This is not at all a cheeky or sarcastic question. I'm just confused by the conflicting notions that cavemen tended to be incredibly fit by our standards, and that they would've had fewer carbohydrates available year-round (whereas many athletes claim that a high-carb meal is essential on WO days). Is that fitness idea not entirely true? Perhaps cavemen were experts at digging up tubers?
It's only the extreme north that would provide scant carbs--most temperate and tropical areas would have had carbs available much of the year and early humans would have been clever enough to either store excess supplies or steal from animals who did.
While it's true that some food plants have very short seasons others are around much longer or store well. I grew up in Massachusetts and the woods and wild borders there were full of food, so much so that in the fall you could easily store fruit, nuts and tubers for well into the winter. Some berries don't become edible until they've frozen during winter on the bush; although we don't commonly eat them now, many greens that sprout throughout the growing season are edible. And, of course, seeds/pods that remained on the plants could be gathered when green things weren't available.
If you drop our modern "only the most lush, most juicy piece" paradigm and just look for edible, it's all around us.
The glycon/sugar reserves stored in your muscles is only about 1,000 calories (less than 1/3 the calories in a pound of fat).
If your body held thousands and thousands of calories in your muscles for emergency use, then "carbing up" to replenish them would make sense. But, your body only holds enough to for an emergency (like running away from a bear), and your body has processes to replenish those stores by converting fat to sugar.
The glycon in your muscles is like an emergency parachute. There if you need it in an emergency, but not really designed to be something you use on a day-in/day-out basis as a primary resource.
Cavemen were as varied as the regions they lived in. Arctic caveman would have not eaten a carbohydrate-dense diet, whereas warmer climes would have had more fruit and roots (including tubers) to consume. When we forked with Australopithecus, it is theorized (through dental records and brain size) their evolutionary path was straight to nothing but tubers, whereas our path ended up utilizing both... thus we succeeded.
All of the above, when combined with the habits of MODERN hunter-gatherers bereft of Western dieting principle (Innuit, Hadza, Kitavan), is what combines to create the modern concepts of paleo.
I feel that the longer early humans survived, the more they must have become masters at general survival. Did they seek out carbohydrate rich foods? Maybe, maybe not. But they did inherently seek out anything that would sustain them. The balance of their food sources would've been derived by the ease of acquiring their various foods - hunting if that was the easiest, gathering if that was -- and almost always a mix of both.
The 'gatherer' parts of the hunter gatherers were pretty expert gatherers. At least in moderate climes, what they gathered was tubers, vegetation, fruits, fish and eggs when they could, and (shh- grains when it was the season). There were definitely carbs, particularly during the heavy work periods of late summer and fall.
But really, it's all n=1. So give it a go- try a week with tuber carbs PWO, try a week LC, see what your recovery and energy feel like. Whatever works best with your body is the way you should go-
I think glycogen is mainly for above-maintenance exercise and brain activity. I know we used our brains quite a bit back then, but not nearly as much as we do now. And in regards to smaller brain size than we had back then, its because smaller means more refined and efficient dense brain wrinkles and other formations. We have much more active minds now, and I think that can partially be the reason why we see so many want to eat more carbs. If you notice, the only part of the body which almost needs glycogen is the brain.