Amazingly, the DRI recommendation is still too high, overshooting by as much as 218 grams. However, even this extreme case requires just 42% of calories from carbs.
Also, this example proves that you’re probably not burning as many carbs as you think. For example, an average 1-hour weight lifting session only burns about 90 grams of carbs!
There’s no need for carbs to be more than 50% of calories unless you’re an endurance athlete. Or possibly if you train hard for multiple hours a day.
You only want to replace the carbs you burn, refilling your glycogen stores. Combined with a strategic calorie surplus, you can build muscle without gaining fat. At the same time, a careful calorie deficit results in burning fat without losing muscle.
On workout days, carbs should be roughly 30 to 50% of calories depending on your goal.
When your goal is fat loss or recomposition, target closer to 30%, and include at least one 50% day per week to refill glycogen and boost metabolism. Also called a refeed day.
For maximizing muscle gain, target up to 50% calories from carbs. However, only exceed 50% if you exercise for multiple hours. Or for rare challenges with the hardgainer ectomorph body type.
In summary, aim for 5-20% of your calories from carbs on rest days. And target 30-50% on workout days.
During the week, you should cycle between low, medium, and high carb days based on your workout schedule. Matching your carb intake to your activity level is called carb cycling. And it is a handy tool for fat loss and lean muscle gain.