So What’s The Deal with Carbs?
Being in the health industry one of the questions that I come across regularly is focused around one topic: CARBS. In America, we have been overexposed to and overfed carbs and then are told that “carbs are evil” and “carbs make you fat”… Well, this isn’t necessarily true, ESPECIALLY for anybody doing weight/resistance/HIIT training. The fact is that our body NEEDS carbs to function. Our brain alone needs about 130g of glucose (one of the simplest forms of carbs, and major energy source for the body) just to function. Our bodies also need glucose to produce ATP that is used for every action in the body, from walking to work all the way down to making new cells. As we use our muscles to curl, press, squat, run, and do burpees, our muscles are using glucose and ATP to make this happen. If our body doesn’t have enough glucose stores from our diets (i.e. eating carbs from whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, etc.) we might feel weak, tired, or shaky during our workouts. We also might feel under-recovered, sore, and extra tired if our muscles don’t have enough glucose to take in and repair themselves.
Can Carbs Make You Fat?
BUT what about carbs making us fat?!? Well, carbs are not the only ones to blame for weight gain. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this, like age, body composition, exercise levels, types of foods we’re eating, and genetics, but what WILL cause weight gain is taking in more energy (food) than you are expending through exercise and daily-life movements. Overeating carbs will likely cause a calorie surplus and lead to weight gain, but the same will also happen if you consume too much protein and/or fat, so carbs are NOT the enemy here.
What Do We Recommend?
Bottom line, don’t be afraid of carbs! They are there to help you train hard, so use them to your advantage. Try to eat roughly a 1 cup serving of carbs in each meal and make sure you’re using whole food sources to get them. If you want more information on when the best time to eat carbs is, click on the link for an article by Precision Nutrition!