Updated: Jan 2, 2022
What is Carbohydrate (Carb) Cycling?
Carb Cycling is the practice of lowering carbohydrate intake on low energy output days, and increasing carbohydrate intake on high energy output days. Simply put, you’re eating on a strict schedule that spans the whole week with variable carb intake. This requires a basic understanding of carbohydrates, macronutrient breakdowns (macros), dedication to tracking food intake, and discipline to adhere to a set exercise and eating routine.
Changing the fuel available for expenditure can help change body composition.
Who can benefit from Carb Cycling?
Athletes, or anyone with a very routine exercise plan looking for a change in body composition, can benefit from carb cycling.
How do you do it?
The calorie intake does not change, the source of the calories changes. On low energy output days, aim for 100 grams carbohydrates. Low energy output days would be 30-40 minute runs, rest days, low impact exercises. On high energy output days, aim for 200 grams carbohydrates. High energy output days would be strength training, high impact exercises.
The amount of carbohydrates might be different for each person! This is where it is important to work with a Registered Dietitian who understands carb cycling to get the most benefit.