Listened to the most recent podcast with Kiefer on the Optimal Health Show with a fantastic summary of Carb Back-Loading and a great discussion on the science behind it with info that wasn’t included in the book itself.
Some of the pearls and nuggets dropped:
- When keeping insulin at low levels in the first half of the day, this activates the enzyme hormone sensitive lipase in fat cells which allows them to release more fat and deactivates the enzyme lipoprotein lipase which prevents fat cells from storing fat. I know he’s referenced these enzymes in both Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading but never really mentioned their names.
- It turns out Crossfit is ok with Carb Backloading. At around the 9:30 mark he discusses power production training which includes resistance training, Crossfit, and certain body weight exercises at later in the day when the body is more insulin insensitive will allow the use of ingested carbs without depositing them into fact cells.
- When insulin is elevated, your body won’t let you access internal glycogen stores and body fat, and instead relies most heavily on what was just ingested.
- When insulin is low, your body can then access internal glycogen stores as well as stored body fat, and you muscles are more sensitive to stress hormones, allowing greater strength output when training. This is why it’s better to train in a low-carb / low-insulin state.
- Would like people to have ketones in the 3 mmol range during early ultra low carb portion of the day.
- Some people like to use white rice and honey for back-loading…
Here are some more gems from Kiefer’s own latest podcast (Body IO FM Episode 7) where he does a Q&A session:
- He does not buy into all the ‘resistant starch‘ hype because we just don’t know enough now.
- Dr. Patel has used resistant starches on days when he eats carbs and hasn’t noted any difference in feeling or his blood glucose measurements at all (apparently he is using continuous glucose monitoring).
- Leucine can be used to spike insulin without carbs post training, since it’s the insulin that’s the most important factor in carb back-loading. 5gm is optimal post workout. Can use an additional 5 gm later on in the evening with subsequent meal.
- If you accidentally go overboard on one carb nite, when the next carb nite rolls around and they still haven’t lost weight, leucine can be used instead of eating carbs. 5-10 gms is ideal, especially when used with a protein shake.
- This is the first time I’ve heard him suggest using weight as a guide to knowing when you go overboard on carb intake… and to use this information to regulate how much you eat on following carb days.
- Some people actually inject insulin after training!! While this is super super super dangerous, apparently this gives similar results to carb back-loading.
- Questioner who’s interesting in losing more body fat, is following Carb Nite while doing Wendler’s 5/3/1 and finding that he’s gassing out in workouts mid week wants to know if he should up his carb intake. Kiefer’s answer is just to back off on the workload on the days that he’s gassing out.
- When resistance training in absence of carbohydrates, training volume should only be 40% of what it is when eating carbs… so the 5/3/1 paradigm is not appropriate, it should instead be scaled back.
- A good tool to track this is Joel Jamison’s Bioforce HRV… (can’t believe this thing popped up again… really makes me want to play with it)
- For women with questions, there will be a Carb Back-Loading book coming out just for women soon, but until then, this episode (Body IO FM Episode 5) he did with AJ is the best source.
- Dr. Patel has better blood sugars (gets back to normal faster on post carb days) when he uses non-fructose starches on his carb days.
- The more processed higher fructose foods eaten, the quicker liver glycogen stores are replenished, and it’s the dumping of this liver glycogen on subsequent ultra low carb days will inhibit the advantages being sought in Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading.
- Ingested glucose has a hard time replenishing liver glycogen. Glucose prefers to replenish intramuscular glycogen stores… and when these stores are replenished, it can’t be released into the blood to replenish blood levels.
- Liver glycogen is supposed to be released into the blood so it is readily available.
- Avoiding fructose is better for both Carb Nite and Carb-Backloading… but more so for Carb Back-Loading because it’s important to replenish muscle glycogen without replenishing liver glycogen
- Some people have a hard time getting into ketosis, and the problem might be the glycerol flux (glycerol is one of the breakdown products when fat is broken down, and it can be resynthesized into glucose)
The author actually examines the original research papers that Kiefer references in his book and finds that there are quite a bit of inconsistencies with the conclusions Kiefer draws and what is actually written in the paper which actually happens more than you would expect academic research.
In fact while reading the The Perfect Health Diet I looked up one of the references that were used and found that it was incorrect. If you’re interested you can read through the comment thread where I provided the link to the correct reference.
Most of the time when people do this it’s on accident… but there are times when people do it with less than ideal intentions as well.
In any case, the posts are well worth a read through.
Despite the criticisms, there has been a lot of reported success with Carb Back-Loading which is why I’m still interested in experimenting with it. Who knows, maybe it will be amazing for me, maybe it won’t change a damn thing, or maybe it might even make me worse. All I know is that experimenting with it for 8-12 weeks is a small price to pay to find the answer!
If you’re interested in reading more about Carb Back-Loading, you can pick it up directly from his website here.