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Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates Empty Carbohydrates

Post  Admin on Thu 9 Jun 2011 - 15:39

Carbohydrates provide a “protein-sparing” effect. When your carbohydrate intake is too low your body will convert protein into glucose for energy. This process is called “glyconeogenesis”. Eating adequate carbohydrates is important because if your body doesn’t have enough, it has to metabolize more protein and this depletes the muscles.
Eating too few carbohydrates will also leave your muscles looking and feeling flat. Muscle fullness largely depends on the glycogen stores within the muscle cells. Your muscle glycogen stores also greatly impact your strength and energy levels in the gym and whether or not you get a “pump” while working out.
If you have ever followed a low carbohydrate diet for any length of time I’m sure you have also noticed a significant loss of strength in the gym during your workouts and your muscles feel flat as a pancake making it almost impossible to get any decent pump while working out.
Your carbohydrate intake will vary depending on your training goals. If your goal is to get bigger and gain muscular size then you’ll need to eat upwards of 3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day and maybe more depending on your individual metabolism. If your goal is to lose bodyfat and get leaner then you’ll need to eat around 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight daily.
Basically there are 3 kinds of carbohydrates:
1) Starchy Complex Carbs – these include foods like oatmeal, cream of wheat, oat bran, brown rice, potatoes, yams, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, etc…
2) Fibrous Carbs – these include foods like green veggies, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, etc…
3) Simple Carbs – these are generally referred to as the “bad carbs” and include things like sweets, sugar, maple syrup, honey, candy, most processed and packaged foods like cookies, crisps, and other kinds of “junk-foods”.
Fruit technically goes into this category as well, but obviously it isn’t as unhealthy as the previously mentioned processed foods because it contains fiber, nutrients, in addition to the natural fruit sugar.
Your carbohydrate intake should be spaced out over the course of 5-6 meals per day. But you can eat larger portions with your breakfast and with your post workout meals. At these times your needs more carbs for muscle growth and recovery.
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