Dumb question, but I was having a debate with a coworker who “swears” liquid/powder carbs causes weight gain, ie fat… I told him that if you’re taking that and not exercising, then like anything else, probably. But if you’re active, then it shouldn’t… right/wrong?? Any other talking points I can use on him?
Is he arguing that if you eat zero other food and 100 cals of liquid carbs you would still gain weight? Otherwise, it’s just calories, like any other calories when we’re talking purely about weight gain/loss.
I was telling him (he asked) that I only use powder carbs (CarboPro) on some of my rides and he went into this whole stump speech on that I’m gonna put on weight/get fat from that… so I’m guessing yes to your question…
You’re right. Your coworker is wrong. Liquid carbs can definitely be a contributing factor in weight gain as they are easy to over consume and thus cause an excess in calories. But if you are consuming them during exercise and your daily net calories are still zero then you won’t gain weight. Well if they increase muscle glycogen then they might carry more water with them (IIRC 1g glycogen carries 4g water) which could cause weight gain but it’s only water weight, not fat.
You can tell him that I drink ~100g of liquid carbs (on top of all the other food and gels I eat on the bike for 100+g of carbs per hour) on almost every ride that isn’t recovery or 1 hour of endurance and my weight has been within a 5lb window for the past 3 years.
Also, sugar metabolism is much different during exercise than it is while sedentary.
Got it… thank you!
Just show him a pic of any pro cyclist haha they’re taking down 100-140g/hour in grand tours and most training and they definitely aren’t gaining weight uncontrollably.
also a different angle is that ingested carbs are used to replenish glycogen stores (muscle and liver) and to be used as immediate energy. once these stores are full excess carbs will be converted and stored in adipocytes (i.e., as fat). This is how you can get fat even if you don’t eat lots of fat. So in the case of someone working out extensively most carb will be stored as such and any stored as fat likely will not exceed the fat burned during exercise so the net effect will be equal or less fat content.
I’ve had similar conversations with coworkers and friends who have “healthy lifestyles” but are not athletes. I usually get through to them by explaining that during intense exercise (sometimes this needs to be defined, LOL) those carbs do not turn into fat.
(I see BTTG just beat me to this )
I’ll be sure to add the word “intense” cause I’m sure his idea of exercise is beer keg lifts… lol
If the extra calories create a surplus this will lead to weight gain. If in a calorie defict is will lead to weight loss
There’s a disconnect from even casual athletes to those who train seriously and are consistently pushing their limits. Fuel accordingly. My ex-GF rode a fair amount but was against competition (from a personal standpoint) and didn’t understand my need for taking in gels during a ride.
Also I shocked my mother when I said my max HR was probably 180. I don’t think people understand what we do on the bike.
I avoid these conversations with non-cyclists. I go through about 3 kilos of granulated sugar per month… I don’t think a normal person would understand how I’m not fat.
As @C_Nay said, I avoid talking about this stuff with people who don’t do endurance sports. I also go through about 3kg of sugar a month. I’ve been told I will end up being diabetic many times. The fact is it’s a different metabolic pathway during exercise, these people can’t get their heads around this and go back to watching Dr Fung and Dr Berg’s YouTube channels and continue to lecture me about going keto… One of these guys actually rides in a group with us and is constantly getting dropped. He asked me what I have in my bottle and he looked at me like I was stupid when I said 135g of sugar in 750mL of water.
The answer to the title is YES! (as in they can)
… but probably not for the reasons the co-worker ‘“swears”… causes weight gain’.