CARBOHYDRATES: Friend or Foe? 🤔
All too often you hear people talking about their diet and you get the same answers.
“I wanna go low carb to lose weight”
“Carbs are bad for you”
“I’m not eating any carbs because they make me fat”
Low carb diets like Keto have proven to be pointless as when the body is restricted of carbohydrates for a while and you have a carb loaded meal like some pasta or rice, your body flocks to it like it’s a banging deal in your local Aldi, immediately storing those carbs for later 😂
All the energy we need for life comes from the foods we eat and the fluids we drink. These nutrients are broadly broken into fats, proteins and carbohydrates. 😯
Carbohydrates play an especially important role as they provide the quick energy needed for exercise. Carbohydrates, found in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and dairy products, are your body’s favorite source of energy, but this is not the only role that carbs play. They also ensure mental sharpness and aid in the metabolism of fat for energy. ⚡️
Complex Carbohydrates are an efficient source of energy that fuel muscle contractions. Once eaten, carbs are broken down into smaller sugars (glucose, fructose, and galactose) to be used as energy for immediate tasks. Any unused glucose will be converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver for future use. Food items that act as complex carbohydrates include potatoes 🥔, pasta 🍝, whole grain bread 🍞 and cereal 🥣
Sometimes our body takes in another form of carbohydrates known as Simple Carbohydrates. These are a rapid source of energy compared to complex carbs which release energy slowly. Excellent forms of Simple carbs are fruits like Banana 🍌 and Strawberries 🍓.
Glycogen is the energy source most often used for short, intense bouts of exercise, such as sprinting or weightlifting. Because glycogen is stored in muscles, it is immediately accessible. During bursts of activity, the stored glycogen will be converted back to glucose and burned for fuel. Whereas in a more endurance based setting, glycogen will brim fat as fuel or even protein stores as a last resort.
Beyond muscle contraction, carbs supply energy to the brain. If you have ever felt low energy or experienced a brain fog during exercise, it is likely because you are not getting enough carbs.
When it comes to deciding how much carbohydrates you need in your diet to be energised enough, it all depends on your activity level. To get the best out of your carbohydrates intake, take your current weight and using that add so many carbohydrates depending on your activity level:
Low – 1.5-2 grams per kg
Moderate – 2.5 – 3 grams per kg
High – 3.5 – 4 grams per kg
Some people choose to go higher and that’s okay! It’s just making sure your consuming the best carbohydrates for you. And that doesn’t mean eating chips and everything to get to your intake goal 🙄 it’s about eating those complex and simple carbs to give your body the proper fuel it demands 💙