Carbohydrates are probably the most feared of the three main macronutrients, especially by bodybuilders. This is mainly due to the fact that carbs increase our insulin production and can cause us to become insulin resistant, slowing down the fat burning process.
However, did you know you can increase your calorie burn by having carbohydrates post-workout? You can prevent gaining fat from carbohydrates partly through timing, and this idea is based on a classic study done back in 2003.
How Can You Use Carbs to Burn Calories?
In this study, the researcher wanted to examine the thermic effect of foods, which is when the metabolism is raised after consuming food. This researcher gave individuals carbohydrates after exercise as opposed to rest.
Normally, you don’t burn many calories when you consume carbohydrates. However, what this study found was that post exercise, the calorie burn effect of carbs went up by 73%!
How Can You Have Carbohydrates on a Low-Carb Diet?
So, consuming carbohydrates after you exercise will increase the thermic fat burning effect by a whooping 73%, which is huge. This supports the idea that if you’re going to do carbohydrates on a low-carb diet, then a targeted carbohydrate technique might be effective.
That’s because if you consume carbohydrates around your workout, it will to help you use up that energy. It’ll also spike your metabolism higher, making your body much less likely to store your carbohydrates.
In fact, a study done in 1998 showed that if you consume carbohydrates around your workout, it will help you replenish your glycogen and carbohydrate stores at a much higher rate.
So, limiting your carbohydrates, and only consuming them around your workout in a targeted way will limit your fat gain and can probably eliminate the effect of the carbs you take altogether.
Can You Have Carbs While on Keto?
We actually published a similar study where we found that having 10g-20g of carbs around a workout didn’t actually knock you out of ketosis. This a godsend for people who are still craving some carbs while on a ketogenic diet.
It’s also a good way to replenish your glycogen stores without spiking your insulin, mainly because the adrenaline hormone that’s raised due to your workout is going to suppress that insulin response.
We hope this article helped you figure out how you can increase your calorie burn by using carbohydrates after and around a workout! We’ll see you again in the next article.