Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Carbohydrates?
Many people today are afraid of Carbohydrates. They believe carbohydrates make you fat. They believe that carbohydrates are not needed. They believe that if you eat a lot of carbohydrates you cannot be ripped.
Let me say this: That’s a bunch of bullshit.
Bodybuilding Icons, 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannoutand Ms. Olympia Cory Everson never dropped their carbs for any period of time. They understood the importance of carbohydrates for the bodybuilder.
You CAN eat carbohydrates and be ripped. You just need to eat the right type of carbohydrates at the right times.
There are many reasons to NOT eliminate this important macronutrient from your diet, and here are just a few of the important roles carbohydrates play in your body.
Carbohydrates are key for maximum energy, speed, stamina, concentration, recovery and better fluid balance.
Carbohydrates provide the energy necessary for intense workouts more efficiently than protein or fat.
Carbohydrates are vital for athletes and active individuals because they are the primary fuel for your body provide the energy necessary for intense workouts more efficiently than protein or fat.
Carbohydrates are protein sparing; they enable most of the protein you consume to be used for tissue synthesis (such as muscle building) rather than fuel.
Carbohydrates help increase protein utilization.
For obese, and less active individuals high protein/low carb diet, may indeed help you to burn fat faster, and you may lose initial water weight (because carbs help pull water into your muscles, a good thing), but for serious athletes who train consistently at high intensity levels (bodybuilders), high protein and moderate-to-high carbohydrate and some good fat, definitely offer better gains and faster recovery. There is absolutely no question about this.
Right Carbs vs. Wrong Carbs
95% of the time you want to opt for low glycemic fibrous carbs, which have less impact on your blood sugar levels, to maximize your glycogen (stored carbohydrates) levels.
High glycemic carbs (like white potato, many fruits) are best eaten after a workout which helps replenish glycogen and increase protein utilization.
Avoid processed carbs. They do NO good, increase your odds for weight gain, insulin sensitivity, pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Also the more you eat them, the more you crave them.
Tips for People on Moderate to High Carb Diets
Replenish carbs after training
Cycle Carbs daily
Adjust carb intake to energy needs
Most of your carbs should be low glycemic and fibrous
Avoid processed carbs (If you must indulge, do so after training)
Train fasted (no carbs before training, rely on stored glycogen so you maximize lipogenis (fat burning)
Carbohydrate-deplete gradually ONLY for a few weeks (maybe 3-10 weeks) if your goal is to get shredded and remain full for competition. You MUST have adequate carbohydrate intake to to bring in water to maximally fill out muscles. They key to understand is: bodybuilders and other athletes may be at risk of catabolizing muscle protein to meet the body's demand for glucose and may actually sacrifice gains in lean muscle if they follow low carb diets for any extended periods of time. I say again strongly, low carb dieting should be occasional, not for extended periods of time. How I do this is through carb cycling. Example Day 1 700 carbs, Day to 400 carbs, Day 3 200 carbs, then repeat.
Moderate-to-high carbohydrate diets are best for bodybuilders. They provide better energy levels, support muscle growth, prevent muscle break down, and promote faster recovery after training, all of which are vital when bodybuilders are training for size and strength.
About the Author Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA, is a well-known author, champion natural bodybuilder, and a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, and anti-aging fields. As a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, Jeff Behar has been featured on several radio shows, TV, and in several popular bodybuilding publications such as Flex, Ironman and in several highly regarded peer reviewed scientific journals. Jeff Behar is also the CEO and founder www.MuscleMagFitness.com and www.MyBesthealthPortal.com, a staff writer at www.musclemagsport.com and the current Medical Commentator on Exercise for the The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), the world's largest medical anti-aging organization comprised of 26,000-plus member physicians, health practitioners, scientists, governmental officials, and members of the general public, representing over 120 nations.
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