Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Quick Little Lesson on Carbs

Don't know about you guys, but I could not be more excited that we are halfway through the week! The weeks keep getting longer and longer for some reason and the weekends are feeling shorter... hmm.. I must be getting old. 

Anyway, I was talking with B a couple days ago about nutrition and he mentioned that someone at work saw him eating brown rice and was surprised. The person said that he should be cutting out all carbs. Uhm. No. This is a terrible, horrible idea so I wanted to give a quick carb lesson just in case anyone else thinks this same way. 

First and foremost, your brain needs carbohydrates to function. Nerve cells cannot function without energy, and the cells get this energy from carbs. (Yes, I know they can get energy from Ketones too, but I'm not going in to that!) This obviously applies to everyone. When you're talking about carbs in relation to people that are weight lifting, muscle building, leaning out etc. many tend to think that carbs are bad, and that is not true at all. Are white rice, pasta, and bread going to get you lean? No. But if you are trying to build healthy, lean muscle you really want to incorporate lean protein and healthy carbs into your diet. While protein is obviously necessary, your body also needs carbs to provide the energy that is required to build that muscle. It's pretty simple. If your body doesn't have enough energy (from the food you feed it), there's no way it's going to waste what it does have on building muscle.

With that said, I typically follow a lower carb plan (lower, not low carb in any way) and found that has worked best for me. I eat a majority of my carbs around my workout because that is when they are needed most. Pre-workout for the energy to lift heavy and build muscle, and post-workout to help get the protein to muscle as quickly as possible so the recovery and building process can begin. After that, I usually incorporate grain based carbs (brown rice, quinoa, oats) or veggies that are higher on the Glycemic Index (Yams, spaghetti squash) in one more meal, then stick to carbs from veggies the rest of the day. 

You have to find the right balance for your own body, but while doing so keep in mind it is going to be much harder and take much more time to build muscle if you cut them out completely. They are not a bad thing when eaten properly; at the right time, the right type, and the right amount.


*I know there are a ton of people out there that don't think this is true and claim that a low carb/no carb diet works fine for building muscle... so I wanted to add a disclaimer that these are just my opinions and what I have found to be true. *

2 comments:

  1. Hi, do you have an email to contact you? What is a typical eating day like for you. Great blog!

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  2. Sure! You can email me at brittany@littlebshealthyhabits.com

    I have posted on this site a few photos of my daily food (you'll have to dig a little) here's one example http://www.littlebshealthyhabits.com/2011/09/thought-for-thursday.html

    Also, if you look at my wall photos on my facebook page there are a couple pictures of my daily food there too!

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