CARBS ! Eat them, enjoy them and most of all don't fear them. Carbohydrates are integral to an athlete’s diet because provide the body with a source of energy. Because everyone has a different goal, the macronutrient needs differ based on our training volume and goals, you should measure our carb intake in grams, not as a percentage of our diet. Daily recommendations vary from as low as .5g of carbohydrate per 1lb of body mass on a non-training day to as much as 2 or 3g of carbohydrates per 1lb of body mass on high volume days.
So many people I meet, have some sort of carb phobia, I used to be one of them! Because the human body is an incredible machine, it gives clues to help you understand when you might need to increase your carbohydrate intake to function at max capacity. If you want to see your training and energy go up, adding more carbs to you diet might be the trick ! Below are some questions for you to think about:
- Are you constantly hungry? What source are your carbs coming from? Are you eating mostly simple carbohydrates like breads, processed foods and sugar? This is usually why no matter how many refined carbs you eat like potato chips or chocolate chip cookies you feel hungry again quickly. The solution is to eat healthy carbs that are rich in fiber, which are slow to digest and provide the body with a slow-burning fuel that will keep your energy up throughout the day.
-Is your training taking a hit? I know when I go low carb, my training suffers. If you constantly feel sluggish during workouts, consider upping your carbohydrate intake before you train. Glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrates in the body, is the first source of energy for physical activity. When the body doesn’t have enough glycogen stores it burns existing protein stores in our muscles for energy. It’s not uncommon for people on low-carb diets to feel lethargic and fatigued during the day away from the gym. You still need energy to perform basic functions and operate during the day, so make sure you’re eating enough carbs to operate at your best.
-Has your fat loss stalled? If you’re not supplying the body with fuel from carbohydrates, it will turn to your stored fat and muscle tissue for energy. If you don’t have enough glycogen or fat in your body, you may experience rapid muscle tissue loss. In addition, a loss in muscle mass volume will slow down your metabolism. This is because the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn at rest.
Do you need help learning what your body needs? Contact me today and we can talk all things FOOD !