Whether you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, it is important that you know the basics of carb consumption to help you achieve your fitness goals more efficiently.
1. How many carbs per day should you eat?
There’s no specific amount of carbs that people can ideally consume per day. The quantity depends on many factors, including one’s body size, activity level, fitness objective, and even one’s genetics. Hence, it’s important that you consider these factors first.
In general, it is suggested that 55 percent of the calories you consume must come from carbs. Most bodybuilders ingest roughly 50 percent of total calories from carbs. Meanwhile, those who follow a low-carb diet only have 10-15 percent of their overall calories from carbohydrates.
Fundamentally, carbs aren’t an essential nutrient. The body doesn’t require them to serve crucial functions. Given this, having a low-carb diet is plainly pointless to meet your fitness and health objectives. The most efficient approach you can apply in order to identify your desired carb consumption is to first determine how many grams of protein and fat you want to eat. As soon as you do, the remaining percentage will be your target carb intake.
2. There’s a right timing for everything, including when to eat carbs
The best time to eat more carbs is after your training session. Since carbs are anabolic, they increase your blood sugar level, which rouses the storage of the hormone insulin. Insulin is not well-liked when it comes to fitness and weight loss because it can advance the storage of fat. Nonetheless, it can still do you a favor by aiding the muscles to get more protein.
After a workout session, eating carbs alongside protein in an approximately 2:1 proportion aids the body to make the most of protein it the greatest efficiency. Eating carbs when you’re about to participate in a physical competition such as an endurance race can also be useful.
This is because ingesting huge amounts of carbs before a sports event can lead to the saturation of your sugar storage reservoirs. The bottom line here is that while you’re not required to eliminate carbs from your diet, consuming high amounts is not recommended.
3. Include carbohydrate cycling in the mix
The carb cycling structure you can choose will need to depend on whether your objective is to gain muscle or lose fat. These days, people go for the three days low and one day high. While there are many dynamics to consider in determining your carb breakdown, many settle on this one method where you consume one gram of carbs in every pound of lean body mass.
You should then double that number on the day where you’ve set to consume a higher amount of carbs. The only predicament with the three days one low structure is that it doesn’t fit neatly within a week. This is why some prefer the two high carbs day every week instead of three.
It is important to note that carbohydrates are only one part of your nutrition equation since it is more imperative that you get the right amount of calories. As a matter of fact, the main reason why carb cycling works is because you’re reducing your calorie consumption by lowering your carb intake.
Hence, it’s not really about the carbs but how your utilization of it affects the amount of calories you take. A simple carb cycling suggestion is to eat more carbs in the morning and peter them out throughout the day. While there’s no scientific evidence that this highly works, this method allows you to implement it with more ease.
4. Eating carbs in relation to your workout sessions
Your main goal is to have high energy levels to fuel your workouts regardless of your physical and fitness aspiration, whether that’s to lose fat or build muscles. By observing what works for your body, you get to know what you need and what you don’t.
So, if you notice that your energy levels are high even without the carbs prior your morning session, it only means it’s not really necessary to help you survive your morning workout routine. On the other hand, if you’re looking to grow muscles and you find your energy levels diminishing during your workout, that means you need carbs and protein before your training.
5. The deal between fiber and carbs
There are two forms of fiber – soluble and insoluble. The former transforms into a gel-like substance when mixed with water and is digested minimally while the latter retains its original form and passes through the body mostly unbroken. Both originating from plants, soluble and insoluble fibers are considered carbohydrates due to their molecular framework.
Nonetheless, what dietary fiber really is somehow instigates conflicting sides as others don’t consider it as a calorie. But, it is generally established that dietary fiber decelerates the process of digestion, which leads to the decrease in blood sugar levels. Many nutritionists suggest deducting dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate amount to come up with the net carbs.