Carbs are a contentious subject in nutrition. On one side, we have the low carb supporters who recommend you eat anywhere between none and 100 grams of carbs per day, and that you time any carbs you do eat around your workouts, i.e. just before, during, and just after.
On the other side, we have the high carb supporters who recommend that you get 50-70% of your daily calories from carbs and that you should include carbs in virtually every meal and snack you eat.
However, the one thing that neither group can agree on is whether you should eat carbs at night. The reason for this disagreement is that the answer depends on what you are training for, and how you have organized your workouts - this argument is mute if you have the correct supplementation for your goal.
THE ARGUMENT FOR CARBS AT NIGHT
Carbs before bed can be useful in certain situations. Those situations are:
1. YOU TRAIN AT NIGHT, A FEW HOURS BEFORE BED
Training depletes your muscle glycogen stores, and muscle glycogen is derived from carbohydrates. Your body recovers better from exercise if you eat carbs to replace these glycogen stores quickly. This means your post-training meal, which contains carbs, will happen not long before bed. Not eating carbs after training could delay recovery.
2. YOU TRAIN EARLY IN THE MORNING, ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Your muscles use glycogen for fuel during intense exercise. If you start your day by hitting the gym, you’ll need adequate supplies of glycogen to power you through your workout. However, you won’t have the time or inclination to eat much at that time of the day. This means that your last meal of the day today, is, in fact, your pre-training meal for tomorrow, and should, therefore, contain carbs. Alternatively, have a shot of espresso or a scoop of OxyShred before training to give you that energy metabolism boosts you need to get through your session.
3. YOU ARE TRYING TO GAIN MUSCLE
If building muscle is your goal, carbs are your friend. If your blood glucose levels drop, as they tend to if you eat fewer carbs, your body may start breaking down muscle for fuel – a process called gluconeogenesis. Needless to say, this is the last thing you want when you are trying to gain muscle.
Consuming carbs at night may help preserve your muscle mass through the night. Choose slow-releasing, low glycaemic index carbs that digest slowly to provide a steady supply of glucose, avoiding big peaks and drops in blood glucose levels.
4. YOU WANT A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Carbs help your body produce serotonin. Serotonin has many functions, but one of its main ones is helping you relax and go to sleep. Low carb diets are renowned for causing insomnia. If you are finding it hard to sleep, a dose of nighttime carbs may help. If you're afraid of gaining weight, use OxyShred first thing in the morning as it provides the perfect environment for carb utilization burning whatever excess carbs are left in your system.
If you want to improve the quality of your sleep (without the carb intake) and burn fat whilst asleep, you should consider OxyRem, a 3-in-1 fat burning sleep formula.
THE ARGUMENT FOR AVOIDING CARBS AT NIGHT
Nighttime carbs are not right for everyone. There are a few situations where night time carbs may not be appropriate - but always remember, it's not carbs that are your enemy, it's the type of carbs you eat. OxyShred helps to create the perfect environment for burning carbs by boosting your metabolism and switching on your energy-producing processes with numerous ingredients like grapefruit seed extract and guggulsterone:
1. YOU TRAIN EARLIER IN THE DAY
If you train earlier in the day, you can have a big post-training, carb-laden meal soon after, and then safely eat fewer carbs later in the day. If you want to gain muscle while avoiding unwanted fat gain, this may be a good option.
2. FOR FAT LOSS
When your blood glucose drops, as it will if you cut down on carbs, your body may use more fat for fuel. This means that skipping carbs at night may result in more fat burning while you sleep. However, you may also experience some muscle catabolism, so this is very much a double-edged sword.
Solution: If you like to consume night time carbs and your goal is fat loss, use OxyShred first thing in the morning as it provides the perfect environment for carb utilization. This allows you to avoid muscle breakdown AND improves fat loss.
Remember, alcohol can also interfere with your fat loss. Alcohol itself is fat-free but still contains a whopping seven calories per gram which are more than protein and carbs (containing four each) and only slightly less than fat (which contains nine). Just a couple of drinks can add a lot of calories to your daily intake.
3. FOR MORE EFFICIENT FASTED MORNING EXERCISE
Fasted exercise may slightly increase fat burning. Because your blood glucose levels are depleted, your body may use more fat for fuel. Avoiding carbs the night before a fasted workout may increase fat burning as you’ll be in an even more carb-depleted state.
However, it’s worth noting that this may reduce exercise intensity and duration which, in turn, could mean you end up burning fewer calories, canceling out any advantage.
Solution: To increase the intensity and duration of your fasted fat burning morning workouts, use OxyShred first thing in the morning as the clean, natural energy boost, fat transporters, and thermogenic help you perform at your best without the fatigue and lethargy.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
As a rule, the leaner you are, and the harder or more frequently you train, the better your body is at dealing with carbs. Both leanness and activity levels affect insulin sensitivity, and the more insulin sensitive you are, the more likely it is that the carbs you eat will end up in your liver and muscle cells.
In contrast, being overweight and/or inactive lowers insulin sensitivity, meaning the carbs you eat are more likely to be converted and stored as fat. Combat this effect by using OxyShred in the morning and OxyRem at night, as this proven combination reduces your body's ability to store fat while also enhancing fat burning.
By considering all this information, you should have no problem deciding if night time carbs are right for you. Ultimately your current level of leanness and training hold the answer. You may even find that carbs are right some nights, but not right on others, depending on when you have or are going to train. Adjust your night time carb intake to reflect your personal circumstances and your goals.
If your goal is to lose weight or cut down a few kilos, try substituting those carbs with higher daily protein intake. Try Zac's award-winning protein pancake recipe fueled with OxyWhey Lean Protein.