Carbohydrates - The energy suppliers for the body
Carbohydrates are among the macronutrients in addition to fats and proteins. They serve as energy suppliers and take over, among other things, the regulation of blood sugar through the release of insulin. As part of a healthy diet, as it is particularly important in the field of sports, a distinction between good and bad carbohydrates. Depending on the type of carbohydrates, our digestive system has more or less work to prepare for the passage into the blood. Our body responds to foods that contain larger amounts of bad carbohydrates with a very rapid rise in blood sugar levels. However, this sinks afterwards in a very short time again. The consequence of this is a short-term increase in performance, combined with a sharp drop in performance. Bad carbohydrates are found mainly in white flour products and sweetened foods of all kinds. Only after training is a supply of so-called bad carbohydrates, since the body in a short time requires enough carbohydrates for the recovery of muscle cells. Because of this, it is advisable to eat mostly good carbohydrates, which are also referred to as complex carbohydrates. Complex because they contain unlike bad carbohydrates several molecular chains and are digested so slower. Good carbohydrates are mainly found in cereal-based foods. These include all genuine whole-grain products as well as short-cooked potatoes and brown rice. An aid for the classification between complex and unsuitable carbohydrates gives the Glykämische index. The so-called glycemic index (GI) indicates what percentage of the starch content of a food actually gets into the blood, with glucose as the benchmark. The higher the GI, the higher the blood sugar level rises and the more insulin is released. As a result, high GI products are considered bad carbohydrates, but lower GI products are good, complex carbohydrates.
Why still swear some strength athletes on a low-carb diet?
Although carbohydrates are among the 3 most important sources of nutrients in our body, they are not necessarily vital, meaning that you can limit their intake for a longer period of time. With a food intake by carbohydrates, are also always connected calories. In strength and endurance sports, however, there are two basic rules: If you want to build mass, you consume more calories than you need. However, if you want to lose fat, you need to absorb fewer calories to create a deficit. Consequently, in the context of a low-carb diet, a lower amount of carbohydrates is consumed, thus increasing the intake of proteins and fats. If insufficient carbohydrates are ingested with food, a change of metabolism towards catabolism takes place. In this state, the organism produces in the liver from the fat reserves the body's own energy sources. In this way, the body is forced to use its own fat reserves as an energy source, resulting in a weight reduction. However, as carbohydrates are the most efficient source of energy under stress, a deficiency immediately leads to a reduction in performance.