Carbohydrates have become the villains, evil doers and black sheep of the nutrient world. Want to look better? Cut carbs. Want to banish the flab? Cut carbs. Want a better body? Cut carbs. Are carbs really that bad for you? And if so, why do they taste so good? We can’t answer the latter but we’d like to argue against the former. Carbs consumed the right way and in the right quantities can be your body’s best friend. Read our blog and rekindle your love for carbs, guilt-free.
Carbohydrates are part of your macronutrients and each gram of carbohydrates accounts for approximately 4 calories. Here’s why you shouldn’t rob yourself of a healthy helping of carbs:
We’ve all heard of this benefit many times before but that doesn’t make it any less important. Having an adequate amount of carbohydrates will allow you to power through your workout. When to take them? Pre and post workout are ideal times according to Layne Norton because it is at these times your body is most sensitive to carbohydrates. However, if you engage in extremely challenging workouts that are demanding in terms of volume, intensity and length then you might want to have fast digesting carbohydrates alongside some BCAAs during your workout.
During a resistance training workout, your glycogen stores can be depleted by roughly 36% (Acheson et al, 1988) depending on how gruelling the workout is. While studies (Roy & Tarnopolsky, 1985) show that glycogen replenishment will happen within 24 hours regardless of when carbohydrates are consumed, there is no harm in having your fix of carbs straight after your workout.
According to Stark et al (2012), “Leucine cannot modulate protein synthesis as effectively without the presence of insulin”. What’s more, in order to optimise your performance during your workout, your body needs to have an adequate supply of glycogen. This will allow you to burn more calories and tear more muscle fibres to promote growth.
Jim Stoppani further stresses the importance of maintaining healthy glycogen levels. He states that stored glycogen in muscle cells pulls water into those cells, which in turn, enhances muscle cell volume and consequently, muscle fibre fullness. Improved muscle cell volume can also encourage long-term muscle growth.
Boost your mood
How many times have you had a packet of chips and enjoyed a supreme sense of satisfaction and lifting of your mood? It shouldn’t come as a surprise because carbohydrate consumption can increase serotonin, which is involved in functions such as sleep onset, pain sensitivity, blood pressure regulation and control of the mood (Wurtman & Wurtman, 1995). Unfortunately, this is why some individuals may resort to excessive carbohydrate consumption in order to feel better. Hence, while carbs are good for you they must be consumed in moderation and in accordance with the level of macronutrients your body needs.
Quality over quantity
While we recommend indulging in a healthy amount of carbs, the quality of those carbohydrates is equally as important as the quantity. It is important that you don’t rely on junk food and eat the right kind. Our online store also offers a range of high-quality carb products that will help fuel your workouts, replenish your glycogen stores and improve muscle growth.
Acheson KJ, Schutz Y, Bessard T, Anantharaman K, Flatt JP, Jéquier E. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Aug;48(2):240-7.
Roy BD, Tarnopolsky MA. Influence of differing macronutrient intakes on muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Mar;84(3):890-6.
Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A, Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Dec 14; 9(1):54.
Starting to see carbohydrates in a new light?
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