Carbohydrates are essential for fueling your muscles when putting your body through intense training. Intense training ranges from strength training, endurance training, and high-intensity interval training. Carbohydrates replenish the glycogen stores to your muscles that is depleted during training sessions.
I learned this the hard way. Thinking I could maintain a ketogenic or super low carb diet while performing at a higher volume of training. While I was initially successful, eventually I hit a brick wall! I ended up accumulating injuries, and as my energy diminished so did my performance. While I initially achieved a level of leanness that I had never previously had, it proved to be something that wasn’t ultimately maintainable and ended up actually hurting me.
As I recovered I started incorporating carbs back into my diet. At first I ended up putting too much in too quick and gained more weight than I wanted to. While I did get stronger with the increase in weight, my aerobic conditioning suffered and I really struggled with bodyweight movements.
In an effort to remedy this I started incorporating specific carb timing for the purpose of leaning out and maintaining/increasing performance. Carbs were programmed before, during, and after training sessions. This ended up being my aha moment. The piece of the puzzle that I had been missing. Not only did I start to lean out but I was also getting stronger and the nagging injuries started to heal.
As with most things in life we are given the test first and then are allowed to ask the questions. If I hadn’t had to personally experience this, make these mistakes and learn from them, then I wouldn’t have the knowledge to help others avoid these same pitfalls and ultimately achieve a healthier lifestyle.