What is the best time to consume carbs on a low-carb diet?

best time to eat carbs

The short answer

The best time to consume carbs is either during a workout or right after a workout.

Why is this the best time?

When you are doing exercise, your cells send a signal that your body is losing energy. This triggers the glucose receptors in your muscles to come to the surface of the cell and start absorbing glucose. So by eating carbs during exercise, you are putting glucose in your bloodstream at a time that your cells are most ready to absorb it and put it away as glycogen in the muscle. This muscle glycogen can then be used as energy for muscle movement, growth and recovery.

During a workout is the ideal time for carbs regardless of what diet you are on, but this is especially true if you are on a keto or low-carb diet. If you are in ketosis, you can consume 20-30 grams of carbs and not get kicked out of ketosis. If you go higher, you may only temporarily be out of ketosis as long as you are doing keto long term.


Don’t eat carbs during or after your workout if losing weight is your goal. It will slow down weight loss because your body will turn to the carbs you just added for energy before using any fat. This is still better than eating carbs when you are resting. Doing that will reverse any weight loss. The extra sugar that you won’t be using will get put away as more fat.


During or after a workout is the best time to consume carbs. You can eat up to 30 grams of carbs without getting kicked out of ketosis. We recommend consuming carbs in this manner about once a week to help muscle growth and recovery. We do not recommend this if your goal is to lose weight or to get rid of belly fat.

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