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  1. #1
    DNoMac's Avatar
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    Carbs before bed

    I ran a search and couldn't find the answer to my question...

    I was wondering what the pro's and cons of having carbs before bed. I know fat is suggested because it slows digestion, but what if you had a low gi carb like sweet pot or oats? I was always under the impression that carbs were bad before bed, but never read an explanation for it. I'm also bulking, so I don't mind mixing macros so long as the carbs and fats are from good sources (EFA's, yams, ect). Input???

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    audis4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DNoMac
    I ran a search and couldn't find the answer to my question...

    I was wondering what the pro's and cons of having carbs before bed. I know fat is suggested because it slows digestion, but what if you had a low gi carb like sweet pot or oats? I was always under the impression that carbs were bad before bed, but never read an explanation for it. I'm also bulking, so I don't mind mixing macros so long as the carbs and fats are from good sources (EFA's, yams, ect). Input???
    As long as it fits in with your daily macros, doesn't make a world of difference.

  3. #3
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    Really...interesting...I always thought carbs were the devil around late hours...becuase damn woudl I love some oats before I go to sleep

  4. #4
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    i usually eat carbs when i need energy because they are the most efficient source of energy for your body. thats why when i diet my breakfast is pretty big and my meals slightly taper down throughout the day. i would never have a big carb meal right before bed because it would raise your insulin levels and you wouldnt use hardly any of the energy so most of it would probably be stored as bodyfat. when im dieting i have a medium fat/high protein meal before bed so hopefully i will have protein available for most of the night without having too many extra calories that will be stored as bodyfat.

    one thing i do know is that sumo wrestlers stuff themselves with rice(carbs) and then go to sleep so they will add as much fat/weight as possible.

    i am curious about this too i would like to see some other opinions as well as the reasoning behind their opinions. i am definitely not the smartest guy on this board.

  5. #5
    bigsd67's Avatar
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    Unless you work out later at night according to most experts (Swole Cat, Christian Thibbideau, John Berardi) the body handles carbs better during the day when we are more active. This is just a quote but for more info and studies check out some of the articles on johnberardi.com. The guy is a PhD in nutrition and works with a lot of elite athletes.

  6. #6
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    personally if your bulking dont worry about shit, i eat a full pizza and a liter of oj before bed sometimes, but if u get fat dont blame me!

  7. #7
    bigsd67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doittoit
    personally if your bulking dont worry about shit, i eat a full pizza and a liter of oj before bed sometimes, but if u get fat dont blame me!
    This is really not sound advice if someone actually cares about how they look

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    audis4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doittoit
    personally if your bulking dont worry about shit, i eat a full pizza and a liter of oj before bed sometimes, but if u get fat dont blame me!
    I'd like to see your stats/pics
    You sound like you know a lot about diet.
    If you workout in the evening and eating schedule looks something like this, I don't see a problem with eating carbs in the evening:

    pro/carb
    pro/fat
    pro/fat
    pro/carb
    Workout
    pro/carb
    pro/carb

  9. #9
    zodiac666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsd67
    This is really not sound advice if someone actually cares about how they look
    although there are a few cases where someone's metabolism is so fast that they actually need to eat like this

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    audis4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodiac666
    although there are a few cases where someone's metabolism is so fast that they actually need to eat like this
    No one needs to eat pizza and garbage to keep from losing weight IMO. Eat more healthy foods at the proper times...no reason to jeopardize your health.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audis4
    No one needs to eat pizza and garbage to keep from losing weight IMO. Eat more healthy foods at the proper times...no reason to jeopardize your health.
    when im bulking i just make sure i get plenty of protein with each meal and other than that i eat whatever i want. although i do stay away from completely pointless stuff like french fries, ice cream, pancakes with butter and syrup.....etc, i still eat quit a bit of pizza, burgers, PBJ's, cereal.....etc. works well for me and i still have abs year round, smoother of course when im bulking but still clearly visible.

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    audis4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodiac666
    when im bulking i just make sure i get plenty of protein with each meal and other than that i eat whatever i want. although i do stay away from completely pointless stuff like french fries, ice cream, pancakes with butter and syrup.....etc, i still eat quit a bit of pizza, burgers, PBJ's, cereal.....etc. works well for me and i still have abs year round, smoother of course when im bulking but still clearly visible.
    I wish I could do that I gain weight eating too much clean food

  13. #13
    zodiac666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audis4
    I wish I could do that I gain weight eating too much clean food
    but im sure its also easier for you to gain muscle than me

  14. #14
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    i have also been wondering about carbs before bed and found that if i carb up before bed my muscles look fuller in the morning.. where as usually i look quite flat untill i get my food into me. but not sure if it is the carbs doing this or not.. with the pizza eaing i still manage to get a pizza or burgers down me now and then and i also keep my abs year round, just depends on ur body.

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    timtim is offline Member
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    the protein combined with say oats would result in a very small amount of insulin release and wont cause a spike and drop effect. really doesnt make a difference.

