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Carb Cycling: What is it and How it Can Benefit Your Health and Fitness Goals

Carb cycling is a nutrition strategy that involves alternating the intake of carbohydrates on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This approach is often used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts who want to optimize their performance and body composition. In this blog post, we will dive into what carb cycling is, its benefits, and when it should be used.

What is Carb Cycling?

Carb cycling involves alternating the intake of carbohydrates over a set period. Typically, carb cycling involves alternating between high-carb days, low-carb days, and moderate-carb days. One example of this: On high-carb days, individuals may consume a higher percentage of carbohydrates, for example 40% of their daily caloric intake. On low-carb days, individuals consume a lower percentage of carbohydrates at 10-20% of their daily caloric intake. On moderate-carb days, individuals consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates, at 30% of their daily caloric intake.

Benefits of Carb Cycling

  1. Improved Body Composition: One of the main benefits of carb cycling is improved body composition. By cycling carbohydrates, individuals can better control their caloric intake, which can lead to fat loss and muscle gain.

  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: Carb cycling can also benefit athletes and fitness enthusiasts by providing them with the energy they need to perform at their best during workouts and competitions

  3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Carb cycling can also improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for individuals with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or other metabolic disorders.

  4. Improved Digestion: By cycling carbohydrates, individuals can also improve their digestion and reduce bloating, especially if they suffer from digestive issues related to carbohydrate intake.

When to Use Carb Cycling

Carb cycling can be used for various purposes, including fat loss, muscle gain, improved athletic performance, and improved insulin sensitivity. The approach can also be used by individuals who have hit a plateau in their weight loss or muscle gain efforts and need to shake up their nutrition plan. Carb cycling can be used on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on an individual's goals and preferences.

It's important to note that carb cycling may not be appropriate for everyone, especially individuals with certain medical conditions or who are pregnant or breastfeeding. As with any nutrition plan, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting a carb cycling regimen.


  1. American Council on Exercise. (2018). Carb cycling: An exercise in weight loss. Retrieved from

  2. Kerksick, C. M., Wilborn, C. D., Roberts, M. D., et al. (2018). ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: Research & recommendations. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 38.

  3. Men's Health. (2021). What is carb cycling and is it right for you? Retrieved from

What is carb cycling, how does carb cycling work

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