Are carbohydrates good for you and should you be consuming them? If so when? This article helps educate you on the science and use of carbohydrates within the body.Intro So its something I have been noticing for a few years that it seems the answer to getting 'toned' (I hate that word so much) and losing body fat has been to cut carbs out the diet. During this little blog I intend to educate you as to the role of carbs within the body and how they can become your friend.
What are Carbs? Carbs, full name carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients in our diet alone with protein and fat. Carbs come in two forms: simple which are fast to break down and are usually sugary things like baked goods, sweetened cereals, honey, sweets fruits, to name but a few. and the other is complex carbs which are slow to break down, they come in two forms: starches such as potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. The other is fibre such as whole grain, oats, dried beans and peas, etc. Why are Carbs important? Carbs are important because they give us our long lasting energy. Carbs are broken down in the body to glycogen which then becomes our bodies fuel to move and exercise. Why are Carbs so useful? Carbs can be used in many ways, I will give a few examples below but this list is by no means exhaustive.Carb loading- this is done by athletes a day before an event they will consume far more than normal carbohydrates (usually complex such as pasta, rice etc) so their muscle and liver glycogen is fully 'topped up' so they are then able to compete and not get fatigued as quickly as if they hadn't loaded on carbs the previous day. This has been done by long distance events for many years and team sports and has also been proven very effective in shorter events like powerlifting, sprinting etc. to give the body an extra boost from the high levels of glycogen.There has been a misconception for a long time in amateur sports that protein is the most important nutrient and we should be taking at least 20g of protein every 3 hours and before and after we train. Yes this is a very effective way to keep our protein levels high and promote anabolic responses in the muscles however carbs are equally as important pre and post training. Pre training we should eat a carb meal to not only give us energy for the workout but spiking our blood glucose will in turn spike the insulin and again produce great anabolic responses in the muscle. We again want to spike this after our training to again promote anabolic responses in the muscle.Carb cycling- this is done by many people from elite athletes to every day gym goers and is simply; eat more carbs on days you are more active and less carbs on days with little activity. Doing this will make the body more sensitive to carbohydrates so the bodies responses to them will be maximised. Conclusion People shouldn't have to be scared that if they eat carbs they will get fat. Yes if you abuse them then they aren't going to help you but if you use them the way they are meant to then you will not only improve your health but your performance as well. Hope this was a helpful one and you learnt something useful. Please feel free to shoot me any questions you have and ill be happy to answer them: firstname.lastname@example.org