Many people today are afraid of carbohydrates, believing that they are fattening and will lead to weight gain. However, this could not be further from the truth. Good carbohydrates, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are essential for maintaining energy levels, promoting muscle recovery, and providing essential vitamins and minerals. In this article, we will explore the importance of good carbohydrates and how they can help to improve workout performance and overall health
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the body. They are broken down into glucose, which is used by cells to produce energy. Additionally, they play a role in the functioning of the brain, muscles, and other bodily systems. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are considered “good” because they are broken down slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy. They also contain important vitamins, minerals, and fibre. In contrast, simple carbohydrates, such as those found in sugar and refined grains, are broken down quickly and can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, which can contribute to health problems such as diabetes and obesity.
Why are carbohydrates important for workouts
Good carbohydrates are important for workouts because they provide the energy needed for physical activity. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are a good source of energy for endurance activities, like running and cycling, because they are broken down slowly and provide a steady source of energy. This is why it is important to include these types of carbohydrates in your diet, especially before and after a workout.
During a workout, the body uses stored glycogen (a form of glucose stored in the muscles) as fuel. Consuming good carbohydrates before a workout can help to replenish glycogen stores and provide energy during the workout. Consuming good carbohydrates after a workout can also help to replenish glycogen stores and aid in muscle recovery.
Additionally, consuming carbohydrates can also help to increase muscle mass and strength. When you eat carbohydrates, it triggers the release of insulin which helps to shuttle glucose and amino acids into your muscle cells, which promote muscle growth and repair.
Overall, consuming good carbohydrates as a part of a balanced diet can provide the energy, muscle recovery and muscle building needed for optimal workout performance.
what can a lack of good carbs lead to?
A lack of good carbohydrates in the diet can lead to a number of negative health effects. Some of these include:
- Low energy levels: Without sufficient carbohydrates, the body may not have enough energy to perform daily activities, or to engage in physical activity. This can lead to fatigue, weakness, and difficulty exercising.
- Poor athletic performance: As mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are an important source of energy for physical activity. Without enough carbohydrates, the body may not be able to sustain intense exercise for long periods of time, which can lead to poor athletic performance.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Good carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are rich in important vitamins and minerals. Without enough good carbohydrates in the diet, it can be difficult to get enough of these nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies.
- Hormonal imbalances: Carbohydrates play a role in regulating hormones in the body, such as insulin. Without enough carbohydrates, the body may not be able to produce enough insulin, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and related health problems such as diabetes.
- Increased risk of chronic diseases: A diet low in good carbohydrates and high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- Constipation: Good carbohydrates also contain fiber which is important for digestion and bowel regularity, lacking on fiber can lead to constipation
It’s important to note that it is not only important to consume good carbohydrates but also to keep a balance between the different macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and to consume them in the right amounts according to your individual needs and goals.
So lets rehash;