Are you on a mass building program or are you looking to lose some serious weight for a number of different reasons? For whatever reason you need to gain mass, lose weight or improve your lifestyle, there are a number of ways you can do this, one of them being by consuming carbohydrate rich foods. But why?
Firstly, carbohydrates are so important when it comes to building muscle because when you are training or working out, carbs are your bodies preferred source of energy to power you through your workout. If you haven’t got enough glycogen and fats available in your system for energy, your body will then start to dip into its protein stores, which can diminish muscle size rapidly. This is why it is so important to consume enough high carbohydrate foods, especially if you are an off-season bodybuilder looking to grow more mass. Carbs aren’t just important for bodybuilders they are vital for everyone in everyday life, and here’s why…
Aids your digestion
Carbohydrate foods aid digestion because the correct ones are usually full of fiber. An example being oats, quinoa etc. Carbs are not just a great source of fiber, they also aid in the elimination of the gut smoothly.
Carbs for endurance
Carbs are fantastic for endurance events and you can be selective with which carbs you choose to fulfill your bodies’ needs! High GI carbs will give you that explosive insulin spike and temporary energy boost and low GI carbs will give you a steady, tapered release of energy.
Help fight off infections
Not having enough carbohydrate in your diet can make your cortisol (stress hormone) levels soar! Too much cortisol is also known to have a damaging effect on the immune system leaving you prone to infections. Sweet potato’s are an excellent choice because they contain beta-carotene, which is excellent at boosting the immune system.
Speeds up muscle growth and recovery
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition advises that post workout carbohydrate helps your body release insulin more efficiently, putting your body into an anabolic, muscle building state, but this only works when you consume them along with protein and also fats.
Gives your brain more power
Arguably, one of the most beneficial reasons to consume carbohydrates regularly, is their ability to provide useful food for our brains. If you have low blood sugar, this deprives your brain of the glucose it needs to effectively function. If you feel light-headed and unable to focus you could benefit from a sugary hit of carbohydrate.
Carbs help to make you happier
That’s right, carbs can help to boost your mood because they can stimulate the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that is responsible for making you feel positive and happy. A very low carb diet can make you feel depressed and anxious which is why people who go on fad diets are often pretty miserable!
When consuming carbohydrate foods it is important that you achieve the right balance. Understanding which types of carbs you need and when is also very important to your daily functioning. Complex, low GI carbohydrates will keep you fuller for longer and give your body that slow release of energy, whereas a high GI carbohydrate, for example, a bottle of Lucozade if you are feeling faint and your brain is starved of glucose will fix you up within minutes.
Carbohydrates are not the enemy and as you can see above, they are vital for numerous functions in your body so don’t cut them out, just make smart choices with the ones you select.