Nutrition Bites - Carbohydrate Facts

Carbohydrate Facts

Let's talk about the misunderstood, ever important carbohydrate!

Carbohydrates are found in grains, beans/legumes, dairy, fruits and starchy veggies like potatoes and squash. There are a few different types, from the simple sugar in honey to the complex starch in bran. But whether it's a piece of wheat bread or a sweet potato, it's all broken down to glucose at the end of the day. And glucose is the preferred source of energy for our brain and muscles.

Of course, no one would feel good meeting all their carbohydrate needs on honey alone, and eating only starchy veggies can cause GI upset and you may be missing out on the vitamins that grains bring to the table, so having a variety matters. I recommend choosing what you like and what makes your body feel it's best. 

Last week we went over how important protein is...did you know that consuming inadequate carbohydrates will result in your body using protein for energy? We don't want this to happen! Protein already has a lot on it's to-do list, let's make sure we're not adding too much.

Of course, recommendations are never across the board, because we all have different needs. But on an easy training day, the average person needs ~5g/kg body weight, and up to 10 on long/hard training days. For reference, 1 slice of bread has 15 grams.

Sports Nutrition Icon Nancy Clark has a great article talking about carbohydrate myths and facts. To all doubting the importance of carbs, I really recommend checking it out!

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