Fueling Workouts Carbohydrates
What is Carbohydrates Role in the Body? • Leading nutrient fuel for your body. • Most powerful nutrient affecting your energy levels. • Your body’s preferred source of energy. • Spares protein from being used as energy.
How Does the Body Use Carbohydrates? • During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Glucose circulates in the blood (called blood sugar), to be used by the brain and nervous system for energy. If your brain cells are deprived of glucose, your mental power will suffer. Since your brain controls your muscles, your might get weak and shaky. • Excess glucose is converted to glycogen for storage in their the liver or muscle. 2/3 of your body’s glycogen is stored in the muscles, and about 1/3 in the liver. When muscles use glycogen for they break it back into glucose for use as energy.
How Much Do YOU Need? • Athletes need from 4.5-10g of carbs per kilogram of body weight (bw). • To build muscle consume 4.5-7g per kilogram. • Endurance athletes need slightly more at 6-10g per kilogram. • Large range depends on several factors: type of exercise; exercise goals; frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise; and gender. • [BW / 2.2 = weight in kilograms]
Increase Carbohydrate Calories • Most important factor affecting muscle gain is calories – specifically from complex carbohydrates. • Building muscle requires a rigorous strength training program. • Lots of energy needed – best supplied by carbohydrates. • Replenishing daily will ensure ample glycogen stores for hard workouts on successive days.
Examples of Good Carbs (aka Complex Carbs) • Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta • Whole grains with minimal sugar • Fruits and Vegetables • Raw fruits are best. If cooked, try steaming to preserve as much nutrients as possible. Avoid packaged fruits with added sugar.
Gaining or Losing Weight • To build/lose 1 pound of muscle, add/reduce 2,500 calories a week. • Introduce (or decrease) calories into/from your diet (300-400 calories) daily. • Keep protein & fat levels consistent no matter the goal. • Addition or subtraction of calories should come primarily (75%) from carbohydrates. • ALWAYS try to consume, protein, carbs, and fats in the same meal (exception being sports drink).
When is it Okay to Consume Sugars? (aka simple carbs) • Before, during, and after exercise (replenish glycogen levels). • Sugar does the following: • Decreases levels of good cholesterol (HDL) • Causes fluctuations in blood sugar • Increased risk of obesity • Related to the formation of dental cavities • Replaces the intake of whole foods in the diet
Carbohydrate Before and During Workout • Before: • Building muscle: small meal of carbs and protein one and half to two hours before workout out. This meal should contain about 50g grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein. • Losing weight: 25g of carbs and 20g of protein. • During: • Consume water AND carbohydrate drink. Studies show that those who drink carbs during a workout get tired less quickly. BEWARE: drinking only carbohydrate drinks during exercise can lead to excess daily calories or put you over your daily carb limit.
Immediately After Your Workout • Take in some carbs, along with protein. • Particularly carbs with a high glycemic index because it will rapidly be absorbed. • Building phase: 1-1.5g of carbs per kilo of bw • Weight loss: 0.5-1g of carbs per kilo of bw
Every Two Hours After Your Workout • Continue to take in carbs every two hours (with adequate protein) after your workout until you have consumed at least 100g within four hours after exercise and a total of 600 grams within 24 hours after workout. • Make most of these complex carbs. • If you ingest high-glycemic foods/beverages, use in moderation.