sandwich with meat lettuce cucumbers and tomatoes

FITNESS TIP

Veronica Hernandez

SIMPLY CARBS

Veronica Hernandez, Certified Personal Trainer

Carbohydrates are highly controversial these days. You may have heard people say, “I’m trying to lose weight, so I’m cutting out carbs.” Severely restricting carbohydrates is not healthy and offers little advantage in terms of fat loss. Consumers are often deceived into believing that low carbohydrate products are better for their health. What is often not mentioned is that products may be higher in fat and protein to compensate for the lost carbohydrates. Some low carbohydrate diets increase health risks and give dieters false hopes, especially if they are not sustainable. Carbohydrates play a significant role in supplying energy to the body.

The brain and body prefer to use glucose, a product of the digestion of carbohydrates, as an energy source. Therefore, the severe reduction of carbohydrates can have potentially negative effects on the body. By eating only protein and fats, the body will go into starvation mode. In the absence of a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, the body is forced to use stored blood sugar from the liver and muscles. The elimination of carbohydrates in the body causes the body to go through a process known as ketosis. With the large amount of water loss during ketosis, it appears that the body is rapidly losing an abundant amount of weight. Although it is appealing to the dieter, this rapid weight loss from decreased carbohydrates can pose a variety of health risks. One of the common mistakes of a low carbohydrate diet is not consuming enough water to compensate for the large amount of water that has been lost.

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide the body with a source of energy. Some examples of carbs include starches and sugars from pastas and whole grain foods. Healthy carbs help reduce health risks and provide your body with key sources of energy. Not only are carbohydrates the main source of energy for the body, but they also create fiber which helps the body’s organs to function properly. The consumption of carbohydrates is important for normal functions of the body, but especially for the performance of an athlete. For maximum athletic performance, a large amount of carbohydrates must be consumed throughout the period of a workout. Moderation and the right kind of carbohydrates, along with regular exercise, are necessary for a healthy body. Fun facts about carbohydrates:

  • Carbs are the body’s primary fuel source
  • The brain needs 25% of all calories consumed
  • Carbs are stored in the liver, muscles, and blood sugars
  • Carb restriction robs the body of ready-to-use energy & overall performance will suffer
  • Carbs replenish glycogen stores & provide nutrition that protein and fats cannot
  • It is recommended that 45-65% of overall calories come from carbs
  • Athletes rely on carbohydrates to function at maximum efficiency

Balance is the key to success in all things. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition!” —Tanya Wheway


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