How Much Quinoa To Eat Per Day For Weight Loss What Are Carbohydrates (Bodybuilding Nutrition)

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What Are Carbohydrates (Bodybuilding Nutrition)

If you’re about to start a new health and fitness plan, it’s important that you get your nutrition in order. As you go through this process, one question you may be asking yourself is what are carbohydrates, and, what role do they play in the body when it comes to building lean muscle mass, shedding body fat, and improving your health and fitness levels.

Getting a good understanding of this question will be critical to your success because your diet can really make or break the results you see.

So what are carbohydrates?

Let’s take a look at the key facts you need to know.

Role in the human body

First let’s discuss the role of carbohydrates in the human body. The main purpose of this nutrient is to provide energy for all cells. When you eat carbohydrate-rich foods, they are broken down into smaller molecules called glucose when they reach the bloodstream, which is a usable source of energy that powers every cell in your body.

In addition, glucose is also the main fuel source for the brain, which is why when you start a very low carb diet, you may start to feel a little ‘fuzzy-minded’ or foggy with your thought patterns.

This is due to the fact that the brain does not get the usual energy supply and starts to convert to ketone bodies as a fuel source (which is an alternative source of energy that the brain can release).

To prevent this process from happening and provide your brain with enough glucose, you should aim for at least 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Role In building muscle

When it comes to building lean muscle mass, carbs are an absolute must. Carbohydrates will not only ensure that you have enough energy to complete each exercise session at full intensity, but they will also ensure that you maintain an anabolic environment.

When you eat foods rich in carbohydrates, your pancreas releases insulin, a powerful hormone that generates new body tissue.

When weight lifting is done along with increased carbohydrate intake, this new tissue will become lean muscle mass.

When you cut your carbs significantly from your diet, you go into a ‘catabolic state’, where you break down tissue instead.

Role in fat loss

When it comes to fat loss on the other hand, there is a lot of mixed information out there about how many carbs you should be eating. Some people believe that a low-carb diet is the best way to go.

They state that by removing carbohydrates, you force your body to find an alternative fuel source – that fuel is your body fat stores.

But, what you must remember is that as your carbohydrate intake decreases in the diet, your dietary fat intake will increase, which then provides another source of available fuel.

When the body is faced with a lack of energy due to a lack of incoming carbohydrates, it will turn to both dietary fat for energy along with your body fat stores depending on how many calories are consumed.

Therefore, consuming low carbohydrates in your fat loss diet does not mean that you will automatically start losing body fat at an accelerated rate.

Role in fitness

When thinking in terms of fitness improvement, including carbohydrates will also be important for success. When you do intense physical activity, your body can only use glucose as a fuel source.

Therefore, if you cut all carbohydrates from your diet, you will not be able to maintain the intensity of the exercise you are doing, and thus will fail to see results. Since doing intense exercise is what allows you to make progress with your exercise program, carbohydrates are a must.

Now, with all the talk about carbs and the various goals you may have, one thing that cannot be denied is the fact that choosing the right carbs is half the battle.

Choose unwisely and carbs won’t help your progress regardless of what goals you have.

When it comes to building muscle and improving fitness, you need to make sure to consume healthy complex carbohydrates. These are more energy and calorie dense carbohydrates that will help provide your body with the fuel it needs.

Good examples of these carbohydrates include oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, millet and sweet potatoes. These contain more calories, so for building muscle, they will work well to help you reach your target calorie intake.

When you’re looking to lose fat, you need to limit those carbs right before and after exercise periods when you need the most energy, and then afterward, switch to fibrous carb sources like vegetables. These are lower in calories and carbs, so will still give you some, but won’t cause you to overdo it and not see fat loss progress as a result.

Even those who want to build muscle should still include vegetables in their diet, just not in too high a quantity because they have a higher calorie requirement.

Fruits can also be eaten, but in moderation because they are higher in calories and contain natural sugar. If you keep it to one or two servings per day, adding fruit to your diet shouldn’t be a problem.

The main carbs you want to avoid instead are simple and heavily processed carbs. This includes foods like cookies, cakes, candy, cereal bars, energy bars and anything else with an ingredient list longer than your Monday to-do list.

If you choose wisely and make sure you adjust your intake to your weight goals, carbs will keep you feeling energized, keep you satisfied, and help you build the body you want.

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