*if you’re going to carb, that is
The Sofer study was uniquely insightful in that they compared 3 carb-rich meals per day with the same amount of carbs but restricted to 1 meal. Both groups ate 3 times per day. Tl;dr: one carb meal is modestly better than three even when total carbs are controlled. Since the carb-meal happened to be dinner, #fakenews reported that “carbs at night” are superior… but we saw right through that – the real conclusion was carb frequency not carb timing.
If they wanted to conclude something about carb timing, they should’ve controlled frequency; ie, carbs at breakfast vs. carbs at dinner. 3 meals per day in both groups. But they didn’t.
And here on the blog I’ve tried to make the argument [many times] that calories should be front-loaded, and if you’re gonna carb: carb early but not often.
“Early” to match the circadian variation in glucose tolerance and to co-entrain central & peripheral circadian clocks.
“Not often” because of the Sofer study.
The effect of diurnal distribution of carbohydrates and fat on glycaemic control in humans (Kessler et al., 2017)
4-week crossover study, where carbs were served mostly in the morning (HC/HF) or mostly at night (HF/HC). Protein, carbs, and and calories were controlled.
Those who ate carbs at night also had on average 8% higher daily blood glucose averages. We’ve seen this before: Dawn PheNOMNOMNOM and “Afternoon Diabetes” and Nutrient Partitioning.
Overall, changes in body weight between the groups were minimal because this was not a weight loss study: calories, carbs, and protein were controlled. The only variable was carb timing, and similar to total calorie intake: earlier is better.