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    suppose i will add my opinion. and i was hoping Giants would step in on this one.
    IMO- carbs before bed are fine.
    as with every other meal, smart choices are key. now high fiber content will move the food through your digestive system fast than a fatty meal would, so be careful with your choices in that respect.
    if you had 12oz of turkey and a cup of oats before bed, there would be no negative connotation associated with that.
    for me though, the logic behind the fact that pro/fat is advised over pro/carb is indeed that fact that the pro/fat will stay with you longer during your sleep.
    another little bit i would like to add is about the term insulin spike. this is thrown around like it is a huge spike that has no way of being reckoned with. however a low Gi carb, such as a yams or oats, produce only an insulin response, enough to block cortisol...which is handy during your fasted sleep hours. i'm not going to get into the reasons why a spike isn't even needed after a workout, and how a response would suffice, and the addition to protein lowers the Gi of carbs again, but for the sake of sleep, in the big picture, the choice between pro/fat & pro/carb is a negligable choice.

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    dont get me wrong im not advocating the pizza thing lol, i just hit my protein goal daily and after that everything is fair game.......but as to the carbs i would highly recommend them before bed, anticatabolic, how much depends on your macros thorughout the day, activity level ect

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    Bullshit, its all bullshit. I have oats or grits before bed almost every night, even when I'm right close to a show and 5-6% bodyfat. The difference is you'll wake up w/ more energy and not feeling light headed and dead.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stayinstacked
    Bullshit, its all bullshit. I have oats or grits before bed almost every night, even when I'm right close to a show and 5-6% bodyfat. The difference is you'll wake up w/ more energy and not feeling light headed and dead.
    WOW...very unusaly unless you mean 1 - 2 hours prebed....He might be talking about an "on your pillow meal".....I train at night, and have oats post but that's around 730pm and I sleep around 9pm....I get my cc and pb in about 8:59...

  20. #20
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    The laws of thermodynamics do not magically change because of the hour of the day.

    Carbs before bed is fine.
    "without your word you're a shell of a man" - Tupac

    ***Giants11 is a fictional character any advice given is purely for entertainment purposes, always consult a physician before taking any supplements, drugs or changing your diet.***

  21. #21
    DNoMac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I've always been hesitant when having htem before bed, but lately I've been working out late and consuming carbs post. Of course, they are all from good sources.

  22. #22
    IBdmfkr's Avatar
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    I'd also agree the other meals during the day will make or break you, not the carbs you eat prebedtime. Just pick something low GI and keep it within your daily caloric needs.

  23. #23
    AnabolicBoy1981 is offline Anabolic Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giants11
    The laws of thermodynamics do not magically change because of the hour of the day.

    Carbs before bed is fine.
    unfortunetly, thermodynamics only go so far.

    DnoMac. The reason for this no carb, low carbs b4 bed has to do with the insulin and growth hormone relationship. When insulin rises, another hormone, somatastatin, brings it down. This somatostatin also brings down growth hormone unfortunetly. So when cutting you could see how this may be an issue. However, when bulking it still may be an issue cuz then you may be missing out on GH's anabolic and regenerative effects. So my rule of thumb is this: When cutting, no carbs before bed, just slow proteins( i use 5-6 eggwhites with a scoop and a half of casein). When bulking, i keep some carbs in there, about half the normal for a carb meal, and only the lowest GI carbs, with of course a scoop of casein and some eggwhites. I generally keep the fat low or sometimes non-existant. Fat, unfortunetly also brings down growth hormone. A study was done where they intravenously injected niacin(a known potent gh stimulater), and measured the GH levels. Subjects growth hormone levels rose several fold. They then injected free fatty acids into the subjects. This dropped their GH levels back to normal. Bummer.

    So yeah, alot of the time my pre-bed meal is fatless. But as long as your fat intake is normal in all your other meals, i dont see anyone incuring a fat deficiecy.
    But play with it. Sometimes if i carb out in weakness, ill take some chromium, or ALA, niacinimide, vanadyle or massive amounts of vitamin c(all insulin sensitizers) with it to keep the insulin from rising too high. Or if you want to venture higher with the carbs at night to see what you can get away with, i would add any, or a combo of those with the last meal.

  24. #24
    DNoMac's Avatar
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    Interesting. I've always consumed fat prebed to slow digestion. Do you have any of these studies that show fat lowers gh levels?

  25. #25
    AnabolicBoy1981 is offline Anabolic Member
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    ill see if i can dig it up. but i think that study was from a book on GH.

  26. #26
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    Takahashi Y, Kipnis D M & Daughaday W H. Growth hormone secretion during sleep

    "...young adults a remarkable peak of GH
    secretion occurs about one hour after the
    onset of deep sleep. This GH secretion is
    clearly entrained with the onset of deeper
    levels of sleep and not with discernible
    metabolic stimuli."

