Another reason to avoid late night carbohydrates or to lower carbohydrate intake in the evening hours is to harness the body's output of growth hormone. Growth hormone (GH) is released upon falling asleep usually within 30-90 minutes. Growth hormone is a powerful stimulus for the individual wishing to shed fat and hold onto lean muscle mass as GH initiates a moderate shifting in fuel sources so the body burns a greater percentage of fatty acids - the backbone to body fat. When the shift occurs, the body burns a smaller percentage of glycogen or amino acids. It's the ideal solution for the individual lifting weights to lose fat and add lean body mass. Kicking up GH amplifies the changes that occur with hard weight training. Namely; the burning of fat while preserving lean muscle mass. Even the non training individual can benefit by reducing carbs at night. The dieter's goal is to lose fat and to hold onto as much metabolic friendly muscle as possible. Yet we learned dieting can cause a loss of both body fat and muscle so anything a dieter can do to support GH release can help save muscle by shifting his body's metabolism so it uses more fat and less muscle mass. Avoiding carbs before going to bed can encourage GH release as lower blood sugar (glucose) levels support GH release while higher blood sugar levels block GH release. The sole exception to eating carbs at night is the individual who weight trains in the evening. He'll need carbs after training to aid the rebuilding process and any carbs consumed after training will quickly pass through the blood and into muscles making new muscle glycogen. This leaves the blood with lower glucose permitting the natural GH "pop" upon sleep.
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