One of the fastest growing ‘’trends’’ within the ‘’body recomposition’’ community is carbohydrate back loading. In a sentence it is a more advanced, specific application of carbohydrate cycling which simply prescribes the use of complex carbohydrates post-resistance training in the evenings. Sure there will be people wondering ‘’why’’ which is why we are going run through it now and rate it!
For relatively fast results with fat loss ‘’carb back loading’’ is certainly a great route to take. It really plays to the strength of science and insulin sensitivity. Many studies have concluded that we are best off eating the majority of our carbohydrates within the last meal of the day. When you combine this with resistance training and the preferable insulin reaction which occurs, driving the carbohydrates into the body at this time of the day makes great sense. Sticking with protein, fibrous carbs and fats before the workout makes sense because the body will be more prone to burning fat in the gym AND utilising the carbohydrates more effectively post-workout. Win-win!
This one is a little more complex. Yes, carb back loading can indeed aid muscle growth however you will need to be quite aggressive with the approach. Post-workout you will really need to milk the window and force some carbs down in order to get enough calories in. On the plus side, if you are fairly lean and you want to grow, having a big carb fest (intelligently) can be of great benefit and it is quite fun, right? Some people will require more carbohydrates throughout the day for growth, beyond the protocol of carb back loading. It much depends on their age, size, training volume, genetics and level of experience.
In relation to health you cannot bash carb back loading. The idea of consuming certain macronutrients at given times of the day to work synergistically with our natural hormone cycle is very plausible, and logical. Improved long term insulin health and blood sugar management are benefits which you might expect to benefit from when using carb back loading as a ‘’lifestyle’’ diet protocol.
To conclude, carb back loading is a fantastic lifestyle approach to nutrition to achieve and sustain a lean and healthy physique. More than that, the application of carb back loading should mean that you increase the amount of nutritious green veg and fruits in your diet, which is obviously a positive thing (certain fruits will need to be restricted if fat loss is the goal). Carb back loading gets the FitMag seal of approval! #