Carbohydrates are one of the marconutrients that supply calories to the body. There are 4 calories per gram of Carbohydrate. In comparison to the other macronutrients, there are 7 calories per gram of Fat and 4 calories per gram of Protein. And just so you know, 9 calories per gram of Alcohol.
Carbohydrate breaks down into glucose during digestion and raises blood glucose levels. It is the best source of energy for muscles during high intensity exercise.
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES are carbohydrates that are broken down slowly and produce a mild blood sugar response. Complex carbohydrates should represent the majority of the carbohydrates in your diet.
Best Complex Carbohydrate Sources:
Oats, Brown Rice, Beans, Air Pop Corn, Green & Yellow Vegetables, Shredded Wheat, Polenta, Sweet Potatoes, Wholemeal Breads, Cereals, Wholemeal Pasta, Brown Rice, Dried Peas, Corn, Lima Beans, Legumes, Muesli and Couscous.
SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES are only recommended during the first two hours following your workout. The reason for this is simple carbohydrates elicit a rapid rise and fall in your blood sugar levels. This causes you to feel sluggish and tired but it also causes such an insulin spike that the body begins to convert and store those simple carbohydrates as fat, sometimes even before the simple carbohydrates leave the liver.
Simple Carbohydrates refill your depleted glycogen stores but will also help you recover and feel revived from your intense workout. It is believed that 60 – 80% of your glycogen replenishment (carbohydrate) needs to take place within two hours after training. In other words, the quicker you can get the carbohydrates into those hungry muscles, the better your chances of having a great workout the next time out.
Simple Carbohydrates Sources:
Apples, Blackberries, Bananas, Sultanas, Cranberries, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Melon, Oranges, Peach, Pear, Plum, Raspberries, Strawberries, Table sugar, Cakes, Biscuits, Jam, Chocolate, Juices, Bubble Gum, Liquorice, Honey, Soft drinks, Tinned fruits, Chutney, Dried Fruit.
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to choose sources of COMPLEX carbohydrates over SIMPLE.
For my clients they follow 3 rules:
No carbohydrates at dinner.
Carbohydrates are eaten within 45 minutes of finishing exercise. At this timeframe, the metabolism is working at a higher level and will process quicker the carbohydrates.
Only 2 serves of fruit per day.