Carb Shock Notes from Kiefer’s Insulin Timing Tricks Webinar Part 1

Carb shock 1Carb Shock 2

A few days after the successful launch of Kiefer’s Carb Shock supplement, he held a live, online webinar on insulin timing tricks followed by a Q&A session.  In the webinar he discusses the optimal ways to use Carb Shock with either Carb Nite AND Carb Back-Loading, and provides a lot of clues as to what the upcoming Carb Back-Loading 2.0 will contain.

Here are the notes from the secret Q&A Body IO Podcast he released prior to the launch of Carb Shock:

Carb Shock Q&A Notes from Kiefer’s Secret Body IO Podcast

If you’re reading through this and want more information about Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading, here are some helpful posts I’ve written on the subjects:

The Carb Nite Solution Book Review

Carb Back-Loading Book Review

Other Notes

If you’d like to read more about my own experiences with both Carb Nite and Carb Back-loading including the various blood tests I’ve had done you can go here for Carb Nite and here for Carb Back-loading.

Because this session was almost 2 hrs long, I’m going to break it up into a few parts.

Carb Shock Notes from Kiefer’s Insulin Timing Tricks Webinar Part 1

There are almost 800 people on the webinar.

When you take Carb Shock you’ll feel it right away, that’s how you’ll know it’s working.

Why we want insulin but not necessarily all the carbs:

The insulin spike is key to both Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading. He knows of people promoting diets and protocols that fail to mention that they are injecting insulin after their training sessions, giving them amazing results.  He’s seen this in professional athletes of all types, mostly body builders.  They inject insulin without the carbohydrate load.

Insulin is the most powerful hormone in the body. It’s really hard to get all the insulin surges without all the carbohydrates.

Kiefer tries to limit all the bad effects of the carbs while maximizing effects of insulin. This is why Carb Shock is such a special supplement, because it allows us to manipulate insulin to a greater degree than is normally possible.

Insulin sparks metabolism in the absence of carbs, increases thyroid hormone output, sparks muscle growth, and sometimes fat mobilization. Most important thing is to limit carbs.


But this doesn’t mean you still can’t eat cherry turnovers:

You can still eat the carbs that are high glycemic, Carb Shock will help you get better effectiveness out of these foods.

Carb Shock is meant to enhance anything that you do with carbs and even enhance training gains if you’re not using carbs.


Perfect Scenario for Carb Back-loading:

  • Ultra-low carb all morning
  • Train between 3 and 6pm
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Then Back-load carbs

Kiefer makes off-hand comment that in CBL 2.0, it is probably unlikely that a true cyclic ketogenic diet exists.

Training is strongly catabolic because of all the fuel being mobilized. We want the catabolic effects to happen because the byproducts of training helps us turn on the genes that allow us to accumulate gains from training.   Autophagy system is turned on by the reactive oxygen species released from training. Down-regulates genes that are associated with limitations in muscles mass like myostatin.

We want to give the body an opportunity to let the effects of training set in. This is why we want to wait the hour. After the hour, we want to stop everything as quickly as possible and make sure we get all of the nutrients into the muscles as quickly as possible to stop proteolysis.

Protein synthesis will be sustained for 24 hours with the right type of protein ingestion. This is one thing Carb Shock is made to help take into account because it will pre digest some of the post workout protein, whether it comes from a protein shake or a real food meal. It can predigest the protein to make it more digestible, while still allowing you to have longer absorption of longer protein chains.

Not only does it give you instantaneous nutrients into the muscle but it also helps to promote 24 hour muscle growth.

This is where some of the discrepancy we see with studies comparing hydrolysates directly to casein protein and see less muscle accretion with hydrolysates immediately post training compared to casein, because amino acids are dumped into they system which can’t be all used, so the body clears it out, via various processes like gluconeogenesis and conversion into various byproducts.

With casein, you don’t get a big amino acid dump, but you can get muscle growth for 24 hours. That’s why we see mixtures of protein better than either of the two scenarios.

Carb Shock designed to give a staged release of amino acid building blocks to enhance training.

AM Training Scenario:

  • Train in the morning
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Have only coconut oil, MCT oil, or coffee one hour after taking Carb Shock
  • Stay ultra-low carb until dinner
  • Back-load carbs after 6pm

Always eating carbs at night will give you the best effects for body composition and health. For performance there might need to be a few small tweaks for performance.

