Mr. Olympia competitor Ben Pakulski advises:

Pre-workout. No carbs. Why no carbs? Neurological focus. Neurotransmitter focus. I find that I get much better brain focus in my training and ends up giving me better overall outcome.

Source: https://youtu.be/WPIWsQhZ9CM?t=33s

An article from Forbes also says low carbs increase vigilance at the expense of hurting other traits:

When consuming low-carb diets in the short term, this is certainly true. In a 2008 study, psychologists placed 19 women on either a calorie restricted low-carb diet or a calorie restricted high-carb diet for 28 days. Throughout the study, participants’ memory, reaction time, and vigilance were tested at regular intervals. While those on the low-carb diet enjoyed a slight boost in vigilance, they suffered impaired reaction time and reduced visuospatial memory.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2013/11/12/do-low-carbohydrate-diets-make-you-dumber/

Neither of these sources explained why low carbs increase focus/vigilance. What is the reason?

  • 1
    Just to state the obvious, Pakulski uses steroids so he's operating literally with different biology. Pumped with enough test I imagine you can cut carbs back quite significantly.
    – Eric
    Jan 11, 2016 at 2:33
  • 2
    @JoJo, testosterone has an impact on emotion, especially considering the doses a professional body builder employs is far above the safe threshold that would be prescribed for something like low-testosterone production (typically it's 2x-3x). press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jcem.75.6.1464655
    – Eric
    Jan 11, 2016 at 2:58
  • 1
    @JoJo - Steroids have nothing to do with focus? Read about Halotestin and Cheque-Drops also you may heard about Roid Rage?
    – mitro
    Jan 11, 2016 at 8:20
  • 1
    Voting to keep open as the question is directly related to the workout.
    – Alec
    Jan 11, 2016 at 8:34
  • 2
    @Alec - Yes, the question is directly related to a workout, but it's basically personal opinion. Each person will react to carbs and/or steroids in different ways.
    – JohnP
    Jan 11, 2016 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


As Pulaski stated he feels better training without carbs before his workout. As a number of studies have proven that when you eat carbs, protein and fats does not significantly effect your gains. So you could just try to do what fits you best. Also as stated above Pulaski abuses steroid and thus is not comparable.

P.S. Most youtubers, suplement companies make money of of people who don't know what they're doing. Don't fall into these scams. They mostly use information from research that fits what they want to say and make a fuss about insignificant so-called 'muscle-growers'.

Keep up the good work!

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