Carb Cycling

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Question

What is carb cycling? Should I carb cycle?

Short Answer

Carb Cycling is a technique in which carbohydrates are increased and decreased on different days for various reasons. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, carb cycling is not necessary. (even then, it’s not necessary, but it may improve performance)[1]

Long Answer

Carb cycling just to carb cycle is just over complicating something. Carb cycling means to have days with a higher carb intake and days with a lower carb intake.

No study performed to date has compared weight loss with carb cycling in a calorie matched study. That being said, based on all of the current research available, there is no evidence that carb cycling would produce greater weight loss vs a non-carb cycling diet. Carb cycling may have a physiological benefit, this may simply be accomplished with a refeed day.[2]

It is important to note that for an endurance athlete, carb cycling may have a performance benefit. However, outside of that population, there is limited evidence of any benefit.

References

  1. All About Carb Cycling. Precision Nutrition
  2. Carb Cycling: Advantages and Disadvantages. Corbin Pierson, IIFYM.com