Of all the supplements that you can take pre-workout, the most overlooked by far are carb supplements.
Which is crazy because carbohydrates are the body’s favorite form of energy and a high-quality workout is going to require a lot of energy.
Part of the problem is that most pre-workout carb supplements are pretty poor, usually filled with additives, packed with caffeine, and slow to absorb.
But once you find yourself a good one you will never look back.
Here we discuss why pre-workout carbs matter so much, what you should look for in your chosen carb supplement and recommend our favorite product on the market today, Performance Lab Carb.
Table of Contents
Why do Pre-Workout Carbs Matter?
Pre-Workout carbs have been strategically used by athletes for decades, even before carb supplements existed.
- Footballers would eat a carbohydrate-heavy meal before a game.
- Runners would eat a large portion of carbohydrates the night before a race.
- Even going back as far as Ancient times when Gladiators in Rome would consume a mostly carb-based diet.
The reason for this is that the body prioritizes carbohydrates when burning energy.
Marathon runners talk about hitting the wall. This “wall” is where the body stops burning carbohydrates (because you’ve used them all up) and begins to burn fat.
Once fat reserves have run down, the body can begin to burn protein (you really don’t want this though). Hitting the wall is an unpleasant experience, and it can negatively affect your performance.
A simple way to avoid hitting the wall is to increase your stored glycogen by increasing your carbohydrate intake. This explains the gorging on carbs before a race/match.
But there are issues with this.
Firstly, gastrointestinal issues (just ask Paula Radcliffe) can cause havoc during a race and eating too many carbs can lead to this. Secondly, it takes a very long time for the body to digest/absorb carbohydrates and convert them to glycogen (stored carbohydrates used for energy).
That’s where pre-workout carb supplements come in handy.
Usually, they are designed to be very fast digesting – think energy drinks immediately before a gym session. Others can be slow digesting, which means that you have to take them much earlier, but you get more sustained energy (good for longer duration exercise).
Ensuring your carb intake comes in the right form to meet your specific exercise goals means you’re halfway there to some of the best workouts of your life.
What to Look for in Pre-Workout Carbs
Ideally, a pre-workout carbohydrate would be able to deliver fast absorption as well as sustained energy throughout.
Be warned: while our chosen carb supplement, Performance Lab Carb, can claim this, most carb supplements cannot. It’s usually one or the other.
You also want a pre-workout carb supplement that has been designed to prevent gastrointestinal distress. Again, not as easy to find as it sounds.
If possible, you also want a pre-workout carb supplement that is going to help to enhance the absorption of water and nutrients. This will help you to stay hydrated throughout a workout and can also help with the replenishment of electrolytes (which are lost when you sweat).
In our opinion, there’s one product that stands head and shoulders above the others when it comes to delivering all the above…
Our Favorite Carb Pre-Workout:
Introducing Performance Lab Carb with Karbolyn
*You can only buy Performance Lab Carb from: www.performancelab.com
Performance Lab is a supplement company that succeeds in being different from the crowd.
Its cognitive, sporting, health and vitamin supplements focus on being natural, pure and effective, with all products vegan-friendly, GMO and allergen-free and cGMP certified. All of which means that it goes out of its way to produce exceptionally clean products manufactured to the highest standards.
How does it improve your performance?
Carb by Performance Lab promises to be the “fastest-acting, longest lasting muscle fuel”, meaning that it can fuel your muscles during a workout for longer than regular carbohydrates or other carb supplements.
Carb offers both fast absorption as well as sustained energy; as we mentioned, this is incredibly rare as most carbs or carb supplements can only offer one or the other. This is thanks to its bio-engineered form of carb, karbolyn.
By using karbolyn, you will be fueled quicker than traditional energy drinks would be able to manage.
That energy will last longer too.
This added energy will help you to:
- Run further and faster during races.
- Lift heavier weights for more reps
- Concentrate better during your workouts.
This product also promises zero digestion or absorption issues, which is essential for training.
The Ingredients in Performance Lab Carb
The formula for Performance Lab Carb is simple, though by no means less effective for it.
Its main ingredients are karbolyn® and Organic Ceylon Cinnamon powder. With Himalayan Pink Salt and Organic Coconut Sugar also added – for additional absorption and hydration.
Its clean, natural nutrient profile mean that it’s stackable with other supplements
One of the things we appreciate about Performance Lab is its commitment to making products that stack well together. Any product in the range can be safely stacked with any other, for additional benefits. From its multi-vitamin for men or women, to its nootropics, to its wide range of sports supplements.
The fast absorbing carbs will be able to refuel tired muscles immediately and help stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
You could alternatively combine it with Performance Lab Protein for an excellent meal replacement shake (indeed, the Carb and Protein powders from Performance Lab are flavor-matched so you can whip up a tasty combination of the two)…
…or you can combine with Performance Lab’s Stim supplement for an even better ‘caffeinated’ pre-workout.
As you can probably see, the main benefit of Carb by Performance Lab is its diversity; it can be combined with multiple supplements and offer completely different benefits for each.
It can be a great pre-workout, a great intra-workout, and a great post-workout.
