Here’s what you need to know…
Eat for what you’re about to do. Carbs fuel intense activity, so don’t carb-up for bed or you may end up storing them instead of burning them.
Do cardio in the morning before you’ve had any carbs. Tap into fat stores without eating away at muscle by having amino acids (or protein) pre-cardio.
Not all carbs work the same way. Broken down to their smallest components, fructose goes straight to the liver while glucose preferentially gets used in muscle cells. Keep tabs on fructose intake to keep it from being stored as fat.
Here’s the rule: Eat for what you’re about to do.
Most of us aren’t going to go for a walk or move around much during the two hours before hitting the sack. For that reason, we don’t need to eat a traditional bodybuilding meal at that time. Instead, we need to eat for what we’re about to do: not move very much.
More specifically, your carbohydrate needs are dramatically diminished – arguably eliminated – when you’re sleeping. Remember, carbs fuel high-intensity exercise like weight-training and sprinting, and there’s no such thing as “high-intensity sleeping.”
Fat, on the other hand, becomes the primary fuel source as the intensity of exercise goes down. In fact, when you’re sleeping you’re burning almost exclusively fat for fuel.
Therefore, feeding your body carbs prior to bed dramatically increases the chance that the carbs are stored as opposed to being burned. And if carbs aren’t burned, they’re either stored as glycogen or as fat.