Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. Consuming carbs helps to prevent fatigue by replenishing our glucose and glycogen stores.
“Carb cycling” is a type of diet comprising of days in which more carbohydrates eaten on some days (High Carb days) to help promote muscle growth while on other days less carbohydrates are eaten (Low Carb days) so as to maximise fat loss. Following a “Carb cycling” plan will turn your body into a fat-burning and muscle building machine. Diet mainly focuses on carbohydrates (and not protein or fats).
High Carb Days:
- Activates insulin production thus helping the muscle to grow by transporting nutrients into the muscle cells
- Replenish the glycogen stores so as to fuel the muscles
- Increase your energy and stamina
Low Carb Days:
- To fuel the body, fat stores are used instead of carbs thus tricking your body into fat burning machine
- Body becomes more receptive to insulin thus improving muscle-building response
PROTOCOL OF CARB CYCLING
Carb cycling allows a person to eat carbs from clean sources like Baked Potatoes, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice and Oatmeal, without adding any fat, while cycling facilitates the use of fat for fuel, in contrast to burning carbs and muscle tissue for fuel.
- A high-carb day will require you to eat 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Your protein intake will be around 0.5 gram per kilogram, and your fat intake will be negligible.
- A moderate-carb day will require you to eat about 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Your protein intake will be around 0.5 grams per kilogram and your fat intake around 0.1 grams per kilogram.
- A low-carb day will require you to eat about 0.25 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Your protein intake will increase up to 0.8 grams per kilogram, and your fat intake to around 0.2 grams per kilogram.
- A no-carb day means intake of less than 30 grams of carbohydrate per day. This is achieved by eating only few servings of vegetables per day. Protein intake is around 0.8 grams per kilogram, and fat intake goes up to 0.25 to 0.5 grams per kilogram.
The theory behind the diet is as follows:
- On high-carb day the muscle glycogen stores gets replenish and will increase insulin production which has an anabolic effects like inducing protein synthesis.
- On moderate-carb day carbs intake ensure to maintain your glycogen stores, but doesn’t put your body on enough caloric deficit to cause much weight loss. These are generally the training days.
- On no- and low-carb days where there is enough caloric deficits, your body is turned into a fat burning machine due to low levels of insulin. It’s generally recommended to do rest on low-carb days.