Carbohydrates are a tool. They are not inherently good or bad. Their contribution to your progress depends on your ability to apply them at the correct times in the proper amounts based on the situation.
Before we dive in to the basics of properly timing them, we need to define what we are considering “carbs”.
For the purpose of this article we are referring to starchy carbs, not fiber. I also suggest, for the ease of your life, not to count carbohydrates from fibrous vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, etc) or the trace amount you get from raw nuts. Trust me, getting an extra 7.5g of carbs from almonds is not going to derail your nutrition program.
Whether your goal is to put on lean muscle tissue or drop some unwanted body fat, timing your carbohydrate intake will be key to both recovery and body composition.
The overarching guideline for timing your carbohydrates is to place them when your body is most in need of them. Generally speaking this will be around your workout and perhaps for a few hours afterwards. There are a few other situations which I will cover shortly.
Timing carbs around the workout doesn’t mean in an equal amount pre and post-workout.