Actually limit the amount of protein powder you take in this scenario, 15-30 gm max. Do NOT overload protein intake in this AM post training period.

For an hour after Carb Shock, there will be a big insulin burst. During this hour, we don’t want to ingest too many saturated fats, but what we want to do is that if we’re going to ingest any fats or nutrients, we want to ingest types that are very difficult to store and have other pathways that are useful, like ketone production. That’s why we would want to ingest coconut or MCT oil.

One of the great things about Carb Shock is that you have to be careful about taking caffeine around when you load carbs. There are some benefits, but there are probably more deficits, like how it affects cognition and microstructures in the hypothalamus. Not necessarily a good idea to combine caffeine and carbs.

In the evening training sessions, you will always be able to produce more work, which is a circadian rhythm thing that everyone experiences. In the morning this is not the case, but if you add caffeine, then you can actually get the same type of work performance in the morning as in the evening. But then we have the problem that if we ingest post workout carbs there will still be caffeine on board interfering. That’s the beauty of Carb Shock, which will allow us to have a rise in insulin with caffeine around and not have the interference that caffeine will normally produce with glucose.

Noonish Scenario

  • Stay ultra-low carb until noon
  • Train noonish
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Have only coconut oil, MCT, or coffee one hour after taking Carb Shock
  • Stay ultra-low carb until dinner
  • Back-load carbs after 6 pm

He used to consider this the worst time to work out, but he now thinks there is an even worse time to train (I wonder when).  Staying ultra-low carb until noon gives a good chance to practice protein back-loading, which he will discuss further in CBL 2.0.

Because you’re introducing insulin earlier than optimal you still want to avoid saturated fats and carbs. MCT and coconut oil as well as lean meats and salad is still better.

Kiefer likes pork belly.


Late PM Scenario

  • Stay ultra-low carb until dinner
  • For dinner include carbs but still have mixed meals
  • Stop eating carbs 2 hours before lifting
  • Lift late PM
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Go to bed

This is what he considers the most difficult scenario because we’re training right before bed time, without leaving enough time to ingest carbs to recompensate glycogen stores.

For dinner, start with the carb back-load, but don’t be scared of having fat in it. You actually want those meals to be somewhat fatty. An example is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, something with a lot of fat with protein and carbs. This will give slower influx of carbs and slower fat release, so that when you do train, you don’t get high insulin levels or high blood sugar levels, which will affect gains and performance… and refractory hypoglycemia.

If you can stop eating carbs 2 hours before lifting, this will help. Up to an hour prior to lifting is fine also. You just don’t want to be spiking insulin or blood glucose immediately before going into the gym.

After training, then take Carb Shock with some amount of carbohydrates, which is very individualistic, but 25-50 gm would probably be the range. Then go to bed.


Two a day, AM/PM Scenario

  • Train AM
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Stay ultra-low carb until dinner
  • Lift PM
  • Wait one hour
  • Take Carb Shock
  • Then back-load carbs


This is one of Kiefer’s most asked questions. Will be addressed in CBL 2.0 more thoroughly.

Unfortunately, the hard part of these recommendations are that the AM trainings are normally cardio or strength endurance training. A lot of his athletes like MMA fighters break down their training like this.

Or BJJ guys who do lifting in the AM and then BJJ in the afternoon.

No matter what kind of training we do, especially with people doing CBL, we really need the insulin spike to help stop the catabolic processes.

People concerned with the recovery after first workout session, but that introduces glucose into the system, which washes out the positive effects of being ultra low carb.

We really want our energy to come from intramuscular glycogen stores when training, and we didn’t have the ability to take advantage of this with AM training… but now we can.

To be continued…


If you’d like to pick up Carb Shock when it come back in stock, you can pick it up here.

If you’d like to pick up Carb Nite, you can pick it up here.

and if you’d like to pick up Carb Back-Loading 1.0, you can pick it up here.

9 Responses to Carb Shock Notes from Kiefer’s Insulin Timing Tricks Webinar Part 1

  1. Ben G says:

    Am I the only one who is confused when Kiefer implies that coconut oil is not saturated. If I look a the label coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and MCT depending on purity is ~100%. According to Mary Enig it is 92% saturated. Are we confusing fat chain length with saturation. It seems like a lot a people are confusing these two. Long chain saturated fats like those in chocolate are not metabolized directly. Rather they are converted to mono unsaturated fat before they are metabolized. This get confused with the vegetable vs animal fat. Help me understand where I am wrong.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I agree with you, Kiefer could actually word it better.

