What are carbs?
The most important aspect of any physical training program is the nutrition. When it comes to healthy diet, one of the most critical components is carbs.
Carbs are one of the major nutrients that serve as a source of energy to the body. It is the carbohydrates or carbs that get converted into glucose by the digestive system which further gets broken to release the energy required by cells, tissues, and organs to operate.
They are named “carbohydrates” because it contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are divided into simple or bad ones that add little value to your body and complex or good ones that will provide you with a an enormous amount of nutrients.
Carbs should never be avoided, but we need to know how to consumed them for fitness purposes.
Benefits of Carbohydrates
Now that you understand what they are, you need to be informed about the various benefits of carbs, especially if you are into a physical workout program. The list of profits that can be reaped out of carbohydrates is quite a long one.
Here are some of the major pros of using carbohydrates in your diet.
- It provides energy to your body as well as the brain. You would not be able to operate even optimally in your home exercises if you do not have carbs in your diet.
- When eaten with exercise, it helps in building more muscle mass
- Protects the muscles and helps them keep in shape
- Raises insulin levels in the blood which in turn leads to muscle building
- Catalyzes the metabolic rates thereby maintaining the optimum levels of fat burning hormones in the body
- It helps in the regulation of cholesterol levels, thus keeping the levels of good cholesterol go up, and the bad ones go down.
- Adds Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, and carotene to the body
Are Carbs good or bad?
So you have understood the various benefits of carbs. However, it is to be noted that too much of anything is bad. If excessive carbohydrates are added in your diet, it would bring upon adverse effects like the surge in sugar levels in the blood, unnecessary bloating, excess fat storage in the body and many other health related concerns.
The question on carbs that is intriguing your mind right now is that are they good or bad. Well, as already mentioned earlier, too much of anything is bad and there is no exception to this when it comes to carbohydrates in your nutrition.
If the right carbohydrate is consumed at the right quantity and at the right time, it will ensure that you stay healthy, fit and in shape.
To understand the proper amount of carb that should be taken i.e., how much to eat of them, this simple calculation would help.
Carbohydrates should contribute to about 45% to 65% of the total calorie intake for a day. If you are required to consume 2000 calories a day, your carb intake should vary between 900 to 1300 calories, which means about 225 to 325 grams of carb every day.
If the body does not have the right amount of carbs, then it will not be able absorbs more than 10% of the proteins that it is receiving, this is due to the lack of insulin.
List of good and bad carbs
Good or Complex
- brown rice
- boiled white rice
- brown bread
- sweet potato
- whole wheat spaghetti
Bad or simple
- Artificial syrups
- White pasta
- white bread
Experiment of the benefits
An experiment was done by Dill, Edwards, and Talbot; shows that carbs have tremendous amount importance when it comes to providing energy to your body.
One athlete had to run without carbs intake and after 40 minutes run he was exhausted and hypoglycemic. For the second run, the athlete ate healthy carbs while running and he has able to go for more than 60 minutes.
In others words, this means that with the proper quantity of carbs, it will increase the body stamina for any type of physical activity.
Proper time to eat them
In my experience, the best time to eat carbohydrates is at your breakfast and after a home workout.
IMPORTANT when you are in a bulking season, you have increased the number of your carbs in your diet, and if you are in a cutting season, you should decrease them.