What Carbs To Eat And When

When To Eat Carbs

Ever since the Food Pyramid was identified by doctors and nutritionists as the leading contributing factor in the rising rates of obesity, the carbohydrate has assumed the role of macronutrient villain.

The main function of the carbohydrate is to provide an immediate source of energy to your muscles in the form of glycogen.

When you eat a carbohydrate, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.

The job of insulin is to drive the carbohydrate into muscle tissue when it is depleted of glycogen. Muscles get depleted of glycogen with physical activity.

The problem with carbohydrates starts when glycogen stores in muscle cells are still full.

Excess glycogen ends up as stored fat in adipose tissue.

By understanding its specific role how they work we can have carbohydrates without getting fat…

Eat Complex Carbohydrates In The Day Time

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Complex carbohydrates are unprocessed and still retain the husk which contains vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Eating complex carbohydrates makes you full longer and does not trigger significant release of insulin.

Thus, it is best to have them in the day time to give you sustained energy and to keep away hunger pangs.

The best sources of complex carbohydrates are wild rice, quinoa, sweet potato and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Eat Simple Carbohydrates After Physical Activity

Simple carbohydrates have been refined and trigger the immediate release of insulin.

It would be best to eat simple carbohydrates within 30 minutes of physical activity to replenish lost glycogen stores.

Nutritionists estimate 95% of simple carbohydrates taken after exercise is converted to glycogen.

The best choices of simple carbohydrates are fruits such as apples, orange, pineapples and bananas.

These fruits are rich sources of vitamin C, potassium, have phytonutrients that destroy free radicals and other antioxidants.

Combine Carbohydrates With Lean Protein Sources

If you want to get lean you have to eat protein. Pairing your protein with a carbohydrate is an effective way of maximising its benefits.

Lean sources of protein like skinless chicken, tuna, low fat cuts of beef such as top round are good choices when taken with carbohydrates.

When insulin release is triggered it will drive the amino acids from protein into muscle tissue together with the carbohydrate. The end result is faster recovery.

If you eat a fattier choice of protein with a carbohydrate, it will slow down the release of insulin. In addition, leaner choices of protein have fewer calories.

Remember the carbohydrate is not your enemy. It has important functions that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Used properly, the carbohydrate can become your best friend.