Serving Size: 2 scoops (50g)
Servings per Container: 20
|Ingredient||Amount per Serving|
|Karbolyn® (homopolysaccharide derived from potato, rice and corn)||40g|
|Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder||700mg|
All About Karbolyn
Karbolyn® is what is known as a homopolysaccharide, which is a polysaccharide that is made up of just one type of sugar. This makes absorption easier compared to common carbohydrate products or foods. The manufacturers state that karbolyn® has been designed to travel 18.21% faster than dextrose or sugar (the two fastest carbohydrates around) . Carb by Performance Lab enhances absorption speed even more by adding Himalayan Pink Salt and Organic Coconut Sugar.
Karbolyn® uses an enzymatic milling process which increases absorption without any of the side effects that carbohydrates that are fast absorbed into the body usually have. No stomach bloating or discomfort!
Karbolyn® is not just about fast absorption though, it also offers sustained energy levels over a long period of time. This is very rare among fast absorbing carbohydrates. Usually you associate sustained energy from carbohydrates that travel through your body at a slower rate.
Karbolyn® was developed for carbohydrate loading; this is where athletes consume higher amounts of carbohydrates before a long-distance event so that they have stored glycogen (think of it as energy) in their muscles which they can use during the race. Carb loading has been done for decades, but it is not without its limitations. There is the main issue that foods such as pasta or rice (traditional carbohydrate loading choices) are very slow to digest, and gastric issues that you really don’t want during the 12th mile of a marathon.
By using products that contain karbolyn® you can avoid nasty side effects and cut down the amount of time it takes for your pre-workout carb to be absorbed. You could take Carb by Performance Lab a couple hours before a race and see the benefits, rather than taking it the night before a race. Indeed, Performance Lab recommends taking it 2-3 hours before training or competition for 2+ hours of muscle energy.
Secondary Useful Ingredients
While karbolyn® is the main active ingredient contained within Carb by Performance Lab, it is by no means the only one. Carb also contains Organic Ceylon Cinnamon powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Organic Coconut Sugar.
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder: While primarily used to add flavor to the supplement, cinnamon can also help stimulate insulin release – making it ideal for exercise. Insulin helps to increase stamina, and is also useful post-workout, where it can help muscle protein synthesis.
Himalayan Pink Salt: Himalayan pink salt has many benefits, particularly for exercise. Which is why it is a common ingredient in many pre-workouts. Increasing your salt intake before a workout can help you to replenish salt lost through sweat, improve fluid balance, and may even increase endurance . A 2017 study by Freis et al found that consuming sodium led to significant improvements in performance .
As mentioned above, the salt can also help to increase the absorption speed of the karbolyn®, which is probably its most important role. The use of Himalayan pink salt is a smart move from Performance Lab.
Organic Coconut Sugar: Like the Himalayan Pink Salt, Organic Coconut Sugar appears to be able to increase the absorption of karbolyn®. It also serves as a natural sweetener to improve the flavor.
Best Pre-Workout Carbs Supplement: Final Word
Carb by Performance Lab is a very well-made supplement which provides a large range of benefits.
Karbolyn® is by far the best carbohydrate supplement on the market and Performance Lab have upgraded it further through the addition of Himalayan Pink Salt and Organic Coconut Sugar, which help to speed up absorption even further.
Training at high intensity requires a lot of ducks in a row. You want to have had a good night’s sleep, you require motivation, your technique needs to be excellent, and you need enough energy to perform at your best.
Carb by Performance Lab allows you to do this; not only does it shorten the amount of time it takes for your body to absorb the carbs, but it massively increases the amount of stored glycogen your body can hold during a workout. You can use it to carbohydrate load a couple of hours before a workout or you can take it during a workout for an instant hit of energy.
Here are just some of the benefits of Performance Lab Carb:
- Carbs are quickly absorbed
- Long lasting energy from carbohydrates
- All-natural ingredients
- Performance enhancements from the salt content
- Lift more weights, run longer, perform better
- Recover faster from training
- Works as a pre-, post-, and intra-workout supplement
- Can be combined with many other supplements
*To Buy, Visit: www.performancelab.com
Alternatively, taken with Performance Lab’s Protein or Post-Workout supplements, Carb can make a superior post-workout supplement. Protein synthesis is the process where damaged muscle fibers are repaired and replaced after a workout, it is essential for growth. Insulin is required to allow muscle protein synthesis to occur and Carb by Performance Lab is perfect for releasing insulin immediately post-workout.
It is the chameleon-like ability of Carb by Performance Lab that is what makes it so impressive. But do not get fooled into thinking that this supplement needs to be taken alongside others, it is perfectly good on its own. If you took absolutely nothing else, then Carb would still be a fantastic pre-workout choice. Fast energy that is sustainable throughout the workout. That will give you an edge and will really upgrade your training session.
This supplement is part of Performance Lab’s SPORT range and it is clearly aimed at endurance athletes as well as strength athletes or bodybuilders. It could also be perfect for anyone who attends the gym regularly. There doesn’t seem to be a particular age or gender that this supplement is being aimed at, which makes sense as carbohydrates are good for everyone!
Overall, Carb by Performance Lab is a high-quality carbohydrate supplement that will allow you to train hard, recover well, and push new boundaries.
Performance Lab SPORT Carb is available to buy direct from the manufacturer, with discounts for bulk purchases.