within 30 min:
  • 2-1.5g/ pr kg simple carbs (dextrose/ sucrose) with 0.3-0.5 g/kg high quality protein cont essential amino acids! IDEALLY in liquid form.


That’s the DEAL for the rest of your day. You don’t want to take your Insulin levels on a rollercoaster ride 24/7- That  would make anyone nauseous

Friendly suggestions


White stuff (not drugs)

Rice cakes

Pan cakes (yuhuuu)



Long grain rice -If you’re into that stuff



Sweet potato



Green veggies


Oranges, Strawberries, Grapefruit & Apples (high in fructose, so don’t go overboard with them)

Cherries (try frozen- it’s like candy)

Hummus, Lentils, Beans


If you wanted to look up your FAV foods and their GI:

See the link below


HIGH:  70+

MEDIUM:  56-69

LOW: 0-55

VERY LOW: 5-12 (When fiber has been subtracted)

And that’s that for now, ladies and gentlemen- eat your carbs  when you need them, leave them alone when you don’t and make sure you try frozen cherries*


Ellis Katrine

PMF Blogger





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