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Carbs at night/before inactivity?

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  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    For myself personally while away at work my last meal before bed consists of a fair amount of carbs because I train early in the morning on an empty stomach. Found adding carbs to the last meal helped me significantly with energy and strength during my morning workouts. If I was to train later in the day I would avoid carbs during my last meal.

    This was true for me when I was running first thing in the morning more regularly. I tend to have starchy carbs at dinner anyway, but sometimes don't, and it mostly makes no difference for me except I think the carbs help when I'm planning a pre breakfast workout.

    I do tend to eat late (9 or after) just because of my schedule -- I'm usually not home until after 8. It's usually not right before bed so makes no difference to my sleep, I avoid being stuffed because that's unpleasant anyway, and not only do I not snack, but eating late makes it less likely that I will want to (although even when I go out to dinner early before the theater I rarely want to).
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,676 Member Member Posts: 39,676 Member
    I have carbs, protein, and fat throughout the day...my meals tend to include all three macro-nutrients...I hit my targets for the day and that is all that is important. The timing of carbs can play some role in performance, particularly before an endurance activity (i.e. a marathon runner may start carb loading a couple of days before the marathon)...and they can play a role in recovery afterwards...but for most people, the benefits of this are substantially misunderstood and people think they need to carb load or whatever before a 5K or have some kind of special recovery formula after a run of the mill workout when in reality, a well balanced and nutritious diet is going to be more than adequate.

    I eat dinner most nights around 8:30/9 and it always includes some kind of grain or starch...it had no bearing on me losing 40 Lbs pretty easily, nor has it had any bearing on my almost three years of maintenance.

    These types of recommendations like don't eat after X time or don't eat carbs after Y time, etc tend to simply be ways of controlling consumption in the absence of calorie counting or following another prescribed diet plan...unfortunately, do to a lack of understanding, this kind of stuff gets turned into all kinds of woo for which it was never intended.
  • cgchowcgchow Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I have carbs, protein, and fat throughout the day...my meals tend to include all three macro-nutrients...I hit my targets for the day and that is all that is important. The timing of carbs can play some role in performance, particularly before an endurance activity (i.e. a marathon runner may start carb loading a couple of days before the marathon)...and they can play a role in recovery afterwards...but for most people, the benefits of this are substantially misunderstood and people think they need to carb load or whatever before a 5K or have some kind of special recovery formula after a run of the mill workout when in reality, a well balanced and nutritious diet is going to be more than adequate.

    I eat dinner most nights around 8:30/9 and it always includes some kind of grain or starch...it had no bearing on me losing 40 Lbs pretty easily, nor has it had any bearing on my almost three years of maintenance.

    These types of recommendations like don't eat after X time or don't eat carbs after Y time, etc tend to simply be ways of controlling consumption in the absence of calorie counting or following another prescribed diet plan...unfortunately, do to a lack of understanding, this kind of stuff gets turned into all kinds of woo for which it was never intended.

    This is generally how I've felt about the whole carb thing, too. Just keeping it balanced as long as I'm not going for intense workouts. So many people put a ton of stock in the whole matter, though. I know some people who try and cut carbs drastically/avoid them like the plague altogether-- and I'm like "...but we need carbs. They're kind of important. Just hit your other macros, too..."

    Congrats on the 40lbs and maintenance, btw!!
  • cgchowcgchow Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    I ate a huge meal the other night right before bed, it was the worst feeling ever! All I wanted to do was get up and walk, walk it off or something. I usually stop eating a few hours before bed. Carb heavy or not, not a good idea for me.
    sorry, didn't answer your question, but I think you've got all the answers you need from the above posters.

    Those kinds of situations are when we wish we could power-sleepwalk, right? ;)

  • Christine_72Christine_72 Member Posts: 16,056 Member Member Posts: 16,056 Member
    cgchow wrote: »
    I ate a huge meal the other night right before bed, it was the worst feeling ever! All I wanted to do was get up and walk, walk it off or something. I usually stop eating a few hours before bed. Carb heavy or not, not a good idea for me.
    sorry, didn't answer your question, but I think you've got all the answers you need from the above posters.

    Those kinds of situations are when we wish we could power-sleepwalk, right? ;)

    Haha Yes indeedy! I'll be in to that :lol:
  • Erica_theRedheadErica_theRedhead Member Posts: 724 Member Member Posts: 724 Member
    Scamd83 wrote: »
    Eating (anything, not just carbs), before bed might make it harder for you to sleep. That's all.

    Opposite for me, carbs and fat at night are great for inducing sleep.

    Same here, I work overnight and have to have some oatmeal or toast before bed. It helps get me to sleep better than protein/fat alone.
  • HornsbyHornsby Member Posts: 10,327 Member Member Posts: 10,327 Member
    Of the 500 grams of carbs of had today, 200 have come since 6pm. I'll be a bit bloated in the morning I'm sure.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Member Posts: 8,917 Member Member Posts: 8,917 Member
    kimyrachel wrote: »
    Not Bad At All. Take it from me.. I get my daily 90% of my calories from carbs (rice, pasta, veggies and fruits) I eat whenever I am hungry, no restriction, no matter what time of the day. So don't worry about carbs at night!

