Carbohydrates and how many or how little a person consumes has been a hot topic for many years. Most people assume that we should avoid carbs at all costs in order to limit weight gain. But is that the real truth? One such means of controlling carb intake is carbohydrate cycling, which has long been used by professional athletes and bodybuilders but only made it into the mainstream in the past couple of years as people aim to optimize their diets.
If you’re interested in learning more about carb cycling and how it may be able to help you with your health and fitness goals, follow along as we discuss what it is in more depth and what it can help you achieve.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling or carbohydrate cycling is a strict diet in which a person alternates between periods of time of high carb consumption and low carb consumption. Sometimes, there may also be no-carb periods of time, though they are normally very short. Carb cycling is not quite the same at the ketogenic diet, in which a person intakes low amounts of carbs and high amounts of fats, though some people on the keto diet do practice it.
Each person tailors the amount of carbs they consume based on individual needs throughout the day, week, month, and even year, revolving around an exercise schedule. On days of intense training, a person would consume more carbs – perhaps around 2- to 2.5-grams per pound of body weight – while on less intense days they would significantly reduce their carb intake to somewhere around 0.5-grams per pound. This ensures that the energy available on a given day is properly matched to the energy required.