What are basic carbohydrate benefits and how to they affect your fitness?
Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient, and proper intake is a key part of overall health. However, carbohydrates can also pose risks if not eaten in moderation – for example, a high carbohydrate diet over a prolonged period can cause high blood sugar and unwanted weight gain.
What is a carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is a macronutrient, like protein and fat, that your body requires daily. Carbohydrates come as starches, fiber, and sugars. Starches are complex carbohydrates, commonly found in vegetables like potatoes and corn. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. You can find sugar as a natural component in many sources of food. However, added sugars are common in processed foods, sugar-based drinks like soda, and many candies.
What do they do in the body?
Simply put, carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy; before your body turns to any other source of energy – including fat – it will use energy provided by carbohydrate sources. Your body relies on your muscle and liver tissue to store extra carbohydrate energy – which it can tap if your diet is not providing enough carbohydrates.
In addition to supporting muscle activity, another basic carbohydrate benefit is that it supplies energy to your control center – your brain. Low carbohydrate consumption in relation to your dietary needs can directly impair your mental clarity. If you feel mentally sluggish during workouts, it might be a sign you need more carbohydrates.
While all dietary needs will be unique to the individual and their fitness goals, general dietary guidelines suggest that most adults consume 45 to 65 percent of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates – which are 4 calories per gram.
Super Healthy Carbohydrates for You:
- Sweet Potatoes
In all, it’s that simple. Those are the carbohydrate benefits to your fitness. Make them a regular part of your diet, and you will help develop and sustain your fitness goals.
Looking for more nutrition tips? Then check out our other articles!
– Train Hard!