Carbohydrates (carbs) get a bad-rap. They have been blamed for the obesity epidemic, increase in disease and feeling sluggish after consumption. However, carbs are one of the macro-nutrients, they are an important energy source and vital for muscle glycogen replenishment (post workout) and glucose is readily used for brain function.
So why the positive and negative press about carbs?
Carbs (among fat and protein) make up the macro-nutrients. Even though only fat and protein are vital for human function, if you are any sort of athlete or want to improve your overall fitness level, carbs quickly become essential in your diet.
Carbohydrates are comprised of different types of sugars:
Our bodies need these different types of sugars to function, however only to a certain extent. Any excess sugar not utilized as energy will be stored as fat as explained before.
If your diet is full of refined sugars–like white pasta, white bread, flour, candy, sodas, etc more insulin will be released and less stored fat will be burned. High insulin levels also suppress glucagon and growth hormone. Glucagon (basically the opposite of insulin) promotes the burning of fat and sugar.
Also, these refined sugar and bad carbs are mostly empty calories. These foods are generally low in micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals and due to their quick effect on the body (sugar rush) tend to leave you sluggish (due to insulin release) and hungry–craving more sugar. The vicious cycle repeats–more sugar, more insulin release, more fat storage. In general, bad carb intake has no positive effects on the body.
Let us help you ensure you are eating the right type and amount of carbs in your diet.