“I really dont think I will ever eat carbs at breakfast as long as I want to continue building muscle”
….has caused a bit of uproar in the world of cyper meatheaddom.
Im glad! Im glad it has caused a debate and got some people thinking (as opposed to listening and doing like autonomous robots). It has many of you asking very intelligent questions. As well as others making ignorant statements, but this isn’t for you, and either is anything else intelligently stated on this planet because you are fixed in your opinions and stagnant in your ways.
Some of you took the time to actually READ the statement. Of which the words are carefully chosen. As they always are.
First off, nowhere in this statement do I make any recommendations to anyone with fitness or muscle building goals. Although I could certainly direct this exact statement at a large percentage of the population. This statement is simply me stating my opinion and what I feel is optimal for muscle building for myself… yes I feel most people would be better suited following this type of recommendation to avoid any type of carbohydrate with their first meal of the day. Why? After 15 years of dealing with people from all levels in the fitness industry, clearly the most common thing holding people back from achieving their muscle building and fat loss goals is the inability of their body to properly utilize carbohydrates. This leads to poor recovery, increased fat storage, dramatically diminished energy to perform workouts, the laundry list goes on. It has been shown time and time again that consuming carbohydrates at meal 1 will disrupt carbohydrate utilization, or glycation, for an extended period post consumption.
Consuming carbohydrates has been shown to increase serotonin, a “feel good” and relaxation hormone. For many people, carbohydrates can induce a feeling of sleepiness (sound familiar?). Interestingly after 911 sales in high carb foods skyrocketed. Carbs are basically self medicating … Meaning people eat them to put themselves to sleep. Is this something youre after when youre rolling into the gym for another killer session? No chance.
How do you increase energy pre workout? Increase neural drive? Maximize focus and eliminate apathy? Well, obviously the supplement world will tell you there is a need for something to “amp you up”, and don’t get me wrong im definitely no stranger to a good strong cup of coffee, but how about learning to optimize the hormonal effect of food? Or increasing excitatory neurotransmitters like acetylcholine?
The absolute truth is, this stuff is way over the heads of most armchair He-Men out there.
Increase endogenous growth hormone? Maximize acetylcholine? HUH?!
But “ I read somewhere that insulin makes you grow and that I need carbs with every meal”. Awesome.
There are MANY factors to consider and circumstance plays a huge role in every case.
This is why, everyone who follows any of my programs or dietary recommendations, is taught about something that I refer to as “current settings”. Where you are RIGHT NOW. This exact instant in time. That is the only time that matters, and that is the only time that you should be basing decisions around. It is nearly impossible for someone to tell you, accurately anyway, exactly how you should be eating or supplementing without extensive prior knowledge with regard to every single factor within your life at that instant.
Job. Stress. Sleep. Nutrition. Supplementation. History. Etc. So, for me to tell you you “shouldnt eat carbs” would be ignorant, because I know nothing about you.
We can however, make educated recommendations based on the fact that many people tend to fall under the same category and many people tend to see the same limiting factors of progression.
If I say that I will never eat carbs again at breakfast, it is because I have tried just about everything under the sun as far as food combinations, timing, amounts, etc and after 15 years of trial and error with myself as well as being an astute observer of my peers, I have come to the conclusion, that while trying to build muscle mass(aka during my IFBB career), I do not see a benefit in consuming carbohydrates at my first meal of the day. Nope, NONE! Zero. Zilch.
Not on my heaviest days, not on my lightest days. Perhaps if I were an endurance athlete this would be different.
Namely, I feel shitty throughout the day. My energy definitely peaks and plummets. I crave more foods. I don’t see any type of performance benefit, but I do see a performance detriment.
For all the people that are asking themselves, “but I thought you need carbs in the morning to blunt cortisol, or because insulin sensitivity is high so don’t I want to eat carbs in the morning?”
The answer to both of these questions is in fact, yes! But unfortunately, there are many more things to consider that go beyond that, things that override these truths with respect to optimizing body composition and muscle building. The first being that insulin sensitivity, is in my opinion, THE most important factor in muscle building and optimizing body composition(aka losing your spare tire).
How many of you have ever gone in the gym and felt like you would rather go home and take a nap? I know I have.
Early in my career my pre workout ritual every Saturday was a double serving of chocolate chip pancakes with extra real maple syrup (I am Canadian, eh!). Id get to the gym and be ready for a nap, definitely not energized to train.
So then I tried some oatmeal, same result. (It might’ve taken 1hr for lethargy to hit instead of 15mins, but it still hit).
Over the last two years I have switched to a meal high in protein, fat(MCT, SCT), and some fibrous carbs(usually broccoli or spinach for me) and my performance has gone through the roof. More importantly than that, it has been CONSISTENT! Consistency and replicability is everything to me. Anything can happen once or twice. Heck, ive definitely had amazing workouts having had a large serving of carbs pre workout. The issue is that its not predictable, and its not always consistent. To me, an IFBB pro that absolutely must get 100% out of each and every workout, or at least be able to predict as many variables as possible, if I can maintain control over something like this, than I must.
In stating that I will NEVER again eat carbs for breakfast, well, if I know its bad for performance, and I can unequivocally say that it will deter my progress even a little bit, then of course I will NEVER eat them again(yup its true, I even eat a non carb breakfast on my cheat days-which btw are plentiful these days! ;))
I just truthfully feel that I have much more consistent energy throughout the entire day, not just in the morning. I crave much less, especially while dieting. My MOOD is more consistent. I capitalize this for all the grumpy dieters out there, give it a try. My workouts are more consistent, whether I train after meal 1 or meal 5, what I eat for breakfast makes a difference. The biggest of all, is that my bodyfat drops much faster than when I eat carbs at meal one. Ive been dieting for contests twice a year every year since 2005, and since I stopped consuming carbs at meal one(and no carbs pre workout as well-for full disclosure), I have never done so little cardio in my life, and my bodyfat drops faster than ever.
This is pure honest observation from someone that is probably one of the most analytical, observant human beings on the planet, often to a fault. Im also my worst critic.
So take it as you will. I am here to read, observe, be a guinea pig and offer the best information that I can find. End of story. Im glad I could get a few of you fired up. Strong passion, whether for good or not, is underappreciated. 😉
This topic seems to be controversial to some.
Id love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter.
So please take a minute to comment below and share if you think this can help even
one person you know!