A lot of people will try and avoid carbs around a workout in the belief that they will burn more fat during that work out by doing so. Unfortunately, this would appear to be a misguided approach. The main factor involved in body fat loss is the overall diet plan and calorie balance (how much you eat compared to how much you expend), when you have your carbs doesn't seem to greatly influence this. So, if that's the case, why am I saying that avoiding carbs around a workout is wrong? Surely it doesn't matter. Well, I'm glad you asked.
The main focus of training should be to improve performance, the more you can achieve, the better your results. So, knowing that it doesn't matter when you eat your carbs in regards to fat loss, we should plan our carbs to improve performance. If we can burn more calories while training, that will in turn lead to greater fat loss. How do we do this? We simply eat our carbs around a workout, making sure that our energy levels are as high as they can be when we exercise. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, if you're eating an hour or more before a workout then a solid food meal is fine, if you're closer to 30 minutes before a workout then a liquid meal (e.g. protein shake + oatmeal) may be a better choice because you don't have to worry about digesting food while you train.
The take home points here are as follows:
Body fat reduction is due to overall calorie deficit and diet composition
The goal of training should be to improve performance
Eat to perform, if carbs before a workout will help you train harder, have carbs before a workout.