      He wants to use fats that can be processed via an alternative pathway in the liver instead of being converted directly to triglycerides… and the fats that do this are the short chain fats.

      Kiefer would probably be more correct in saying medium and short chain fatty acids, since these are generally metabolized into ketones preferentially.

      Here’s a copy and paste from one of my comments from my Upgraded MCT vs Upgraded Brain Octane Post:

      Coconut oil composition:
      C8: 5-9%
      C10: 6-10%
      C10 (hexoic, I’m not sure how this is different than capric acid): 0.8%
      C12 (lauric acid aka dodecanoic acid): 44-52%
      C14 and longer: 13-42%

      So as you can see, one of the main differences is the higher percentage of long chain fatty acids (C14 and longer), which don’t have the same ketogenic and fast absorptive properties of medium chain fatty acids (C6-C12).

      One of the things that’s bad about eating too many long chain fatty acids, is that they can be converted to fat much more easily than MCTs.

      Regarding lauric acid, I haven’t looked too deeply in the literature regarding the effects of this on neurons, since most of the research has been focused on capric and caprylic acid… but will let you know if I find anything.

  2. NRC says:

    Whatdoyathink, . . . will you give CBL or CNS another shot, perhaps adding in this supplement?

    I’m inclined to take a pass. I’m just focusing on a relatively clean Paleo approach and not beating myself up if, say, I have some steel coat oats for breakfast for a change of pace, a banana before evening BJJ or some (Jeni’s, if possible!) ice cream for dessert on a night I didn’t workout.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I’m actually doing CNS right now… plan on posting about it soon.

      I’m also down with trying out this supplement… I’m always down to try new supplements … at least to see if they work or not.

      If what you’re doing is working for you, then I’d stick with it. In the past few months, I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon, especially with all the traveling, so I need to get myself back onto a good regimen, at least for a while.

      I’ll let you know how things go if I do end up getting some Carb Shock once it’s back in stock.

  3. Mark says:

    I’m doing CBL. Working out in the morning. Taking Carb Shock with the prescribed scenario above, but I had a question about the protein limit. Why do you think Kiefer wants to limit the AM protein load? I can’t seem to find an answer on this…

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Kiefer believes in keeping insulin as low as possible throughout the day until evening or post workout.

      It turns out even eating protein can induce insulin secretion… both directly from the amino acids themselves, and indirectly via gluconeogenesis.

      He’s even advocated protein back-loading because of this for even better results…

  4. malk says:

    Thanks for the notes on this – super helpful – I didn’t get my hands on some Carbshock before it sold out, dropped the mike and disappeared, but want to get some down the road – two quick clarification questions –

    Carbshock 1 hour after workout so this is different than the pwo sub 30 minutes after workout?

    Also from this scenario – the am/pm double:

    Two a day, AM/PM Scenario:

    “Train AM
    Wait one hour
    Take Carb Shock
    Stay ultra-low carb until dinner
    Lift PM
    Wait one hour
    Take Carb Shock
    Then back-load carbs”

    That would be something like HIIT in the am, +1 hour carb shock and some protein drink then weights at, say 5pm, pwo shake then +1 hour carb shock, backload?

    With carbshock would you still spike your pwo shake with carbogain or whatever you are using?

    Since I don’t have carboshock – would something like carbogain and the bcaa’s +1 hour be partially effective?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Yeah, I think he means for it to be different than the post work out shake.

      For the two a day scenario

      1. Train in AM
      2. Wait one hour and then Carb Shock without carbs
      3. Stay low carb until dinner
      4. Train in PM
      5. Wait one hour and then Carb Shock WITH Carbs
      6. Backload Carbs

      So in this scenario, only use carbogains in the PM post workout shake.

      If you don’t have Carb shock, the best way to replicate it would be to take some whey protein/BCAA + leucine + digestive enzymes (to help break down the protein faster).

      Leucine is the key insulin spiker in addition to the simple carbs.

      • malk says:

        That makes a lot of sense cavedude – thanks so much for the follow-up…I’m doing to do that exact protocol tomorrow…

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