Hello! I decided to tell you about nutrients because it seems essential to me. Among them are carbohydrates. When we talk about bodybuilding, we more readily associate the subject of proteins. However, you should know that carbohydrates are just as important in building muscle. But the term carbohydrate may not speak to you completely. If I tell you “sugar” or even “carbohydrate,” that will probably put you on the track. All of these words mean the same thing, carbohydrates. I will tell you why they are so important.
What are carbohydrates?
They are one of the three essential nutrients for the human body. The other two are protein and fat. Each group has its own functions in the body. The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy. In other words, they are useful when playing a sport.
There is a great variety of carbohydrates. Some are in a straightforward form; others are more complex. But in the end, digestion turns them all into simpler things for the body to digest and then use for fuel. But when there is an overabundance of carbohydrates, the body converts these nutrients into fat molecules to store in fat reserves, which means that consuming too much sugar can make you fat.
Another case that can lead to this fat gain is that of carbohydrates with a high Glycemic Index. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so I’ll summarize it for you: carbohydrates (and therefore every food) cause a greater or lesser rise in blood sugar levels. Logical since, once digested, they pass through the blood to be available to the body. But if the carbohydrate ingested causes too much rise, it panics your body, which will produce a hormone, insulin, responsible for ordering the storage of nutrients. A scale was created to measure the potential of each carbohydrate, known as the glycemic index.
In short, if you consume a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index, you may gain fat and even overpower, disrupt your body, and develop diabetes.
How do you find them in food?
Carbohydrates are everywhere but are more present in starchy foods such as grains, legumes, or tubers. You can find it in fruits and vegetables as well but in much less quantity. Therefore, it isn’t easy to do without rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, and other foods rich in carbohydrates to consume enough.
Which should I favor?
If you’ve read everything this far, you now know that you should avoid high glycemic index carbohydrates. How to recognize them? It’s simple; the more refined a food, the more GIs its carbohydrates will have. So this is the case with white flour, white bread, white rice, etc. If you want to avoid them, you have to eat whole grains, so wholegrain bread, wholegrain rice, and wholegrain pasta. You can also turn to legumes. Tubers often have a high or medium GI, but consuming them with many vegetables will lower this value. This is a rule common to all foods.
However, an exception should be made for high GI carbohydrates. You can eat some before a workout and even during. At this time of the day, carbohydrates will be used for fuel without having time to be stored.
How much to consume?
It is tough to answer you at this point. There is no answer, but because it depends on you, your metabolism, and your lifestyle. A sedentary person with a slow metabolism will need few carbohydrates. On the contrary, a person with a fast metabolism and a lot of sports will have increased needs.
As protein and fat requirements are easier to determine, you should determine their value and fill in with carbohydrates. Then gradually increase or decrease to achieve the desired effect. If you want to gain mass, increase the rations until you see a slight weight gain each week. If you want to dry, do the exact opposite.
Are Carbohydrate Supplements Helpful?
I said the only time high GI carbs are helpful is before and during training. In saying this, I was thinking particularly of supplements like dextrose or maltodextrin because they correspond to this type of carbohydrate and are, moreover, easy to dissolve in water because in powder form. They are then very digestible and easy to use around training. And to answer the question, yes, they can be useful and improve performance slightly by providing fuel during the session.