How Many Carbs Do You Need?

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Weight Loss, Youth Training

A few months ago I wrote a somewhat controversial article for Precision Nutrition entitled Carb controversy: Why low-carb diets have got it all wrong.

The purpose of the article was to show that people’s carbohydrate needs vary depending on several factors, most importantly your activity level.

Many took the article to be bashing a low or lower carb approach, which it really was not. The title might make it seem that way, but the piece itself made it clear that there is a time and a place for a low carb approach. It’s just not all the time, for everyone.

In fact, here is how I think people’s carb needs fall:

Bell Curve for Carb Needs

As you can see, most people would do best with a more moderate approach, as it provides:

  • ample protein and fat to meet needs and prevent deficiencies;
  • adequate carbohydrates to meet needs and prevent problems of inadequate intake (testosterone dropping, cortisol rising, etc); and,
  • the greatest flexibility and freedom in food and meal choices, allowing for the greatest long-term consistency (the real key to sustained success).

To me, there are 3 very distinct populations that I was speaking to with this piece:

1. The general population (of which about 70% tends to be overweight).

2. The fitness crowd.

3. Insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals.

The goals of the general population tend to be fairly modest. They often just want practical and reasonable approaches to help them find a sustainable path to their goals. The approach I provided will do just that.

The fitness crowd tends to be a little carb-shy, much to their detriment. It is something that the Paleo/Crossfit crowd has discovered. They have been recommending people up their intake of carbs lately (generally from things like sweet potatoes) as they have discovered that long-term intense training combined with a low carb diet generally does not turn out well. People in the fitness industry, or who just love fitness, should match their carb intake to their genetics, goals and activity levels. They might be surprised what they find when they do.

Insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals would do better with a reduced carbohydrate intake. Probably in that 1 standard deviation less than the average. In this case, the average carbohydrate intake that I was advocating for was only about 40% of calories. Assuming you eat about 4 times per day, this equates to ~2 cupped handfuls of carbs for men and ~1 cupped handful of carbs for women per meal. We generally recommend that insulin resistant and/or sedentary individuals cut carbs back to about 25% of calories. This equates to ~1 cupped handful of carbs for men and ~0.5 cupped handful of carbs for women per meal. People who are insulin resistant simply do not handle carbs well. And people who are sedentary simply do not need as many since they are not as active.

To put the final nail in the coffin, here are a few studies you may find interesting.

Overfeed study of fat vs carbs. They actually found overfeeding of fat to lead to greater fat accumulation than overfeeding of carbs - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7598063

Overfeeding of fat vs carbs #2. No significant differences were found between eating 1200 excess fat or carb calories - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029975

And a review study that ultimately concluded that a moderate approach is generally the best approach to start most people on - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15867892

And finally, a cool new site I have come across provides some fantastic information. I have no idea whose site it is, but their take on the low carb/high fat vs. high carb/low fat debate was fantastic and thoroughly referenced - http://fitnessrealitycheck.com/2014/04/30/high-carblow-fat-vs-low-carbhigh-fat-the-debate-to-end-all-debates/

I hope that provides a little clarity on the topic for everybody.

And if you pick up a copy of my Nutrition Guide to Kevin Neeld’s new Ultimate Hockey Transformation, you will now have an even better idea of why I make the carbohydrate recommendations that I do.

In this new program Kevin provides incredible in- and off-season programs for players at the U14, U16, U18, and Junior/College levels. He also provides a comprehensive video database of every exercise in the program. Along with a great manual describing why the programs are designed the way they are and exactly how to use/adjust them based on time, space, equipment, etc. It has everything you would ever need to make yourself into the best hockey player you can be.

Ultimate-Hockey-Transformation-Pro-Package-small

Posted on May 19th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

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Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Youth Training

I had the pleasure to write the Nutrition Guide to Kevin Neeld’s new Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

Ultimate-Hockey-Transformation-Pro-Package-small

 

Ultimate Hockey Transformation is the follow-up training program series to Ultimate Hockey Training, and features year-round hockey-specific off-ice training programs for players at the U-14 age level and above.  The Ultimate Hockey Transformation system includes:

  1. In- and off-season training programs for players at the U-14, U-16, U-18, and Junior/College levels totaling 120 weeks of programming!
  2. 228 high quality videos demonstrating how to perform every exercise in the program with perfect technique
  3. A 65-page manual outlining everything you need to know to successfully use the Ultimate Hockey Transformation system!
  4. Specific warm-ups, corrective exercise, and cooldowns to help you maximize your training preparedness and recovery
  5. A Performance Profiling Sheet so you can track your progress over time
  6. The UHT Recovery Monitoring Log so you can prevent overtraining before it occurs!

