Carbs are an essential energy source especially during a high intensity physical activity. Or better say, there is no other better source an athlete can use to fuel his training and endurance. Our body cannot generate enough energy from fat like it does from carbs. Carbohydrates are supposed to supply all of our cells with the necessary energy level to keep performing any high-intensity workout. Many people mistakenly believe that, being on a low-carb diet, their body will have to use fat as its main energy source. The truth is, this is a big mistake. Our nervous system and brain completely rely on carbs for fuel. Did you know that in order for fats to be burn (broken down) completely, a substance called Pyruvate of Carbohydrates is the one responsible for this to happen? So, without the carbs breakdown first, fats cannot be burned either.
When eating a low-in-carb diet, you should expect many body functions to not properly work. And you know why? Because, in order for our body to handle the daily activity and especially a training session, it needs at least one energy source. Our body is the machine, so it needs the right amount and type of fuel to properly function and make athletes perform better. When in lack of carbs, the body forces itself to use proteins as an energy source. But, it shouldn’t do that because protein must support many other functions in our body like the building of muscles, bones, hair, skin, important enzymes etc. So, it should not be used for that purpose.
What really happens in our body?
You see, when we digest our foods containing carbs, the end product goes right into our bloodstream in a glucose form. Then, it goes to our cells and it’s used as an energy source. The amount of glycose which is not needed is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver to be used when our body requires it to.
A professional athlete should always know how to properly supply the carb intake in order to always keep a prepared body to handle all the hard and long training. So, this brings us to the next question…
When to eat carbs and how much?
Theoretically, a normal healthy diet should be enough for every person, athletes too, to properly supply his body to fuel all the daily activity. But, should the amount always be the same for a normal person and an athlete? The truth is, no. When someone trains and works really hard, he should also know the right time and amount for him to intake some high-in-carb foods in order to keep the body working. It is very important to know that a pre-activity and an after-activity fuel is needed.
Before starting your next training session, keep in mind and try to never skip some carb intake. Try to choose foods that are high-in carbs but low-in fats so the blood sugar can be properly maintained. Try foods that are easy to digest and that are also low-in fiber so the digestion time cannot be delayed. Then you can start working your muscles off immediately. Bananas, cereals, smoothies, biscuits are a perfect snack. Especially if you’re a morning person who likes to do the training first thing after waking up.
This is one of the most important steps every athlete should keep in mind and follow! Refueling your energy levels and muscles is essential after any type of workout. All the stored glycogen will have already been used up, so, in order to prevent the body from many risks, think about what you should eat. Now you can feel free to don’t worry about the digestion process. In order to properly fuel your sore muscles, a combined amount of carbs and proteins must be taken. Proteins are also important because they help your muscles repair. The best suggested time to refuel your body with carbs is right after the training session. Within 40 minutes will bring you some maximum effects. Keep in mind to always choose healthy snacks and foods. Beans, while grains, vegetables and fruits, milk or yogurt, are all some perfect choices for you to try.