When people talk about losing weight or getting shred, automatically, there’s a lot of talk about going “low carb.”
Is this always the right direction? In many cases, no.
So, how many carbs should you have a day?
Actually, if you first calculate your calorie intake, and then your macronutrients in a very specific order, your recommended carb intake is truly a no-brainer.
Watch on YouTube
Listen to the Podcast
Read Time: 2 minutes
What I’m Talking About
- The undeniable reason you need to include carbs in your diet
- How many carbs should you eat to build muscle
- Why timing your carbs could be a big waste of your time
- The most important carb type that you need for healthy digestion
What Do Carbohydrates Do For Your Training?
Like fat, carbs regulate your hormones, but they also act as the main fuel source for your muscles (i.e., muscle glycogen).
While carbs are the first things you can cut when you’re trying to lose body fat, they’re still extremely important to make sure your workouts are still effective and improving.
You can even get to the point of total glycogen depletion… which is bad. This means almost zero energy for performance and recovery.
So, don’t think you should just hack them out of your diet to cut calories.
How Many Carbs Should You Eat a Day to Build Muscle?
Then, the simple answer to how many grams of carbs a day is… the rest.
Just fill in the rest of your calories with carbohydrates. If you calculated everything correctly, then your carbs should be on point.
Right Now, Timing Your Carbs Isn’t that Important
So, if the number of carbs is actually so simple to calculate, you might be asking yourself, “Well, then WHEN should I eat my carbs. Surely, that matters.”
Actually, it doesn’t really matter all that much… as a novice weight lifter.
For high endurance sports/activities like running and swimming, making sure you are adequately carbed-up is important.
Yea, Olympic swimmers eat carbs a few hours before their big race to perform better.
You: Olympic swimmers time their carbs, right? Me: Since when are you an Olympic swimmer? – Click to Tweet
Now you might be asking, “Well, what about powerlifters and bodybuilders? Don’t they eat carbs at certain times?”
Yes, but these are advanced dieting models and athletes. At their level, they need to take into account timing in order to be 5% ahead of their competitors.
The principles still reign true for noobs, but they’re not as important and it’s almost a waste of your time to regulate it.
For you, just make sure you devour your recommended carb intake by the time you go to bed.
Fiber is an Important Carb Source
Fiber is one carbohydrate classification that you should also be tracking as well.
It’s important because with all the increased protein, you need to make sure that you’re keeping yourself regular.
That’s why at least 25g of fiber per day is a good starting point.
Don’t overdo it either. Too much fiber and you could find yourself in an emergency situation running to the bathroom.
Does This Change How You View Carbs?
I know this post is much shorter and simpler than the others, but it’s for a good reason!
With all of the low-carb hype and the media trying to demonize this macronutrient, it’s easy to think that carbs are the enemy and calculating them is SO hard.
Really, carbs are just the filler once you’ve figured out your protein and fats.
Did this change your view on carbs or your recommended carb intake? Let me know in the comments.
To your gains noob,