    That doesn't seem healthy.
  • SteveJWatsonSteveJWatson Member Posts: 1,228 Member Member Posts: 1,228 Member
    Like others have said, its personal preference - I tend to eat most of my carbs in the day, leaving none of my budget left for my evening meal. I find it helps me perform better at work, having a physical job, no reason other than that...
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    kimyrachel wrote: »
    Not Bad At All. Take it from me.. I get my daily 90% of my calories from carbs (rice, pasta, veggies and fruits) I eat whenever I am hungry, no restriction, no matter what time of the day. So don't worry about carbs at night!

    That doesn't seem healthy.

    Yeah, I'm hoping the 90% is that 90% of her foods are carb rich rather than 90% of her macros are carbs. Though if one had a TDEE of 6000 kcal, the maybe then it would be ok? 600 calories would leave room for 80 grams of protein and 31 grams of fat. Eh, even that sounds a little off, particularly protein for someone who could sustain 6000 kcal worth of daily activity.
  • Lovee_Dove7Lovee_Dove7 Member Posts: 741 Member Member Posts: 741 Member
    You can use carbs to your advantage, as needed. A moderate sized portion of slow carbs for dinner can help you sleep. This is because there is is a dynamic with blood sugar and cortisol, if your blood sugar goes down, cortisol is released to increase it. If your cortisol goes up, you'll likely wake up. If this dynamic is an issue for your body, eat some slow carbs with dinner.
  • arditarosearditarose Member Posts: 15,575 Member Member Posts: 15,575 Member
    Love my late night carbs.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    Hmm -- for people who use the carbs at night to help with sleep, what do you eat? If I eat dinner late anyway, do you think just including it with dinner would help? I know this isn't really debate, but I'm always lower on carbs than I intend and have issues waking up during the night, so maybe this is something to try.
  • stealthqstealthq Member Posts: 4,307 Member Member Posts: 4,307 Member
    I just grab my dessert - so, a cookie or ice cream or whatever. But I mostly do it because I eat dinner so early (5-6pm) and go to bed so late (11pm or later) that I need something to stop my stomach from tying itself into a knot.
  • nragarnragar Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    dubird wrote: »
    As far as I can tell, it's neither good nor bad for a majority of people. I can have garlic toast and go to bed with no issues. However, some people have medical issues that make it a bad idea, like chronic acid reflux. And in that case, it's not carbs but really anything within a certain time period before sleeping.

    Straight to bed after garlic with no issues? So you sleep alone too then - which is another top tip for a good night's sleep!
  • AcceptableAcceptable Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
    There is no sound data that explicitly comes to the conclusion that eating before bed is related to fat mass gain. What is related to fat mass gain is eating poor food choices and going over your macronutrients, which often go hand in had at night. From my bodybuilding perspective, it's more important to hit those macros than anything else, even if it means eating right before bed.
  • dubirddubird Member Posts: 1,854 Member Member Posts: 1,854 Member
    nragar wrote: »
    dubird wrote: »
    As far as I can tell, it's neither good nor bad for a majority of people. I can have garlic toast and go to bed with no issues. However, some people have medical issues that make it a bad idea, like chronic acid reflux. And in that case, it's not carbs but really anything within a certain time period before sleeping.

    Straight to bed after garlic with no issues? So you sleep alone too then - which is another top tip for a good night's sleep!

    I don't have issues with garlic. There may be people that do, but they don't do anything adverse to me. Maybe if I ate a bowl of garlic cloves it would be a different story, but there's not a huge amount on garlic toast, just a sprinkle.
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Hmm -- for people who use the carbs at night to help with sleep, what do you eat? If I eat dinner late anyway, do you think just including it with dinner would help? I know this isn't really debate, but I'm always lower on carbs than I intend and have issues waking up during the night, so maybe this is something to try.

    Most of the time, for me, it's popcorn. My dad got me an air-popper for Christmas, and it's being well used! XD
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Member Posts: 13,577 Member Member Posts: 13,577 Member
    I have no idea if there are reasons why it might matter for some physically, but I've never noticed any difference in myself based on when I eat carbs or anything else. I've always eaten a lot at night right up until bedtime.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 25,104 Member Member Posts: 25,104 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Hmm -- for people who use the carbs at night to help with sleep, what do you eat? If I eat dinner late anyway, do you think just including it with dinner would help? I know this isn't really debate, but I'm always lower on carbs than I intend and have issues waking up during the night, so maybe this is something to try.

    Oats - either oatmeal or raw oats mixed with yogurt for a few hours, topped with berries.

    I like to have a few hundred calories not long before bedtime, so I wouldn't include this with dinner, and this would also make dinner too big for me, but YMMV.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    I don't eat after dinner -- no rule but I eat dinner late and never want to. I think I should just do better about including more carbs with dinner, probably.
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