The lack of short-term energy in your diet doesn’t have to shred your gains.
Carbs – you are supposed to eat them before a workout to fuel your energy, right? Many people who eat a low carb diet often begin to question whether eating low carb is the way to go – especially when it comes to fitness. Feeling unable to focus, tired, sore or a lack of energy to push through a workout is not altogether uncommon for those eating low carb. But does it have to be? The short answer is no. There are several ways you can still train hard, lose body fat and increase muscle tone. Read on to find out how.
Change Up Your Training
A low carb diet can cut your body fat levels, thus helping you to get ripped – but it can also reduce your muscle size. This is because glycogen stores (glucose stored from carbs) in your liver and muscle become compromised when the carb intake is not adequate. Muscles in the body struggle therefore to keep up with the required effort to lift weights, leading to a decrease in strength and less muscle stimulation.
One way you can change things up is by working out for shorter durations of time. Shorter workouts may be better for you as they use up fewer calories than longer ones. If you struggle with the idea of working out for shorter periods of time, look at it this way: You can train at full intensity for a short period of time or you can train not as hard for a longer time – but you will not likely be able to train hard for a long time on a low carb diet. Strive to exert as much force in as little time as possible, maximizing the stress during each workout.
Train for Carbs
You can also consider cycling your carbs if you follow a low carb diet to get more energy during workouts. Planning will be necessary to ensure your macronutrient needs. If your carbs are reduced properly, you can burn fat as fuel.
Consider consuming your carb allowance after a workout to help replenish the body’s glycogen stores. It takes about 24 to 48 hours to restore the body’s muscle glycogen that is depleted during exercise. It takes longer for people who eat a low carb diet. Eating carbs after a workout helps to replenish those stores. This can offer you more energy and maximize recovery – but be sure your carbs are unrefined for the best results.
You still need to fuel up post-workout with protein and fat post-workout. Consuming protein helps to ensure your body gets the necessary amino acids to rebuild and repair muscle. Fats can encourage muscle growth post workout so try to grab some healthy fat-containing foods like avocado or fish.
There is no need to feel tired or sluggish on a low carb diet. Aim to balance your carbs so you have the necessary fuel for activities and eat what you should after a workout as well. This can help you to forge a more muscular and lean body while eliminating the telltale low-carb fatigue.
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