What to eat first, protein or carbs?

I’ve heard various arguments for when to eat protein and carbs (and in what order).  A chiropractor once told me it was best on your digestive system to eat protein first, followed by carbs and fats.

I didn’t know what he meant at the time and it seemed a sucky way to eat (yes, I’ll have a sandwich.. let me eat the meat first, followed by the bread and last the lettuce and tomatoes lol)..  but now as I diet and train basically like a bodybuilder, I see the practical purpose of this..

I did some more research recently to find more information, here’s what I found out.  It is best to eat protein first as it gets digested faster and will not clog up your system.  Vegetables are fibrous and eating them first can cause a “logjam”, thus slowing down the digestion.  Here’s an article below with more details

Article courtesy of T-Nation

Eating protein first in a meal increases the efficiency of digestion and a greater overall amount of protein as an end result in from a meal. In short a greater amount of aminos make it to the blood stream. Everytime I have written about this in the past few years people always are like “WOW I learned something new today”.
I call it eating for function.
The function of the digestive system.

I eat proteins first for 2 reasons-that digestive system is physiologically geared that way and it improves the efficiency of digestion and a greater overall availability of proteins/aminos from food for the body to use.
Carbohydrates are digested 30% in the mouth with the salivary enzyme amylase and of course chewing.

CARBS aren’t digested in the stomach=they just sit there and slowly pass into the small intestines where the pancreatic enzymes do 70% more and complete the process.
Fats are the same way if eaten first or mixed with carbs will sit there and clog up digestion.

Proteins are primarily digested in the stomach. Therefore, eating proteins after these foods will result in a reduced amount of protein digestion-leaving some incompletely digested and unabsorbable and therefore lost.
This in turn causes the undigested protein to be pulled into the small intestine reducing the protein efficiencyof your meal and contributing to the mass of your colon.

You want something worse? We are set up by traditional eating to fail.
Go out to a steak house. First thing you get is your salad-THAT is the last thing you want to eat in a meal after the steak and then the potato.

Cellulose is undigestable by the human body and will really clog up the process reducing the effeciency of digestion and your meal itself.

As mentioned previously proteins speed up the metabolic rate more than carbs and fat. Concerning basal metabolism proteins speed it up 30%, Carbs and fats 10%. The mere process of digestion and absorbtion of protein races the metabolism and will increase anabolism in an advanced athlete.

Now granted you can eat a huge meal like a Mcdonalds Combo meal mix it all up and it will get digested but it will interfere with feedings and the efficiency of the meal will be less and eventually leadto a lot of adipose tissue gain.

There are reasons we eat Protein and Fat together and protein and carbs. Insulin. Eating fat and carbs are a death warrant to bb’ers when consumed together and lays adipose tissue down as easily as Home Depot lays down cheap carpet.

I could write more especially on the types of proteins and their absorption-things like incomplete proteins etc.

Anyhoo..just my 2 cents. We are all here to learn from each other but Dante’s methods are backed by science and 3-4 years of online “University” studies with 100’s reaping the benefits-so it is good advice and gospel for most ADVANCED lifters.

Protein will serve you a dual role in body modification in that it is as important for body fat reduction as it is for muscular gains. In regards to body fat reduction, protein has a specific dynamic action on the metabolism which means that when you ingest protein, your metabolic rate is elevated higher and remains elevated longer than when you ingest either fats or carbohydrates.

A high carb meal will only elevate your metabolism from 4 to 30 percent above normal. This small elevation will last only 2 to 5 hours. A high protein meal however will elevate your metabolism by up to 70 percent above normal and this effect can last as long as 10 to 12 hours.”


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One comment

  1. My protien shake has 25 carbs in it and has 20 grams of protein. Is this ok or not. I am a diabetic although I am no longer on medication for that because I have lost 71 lbs but I worry about the carbs in this shake. If I lift weights that lowers the blood sugar so do I need to have the carbs or can I get away with just the protien and no carbs?
    That was a great articale thanks for the info.

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