Low Carb Post Workout Nutrition-Why You Need To Do It

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While out to dinner on Friday night in New York City with Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness editor Sean Hyson and women’s transformation success story Melissa Wall, we just happened to talk about the latest in training and post workout nutrition. Go figure..

As you can imagine, we’re three well versed individuals on the topics and had plenty of insight, interaction and agreed on most of the topics until…..

We started talking about carbohydrate back loading….

Sean mentioned that he watched my carbohydrate back loading video and the discussion began. He’s using it and I’m not a fan

If you’re not familiar with the method, check out my article on carb back loading. Essentially, you eat very little carbohydrates during the course of the day then consume a large amount post workout later in the evening.

This turned the conversation towards the usage of carbohydrates in your diet in general. Here’s where all three of us started agreeing again.

But I couldn’t get over the idea post workout nutrition and as I started to think about it and look at the research over the weekend I came to the conclusion that a low carbohydrate approach post workout is better for both physique results and overall health.

 Post Workout Nutrition 101.

Before I start going into the theory I just want to establish the goals of post workout nutrition so we’re all on the same page. When our physique and health is of the utmost importance to us our goals for post workout nutrition are as follows

-Jumpstart recovery

-Encourage muscular growth

-Optimize our metabolic and hormonal environment for continued fat loss during the day (otherwise known as balancing insulin sensitivity)

Here’s why I’m changing my thinking about post workout nutrition…

Every blogger, trainer and nutrition coach in the fitness world is pretty hip to the term “insulin sensitivity” these days. Basically, if we eat less carbs, take some omega-3  supplements,workout more and lose bodyfat we improve the ability for our body to properly store carbohydrates in our muscle cells.

The odd internet bodybuilding created and sport nutrition supplement company heightened theory is that you need to consume a lot of carbohydrates, sugary carbs, post workout since our body has an improved ability to handle them (that’s a logical falsely but please refer to the carbohydrate back loading article).

Since our goal is improved insulin sensitivity throughout the course of the day for both fat loss and decreased risks of inflammation, tumor growth and diabetes isn’t consuming a large amount of carbohydrates not too good of an idea here?

Since we have such an improved ability to handle carbohydrates post workout due to this increased insulin sensitivity shouldn’t we eat a smaller amount of carbs after we train?

After all,  insulin sensivity really means that we need less insulin after the workout that we needed before the workout for the same effect. In this instance being recovery and growth. Right?

Post Workout Nutrition bunk …

Need more convincing? So let’s say we eat these large amounts of carbs post workout like routinely suggested. We’ll actually “fill the tank” ,so to speak, of our insulin sensivity and it becomes harder to burn fat the rest of the day. Remember,all the various hormonal signaling that has to happen to lose body fat? What’s the best way to turn them on? By having “empty” stores caused by a low carbohydrate diet.

We prevent the very thing that we’re trying to do with the workout in the first place!

But We Need Carbs Post Workout

No, Matty  meathead we don’t. Intense training causes a phenomena known as non-insulin mediate glucose uptake which means that we can get protein into our muscle and kick start the recovery process WITHOUT any extra carbs.

Here’s What I Recommend For A Post Workout Meal

Remember our defined goals from above?

With a low carb post workout nutrition plan we can..

-Jumpstart recovery due to the amino acids from our protein shake and the small amount of fast carbs that we take in.

-Encourage muscular growth as a result of the amino acids from our protein shake and the glycogen storage caused by our low carb post workout options.

-Optimize our metabolic and hormonal environment for continual fat loss during the day because we’re not eating a large amount of carbs post workout we’re maintaining a half  “full” glycogen store which stabilizes our blood sugar but allows fat burning to continue.

My favorite post workout meals and foods

Simple yes, but very effective.

-40 grams of whey protein and 50 grams of gluten free oatmeal

-5 ounces of grilled chicken breast and 40 grams of white rice

-A smoothie of 1 cup blueberries, 1 medium banana, 1 cup skim milk and 40 grams of whey protein

Watch the video for more information

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)


  1. Monisha Vohra
    4 years ago

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on
    this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  2. JimmySmith
    4 years ago

    They seem to load fine to me. What issue are you having?


  3. simon
    4 years ago

    dearest jimmy..im fan of you n the work ur doing.truly logical and well researched…..i have few questions for you,n would really appreciate if you answered them to my email adress…
    …..1…how low in carbs in ketogenic in nature/…20 GRAMS CARBS LIKE ATKINS?…or around 50 grams?
    2…what should be the best diet plan to follow for an all natural body builder during CUTTING phase?…wont ketogenic diet eat away some of ones muscles gains during cutting?..
    3..now this,i speak from repeated experience….on ketogenic diet its almost impossible to life heavy weights(atleast for me)..what should be the ideal pre and post work out nutrition during cutting phase(on or not on ketogenic diet)
    4…what do you think of targeted ketogenic diet??…dont u think pre and post work out carbs(around 25 grams at both time)..will kick someone OUT of the ketosis…
    5…do u recommend any fat burner supplement for cutting phase(with or without stimultants)
    keep up the good work pal….


  4. JimmySmith
    4 years ago

    Hey Simon,
    1)120-100 grams for a ketogenic diet
    2)I prefer a higher carb approach of around 150 grams
    3) Pre workout you can really eat anything, post workout I’d have between 50-75 grams of carbs, high protein, creatine, beta alanine and vitamin c
    4)I like it but switch things ups
    5)No, just improve your insulin sensitivity

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