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What is Carb Cycling?

Jun 18, 2018

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Simply stated, carb cycling is altering your carbohydrate intake in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and to maintain your metabolism. Carb cycling is considered to be a very aggressive and intense nutrition strategy to achieve certain performance goals. Only high level athletes tend you use this method because it is very strict and regimented. It is designed for short term use. Long term carb cycling is not recommended as it can affect your body in a negative way. Evidence suggests that brief and relatively infrequent periods of fasting and/or carbohydrate restriction may actually be advantageous for both health and body composition. However, restricting calories for long periods can have negative metabolic effects. Consult with your trainer if you feel the desire or need to carb cycle. They can further detail the process and what to expect and if it is right for you.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS

Carb cycling means to stagger the amount of carbs you eat, some days you eat more and some days you eat less in order to get the most benefit from carbs on those certain days. The tendency is when you consume more carbs, you should be working out and utilizing the carbs for additional fuel and the less carb days go hand in hand with the non training days. Carb cycling is known as a high level and aggressive nutrition strategy and designed for short term usage only. You need to understand if your short term goal and carb cycling can coexist and if the nutritional aspects can match with your lifestyle before attempting.


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