So are carbohydrates good or bad? carbs often get a bad reputation for being bad for us, and being responsible for us getting fatter. However it’s not as simple as that, carbohydrates are actually a very important part of our diets.
Carbohydrates are the easiest form of energy that our bodies can use, and also the main source of energy. Our muscles store carbohydrates as glycogen which is what gives them energy. Carbohydrates create glucose once it has been digested, then it will travel around the body by our blood where it will be converted into energy while it’s in our cells.
How do carbs make us fat?
When we consume excess carbohydrates which forms glucose, this excess glucose will be converted to glycogen, this glycogen is stored in your liver and in body fat (fat gain). This process is reversed when our bodies need energy, when it can’t gain that energy from food we have consumed, glycogen will be converted back to glucose so it can be used by the body for energy (fat loss).
Good carbs and bad carbs
All carbohydrates are not equal. On one side we have what we call simple carbohydrates, and we also have complex carbohydrates.
Simple Carbohydrates (simple molecule mixture)
This is the one that gives us a quick energy release, simple carbs provide quick energy, and usually very little nutritional value, except for some fruits which are classed as simple carbs. simple carbs are high on the glycemic index which means that they are metabolized by the body quickly. The following are examples of simple carbs, white bread, chips, white rice, biscuits, cakes, chocolate and soft drinks to name a few.
Complex Carbohydrates (complex molecule mixture)
These type of carbs have a low glycemic index which means that they are a slower form of energy release. Examples of complex carbs are, whole wheat bread, brown rice, bananas, oats, vegetables and generally foods that are nutrient rich.
Why are carbohydrates so important?
- Supplying our muscles with energy which is incredibly important for reaching muscular failure. The more energy our muscles have, that much harder we can work them, therefore resulting in better results.
- The glucose we gain from carbohydrates not only supplies our muscles with energy, it’s also the main source of energy for our brains need to function properly. Insufficient energy and nutrients for the brain can affect our mood, our mental ability and our personalities in general.
- If the body gains sufficient energy from carbohydrates, it will not need to gain energy from other nutrients, for example the protein that we consume will be used for its intended purpose and not for energy.
- Your muscles will look larger when they have water and glycogen stored in them.
So should you eat carbs?
Yes carbs are a very important part of your diet, however they should ideally be good (complex) carbs and less of the bad (simple) carbohydrates.