Simply, following the RIGHT training program can completely alter the course of your career. Propel your game to the next level by following training programs proven to deliver game-changing results!

Simply choose the Pro Package and you also get access to my brand new Nutrition Guide, which is unlike anything I have ever written. In this Nutrition Guide I take an entirely new and improved approach for athletes to improve their nutrition and boost their health, body composition, and performance.

Check it out ===>>> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Posted on May 12th, 2014 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

The BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter Is Here!

Filed under: General Health, Movie Review, Nutrition, Recipes, Training, Weight Loss, Youth Training

I am very pleased to announce the newly available BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter!

To sign up simply fill in the info on your right, and you will have immediate access to some cool stuff. I plan on this newsletter functioning as my RSS feed, as at the end of each week I will provide a small recap and link to each blog post so you can catch up on anything that you may have missed. This will also allow me to see which content and blog posts people read the most, and the least, allowing me to greatly improve what I write and cater the content better to you guys!

It will also provide exclusive content and cool new updates that may not appear on the blog itself. In addition by signing up I will send you my 20-page report “The Truth About Saturated Fat & Cholesterol.” In this report I really dig into the data and showcase how off-base the mainstream recommendations truly are.

All of that combined will clearly make you so much more awesome, how could you not sign up! This is a completely FREE service, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you wish (though who would want to?), so feel free.

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Enjoy!

Posted on February 9th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

Incredible Hockey Development Program

Filed under: Training, Youth Training

I love hockey. It was my first love as a kid and continues to be my favorite sport as an adult. I played it competitively for 14 years, culminating with a year in juniors. It is a sport I miss terribly.

Looking back on my career I think what helped me be (moderately) successful was the fact that as I got older I had started to weight train and eat better. By my senior year and in juniors I was bigger and stronger than most of my competition. As much as my training helped me, I know how incredibly different my hockey career could have been had I trained then as I train athletes now.

The same thing goes with my nutrition. If I had eaten then as I counsel athletes to eat now, I think my results could have been drastically different. I just didn’t have access to that type of information, and unfortunately, hockey, like most sports, is very far behind the cutting edge of training techniques and methodologies.

Most team sport athletes, if they are even given a training program (we weren’t), are given poorly designed and marginally effective programs. They are also rarely given any nutritional information whatsoever.

Fortunately my good friend Kevin Neeld, also a very accomplished hockey player himself, far beyond me, has made it his mission to fill in that gap and correct a lot of the misinformation out there for proper hockey training and development. He has created an unbelievable Hockey Development Program dedicated to getting good information into the hands of hockey coaches, parents and players to help take their training and their skills to a whole new level.

He has 13 top-notch interviews with experts in the training and nutrition of hockey players, and I am honored to say that I was one of the interviewees. Also included are Eric Cressey, Brijesh Patel, Nick Tuminello and more! Not only that but you have a discounted access to his Off-Ice Performance Training Course (for which I am the model in the exercise demonstrations) as well as pre-made training programs.

There are a lot of options, and tons of good content, so if coach or train hockey players, or are a player looking to take you game to the next level, check out the incredible Hockey Development Program! Hurry because the interviews start playing on June 1st, so you don’t want to miss out.

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

Summer Training for 9 Year Olds

Filed under: General Health, Training, Youth Training

A few weeks ago Mike Boyle posted a blog and sent out an email about a question he had received regarding summer strength and conditioning for 9 year olds. I liked his response so much that I asked, and he has graciously granted me, permission to repost it below. Mike is one of my favorite people, and one of the brightest minds, in the strength and conditioning world. He is a voice of reason when so many people who work with kids are in it for the money.  Please take a moment and check it out.

Q- I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr old hockey team.
Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but it would be
something that I think could be good for my own kids as well. Is it
too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly
tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as it
has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This does
not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week. Pick your
favorite that has the largest number of your friends attending and go
to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only has you on the ice once
a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for. The best
players in the world never play summer hockey and, they never have.
The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill session lasting
one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If ice is available and
the kids can play, let them. Please remember play means NO COACHES
or COACHING.

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in youth
sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone in
the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few
hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3

Regards,

Mike Boyle

Posted on March 29th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Just A Quickie

Filed under: Youth Training

Mike Boyle posted this video of Don Lucia, the University of Minnesota Hockey Coach, on his blog a few days ago. I finally got around to watching it. Now I may be a little biased because of my deep affinity for hockey, hell I played the sport for 15 glorious years, but it is simply one of the best speeches I have heard about youth sports in a long time. Please take a listen and appreciate what he has to say.

Tomorrow I will show an example day of my Warp Speed Diet. Along with providing a link to my Warp Speed Training Log. I just really wanted to have more people see this video.

Posted on January 6th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

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