    The results of this study were clear. The early period of deep sleep in young adults isassociated with a major peak of growth
    hormone secretion unassociated with
    detectable changes in plasma glucose, fatty
    acid, insulin, or cortisol concentration



    Some aspects of circadian variations of carbohydrate metabolism and related hormones in man

    Plasma growth hormone (GH), insulin , cortisol, and glucose were measured during sleep on 38 nights in eight young adults. Blood was drawn from an indwelling catheter at 30-min intervals; EEG and electrooculogram were recorded throughout the night. In seven subjects, a plasma GH peak (13-72 mμg/ml) lasting 1.5-3.5 hr appeared with the onset of deep sleep. Smaller GH peaks (6-14 mμg/ml) occasionally appeared during subsequent deep sleep phases. Peak GH secretion was delayed if the onset of sleep was delayed. Subjects who were awakened for 2-3 hr and allowed to return to sleep exhibited another peak of GH secretion (14-46 mμg/ml). Peak GH secretion was not correlated with changes in plasma glucose, insulin, and cortisol. The effects of 6-CNS-active drugs on sleep-related GH secretion were investigated. Imipramine (50 mg) completely abolished GH peaks in two of four subjects, whereas chlorpromazine (30 mg), phenobarbital (97 mg), diphenylhydantoin (90 mg), chlordiazepoxide (20 mg), and isocarboxazid (30 mg) did not inhibit GH peaks. Altered hypothalamic activity associated with initiation of sleep results in a major peak of growth hormone secretion unrelated to hypoglycemia or changes in cortisol and insulin secretion
    "without your word you're a shell of a man" - Tupac

    ***Giants11 is a fictional character any advice given is purely for entertainment purposes, always consult a physician before taking any supplements, drugs or changing your diet.***

  27. #27
    1buffsob's Avatar
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    Very nice post Giants. I've read that before. Probably from one of your previous posts. haha

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    I would just think carbs before bed would be silly considering your body uses carbohydrates as its first source of fuel...carbs take no part in building muscle tissue, only supplying energy. So if before bed, rather the carbs be converted into glucose from the enzymes in your body its rather stored as fat for your body's second resort to energy. Personally before bed I dont consume much fat either as I look at it as energy..usually I just have some slow releasing protein like FF cottage cheese with maybe a tsp of peanut butter and maybe 3 grams of flax.

  29. #29
    Giants11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyTampa09
    I would just think carbs before bed would be silly considering your body uses carbohydrates as its first source of fuel...carbs take no part in building muscle tissue, only supplying energy. So if before bed, rather the carbs be converted into glucose from the enzymes in your body its rather stored as fat for your body's second resort to energy. Personally before bed I dont consume much fat either as I look at it as energy..usually I just have some slow releasing protein like FF cottage cheese with maybe a tsp of peanut butter and maybe 3 grams of flax.

    Your body will utilize anything you eat as a fuel source, not just carbs. Also to build muscle, don't you need energy?
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  30. #30
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    i remember swolecat saying he eats like 15 egg whites and some flax oil before bed. seems like he always chooses a pro/fat before bed

  31. #31
    Columbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad B
    i remember swolecat saying he eats like 15 egg whites and some flax oil before bed. seems like he always chooses a pro/fat before bed
    I def. agree with this theory.....keep blood sugar stable.....

  32. #32
    Giants11's Avatar
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    And low glycemic carbs would not?

    Do you not think blood sugar also rises when you eat protein?
    "without your word you're a shell of a man" - Tupac

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  33. #33
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    lol.. they have no idea but are blindly guessing.

    Pretty funny stuff

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    That is true giants to build muscle, yes you need energy...but im talking about energy that your getting from whole foods not internally in the body. Protein isnt an immediate fuel source either, thats the bodys last source of fuel.

  35. #35
    Giants11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyTampa09
    That is true giants to build muscle, yes you need energy...but im talking about energy that your getting from whole foods not internally in the body. Protein isnt an immediate fuel source either, thats the bodys last source of fuel.

    Says who? Your body runs on all fuel, at all times. Never just a select one.
    "without your word you're a shell of a man" - Tupac

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    Says who...says your body? Im just learning this stuff now as i'm taking nutrition...this is where all my knowledge is coming from.

  37. #37
    timtim is offline Member
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    this sounds like the a.m. cardio where you only burn fat because you have been in a fasted state.

    your body pulls energy from all the macros throughout the night and day. your body doesnt know its 10 pm and that oats are supposed to make you fat at that time. low gi carbs mixed with a lean protein source will NOT effect your ability to burn fat. try it out and see.

  38. #38
    Giants11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyTampa09
    Says who...says your body? Im just learning this stuff now as i'm taking nutrition...this is where all my knowledge is coming from.

    Great, well I've taken nutrition as well. And some of the basical principals are what I stated below. There is never a time where your body runs on one select macro, sorry it doesn't happen, look it up if you'd like.
    "without your word you're a shell of a man" - Tupac

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  39. #39
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    which burns slower, low GI carbs or healthy fats? i think this would be the main question since you are not using hardly any energy while you sleep. if something is processed faster it would make sense that more of the energy would be stored for later (most likely as fat). thats why most bodybuilders never eat huge meals, because you will have all this excess energy that will just get stored for later. instead we eat smaller meals spread out throughout the day, and this helps minimize the amount of bodyfat we store.

  40. #40
    1buffsob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I**mfkr
    lol.. they have no idea but are blindly guessing.

    Pretty funny stuff
    I agree. LOL I'm just sitting back watching the show.

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