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Nutrition & Dieting/Carbs PWO (20 year old male)


Hey Laura, how are you? I just started going back to the gym and was wondering if you can help me decide what carbs I can take post workout with my whey protein. I used to eat bananas, but after having my ALCAT test, it shows that I am intolerable to bananas. I was thinking to take honey, but I don't know if that is a good choice. Do you believe it is necessary to take carbs PWO if I am trying to gain muscle mass or is the whey protein enough immediately after the gym? Also, it is important to note that I don't want to take any carb in powdered form. I want a whole food that can do the job for me. Thanks a lot.


I am doing great! Thank you for asking.

In the end, the carbohydrate purpose is the glucose end-result. Whether it is powdered or natural form, the glucose is the result that is needed to be replenished to compensate for what was used. This means that it can come from pure glucose with little other benefit, from fruit, or from vegetable sources. Of course, anything that we eat should optimally have an added benefit, such as fiber or phytochemicals. As you seem to already know, there is no need to waste our nutrition on empty calories.

As far as whether you need it or not is concerned, you have to understand the reasoning behind it. Generally, individuals who replenish with post-workout carbohydrates  are lean and have little fat to utilize from the cardio component of a strength training workout. Further, they are working out to fatigue in an anaerobic manner that utilizes little fat for fuel. This takes the glucose in the blood and the muscle and leaves little for the body to utilize for the brain and nervous system. Another scenario is one in which an individual is eating fewer calories than what they are using in the workout in order to burn fat while at the same time gaining muscle.

If it were me and I was performing more than a 20-30 minutes weight training program (to gain muscle only), I would replenish with a small amount of carbohydrate up to 3-8 grams after the training with a fiber filled vegetable source or dense fruit source, such as an apple. This means a slow release into the body. However, if I were trying to lose weight at the same time by decreasing calories, I would eat 5-6 times per day instead and break up my workout into two shorter sessions with a short 30-minute cardio session before each strength workout.

As far as the need for whey after a workout, I don't agree that it is needed. However, I don't feel that it will hurt either. Unfortunately, there are many, contradictory  schools of thought on both of these topics. However, using post workout nutrition sources after a workout, at a minimum, will not hurt. Just use common sense moderation and listen to your body.

I hope this helps! Please understand also, that I have never been a 20 year old male. This means that all that I have learned is tested with a female physiology. I can easily discuss physiology science and nutrition theory. However, you truly have to keep your own physiology in mind. How much and what you eat as well as the percentage breakdown of the energy nutrients (fat, protein, Carbohydrates) also come into play.

Please follow up with any questions or feedback because it will help me with others as well with regard to this topic.

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach


Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.


I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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