There’s a “best time” to eat carbs to get max fat burning from your workout—and believe it or not, when it is may well depend on your sex.
A study at England’s University of Surrey found that when guys ate carbs after exercise, they torched more fat in the three hours post- workout than if they ate carbs before; for women it was just the opposite.
To confirm the results, the researchers then teamed up with BBC show Trust Me, I’m a Doctor to rerun the study. This time, the male and female subjects took three exercise classes—Zumba, HIIT, and spinning—a week for a month and drank a carb-loaded concoction before or after each workout.
And again: Guys who got their carbs after training and women who got them before burned more fat.
According to study author Adam Collins, Ph.D., there’s ample evidence that for men, working out without carbs “leads to greater adaptation of the muscle to burn fat.”
To get your incinerator turned up high, have a fruit salad or bagel—both carb heavy—before your post-workout protein shake.
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