Despite all of the science, people still have a phobia of carbs. The right intake enhances your performance, but it’ll boost your body composition and your overall sense of wellbeing, too. Here’s why.
Carbs fuel exercise
If you can’t train intensely, you can’t make intense gains. Cutting carbs too severely can leave you feeling lethargic, fatigued and miserable.
Carbs build lean muscle
They protect the protein you eat from being converted to glucose. Without them, your body can be placed in a muscle wasting state, which can decrease the efficiency of your metabolism, causing gains in fat and losses in strength.
Carbs aid recovery
Exercise impacts your central nervous system. When you aren’t properly fueled, it can tire out. Your brain uses glucose as fuel but doesn’t have a stored supply, which is why you feel foggy on a low carb diet.
Carbs help you burn fat
Going low carb makes pyruvates build up, creating a position where fat can’t attach to your body’s mitochondria, slowing metabolism. This lessens your ability to use fat.
Aside from the reasons listed above why carbs are important for athletes, they also provide dietary fiber, help boost your mood, bolster the health of your heart, and can help you to focus and enhance your memory. You can go as low as .5g per lb of bodyweight or up to about 1.5g or so per lb of bodyweight depending on your goals. Strive to get most of your carbs from nutrient dense whole foods to improve body and mind.
Find heath and fitness information and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.