Q:

What is carb cycling?

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Quick Answer

Carb cycling is a dieting approach in which an individual alternates between consuming high and low amounts of carbohydrates, according to FitnessRX for Women. Carbohydrate intake is important to the body because it is directly associated with metabolic activity, which helps the body burn fat and build muscle. By regulating the carbohydrate intake on a tight schedule, an individual can better control his or her weight.

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A diet with a high amount of carbohydrate intake results in the release of insulin. This helps deliver nutrients to the body, particularly to the muscles, and replenishes them with energy, aids in recovery and also stimulates protein synthesis. This is important for muscle building. Consuming high amounts of carbohydrates also prepares the body for high intensity training. On these days, individuals should consume as much as 2 to 3 grams for each pound of body weight.

Fat metabolism is stimulated by low carbohydrate days. The lack of carbohydrates causes the body to rely on burning fat for energy. The body burns through the existing glycogen, and will also make the body more receptive to insulin for muscle building on high carbohydrate days. On days of low carbohydrate intake, aim for an intake of 0.5 to 1 gram of carbohydrates for each pound of body weight.

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