Should I Consume Carbohydrates During My Weight Training Session?

This answer depends on your goals; whether you are training for muscle gain or fat loss.

Gaining Muscle

If you are trying to gain muscle and strength, then I would consume carbs intra-workout. This is because if you are training hard and lifting heavy you need lots of fuel to get through your workout. I would recommend consuming 15-60 grams of carbohydrates during your training session depending on the type of training you are doing.

If you are doing a bodybuilder style workout, then you do not need more than 30-45 gram; 30 grams if you’re under 200 pounds and 45 grams if you’re over 200 pounds. 

If you’re doing endurance style training such as cycling or running, then you may need about 45-60 grams of carbs every 60 minutes or opt for a ketogenic style diet. 

However, having carbs during your workout is even more important if you are training multiple times a day. This is because your body cannot synthesize (refill) muscle glycogen quick enough between workouts if you do not eat carbs while training. 

Fat Loss

On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight I would not consume carbs during your workout. This is because consuming carbs will give you extra calories (4 calories per gram). 

If you are trying to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Consuming carbs during your workout may help with your strength and energy levels. But, in the end, it will also sabotage your fat loss goals.


About the author

MSc Epidemiology MSc Exercise and Nutrition Science CITI Human Subjects Training for Research Certified Sports Nutritionist Certified Personal Trainer

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