Whether you are looking for nutrition advice via friends, social media, or the most recent and popular articles that pop-up via your Google search, one of the most common topics is “CARBS”! Are they good for you? Are they bad for you? Do they make you fat? Do they help you lean out? Is ‘NOT eating them’ the key to losing fat??? The answer: They play an important part in a balanced and healthy nutrition plan for EVERYONE. The “key”, is understanding how our bodies process them so you can understand just how many carbs you should be eating to reach your goals.
Why Do We Love Them?
Carbohydrates, aka carbs, are your body’s preferred source of energy. They are the gas in your tank and the fuel to your fire. Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen. Eating carbs in the right proportion will keep your brain and muscles feeling strong and fresh! There are a few major things we love about carbs:
- When you’re training, carbs are the macronutrient that is most readily available for your body.
- Carbohydrates replenish your depleted glycogen stores after a hard workout. This supports better performance and recovery for athletes involved in high-intensity training…LIKE YOU!
Where Can You Find Them?
When most people hear “carbs” they think pasta, bagels, breads and cookies. The truth is carbs are found in many more places than that, a few HEALTHY CARB examples are Vegetables, Fruits, Whole Grains, Rice, Oats.
How Much Should You Be Eating?
A good starting point in any average healthy nutrition plan is for 40% of your calories to come from HEALTHY Carb sources…then to adjust from there based on your activity level. For instance, if you have a desk job and are quite the couch potato as well, that percentage will more than likely need to be decreased, along with your overall calories. If you are a gym rat and coming to CrossFit 5x a week…you may need to be closer to 50%. Some of you may be surprised to hear that even your female coaches are eating around 300g of carbs a day!
So just like both Protein and Fats play an important role in your nutrition, so do carbs. There is NO reason to be afraid of them and no reason to EVER live a life without them!