When it comes to carbohydrates as the main source of energy for the body there are many different opinions about their use and depending on what information you are able to read carbohydrates are either the main reason for the current problem of excessive weight or carbohydrates are the correct and necessary source of energy for all active athletes and bodybuilders.
What is safe to say is that the consumption of carbohydrates is a double-edged sword, because although carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body especially when we are physically active however excessive consumption of carbohydrates (when we are not physically active) can easily lead to weight gain and conversion of excess carbohydrates into fat.
In other words the more physically active we are the more we need a greater amount of carbohydrates as an energy source, on the other hand if we are not regularly physically active our bodies will not require a greater amount of carbohydrates.
This way of thinking and consuming carbohydrates is a better and a safer way than complete removal of this macronutrient from our diet.
When it comes to active lifestyle versus inactive lifestyle characterized by irregular and low physical activity, it is difficult to determine which people belong to one of these two categories, because when someone is physically active for 3-5 hours a week, but he spends the rest of the week in front of a TV, the computer or lying in bed he can’t be categorized as an active person.
Subsequent to this when we are physically active the right way and the right time of consuming carbohydrates is necessary to increase the efficiency of our training and to allow reduction of excess weight.
In continuation of this article we will give you simple tips for proper deployment of the intake of carbohydrates in order to ensure maximum utilization of the energy:
• If you plan to be physically active during the day, or follow a training diet for weight loss, avoid consuming a greater amount of carbohydrates in the morning, but for all other exercisers the intake of greater amount of carbohydrates in the morning as part of the first meal is a great way to provide the body with the necessary energy to perform physical activities.
During this period, the level of blood sugar is low, insulin sensitivity is increased and the majority of imported carbohydrates in this period will be transported to the muscles and liver.
The best choice is to consume complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, cereal with no additional sugars or a sandwich with whole wheat bread.
It is necessary to avoid sweet foods and cereals that contain large amounts of sugars that instead of providing energy for a longer period, will result in too much sugar in the blood.
• Two hours before a workout it is necessary to consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates: rice, pasta, whole wheat bread or potatoes.
These carbohydrates are broken down more slowly by the body, so that when you exercise your body has enough energy for an intense workout.
• Immediately after a workout it is necessary to consume simple carbohydrates that will enable the process of muscle recovery.
During this period after an intense workout the muscles and the liver are sensitive to carbohydrate intake and much of the imported simple carbohydrates will be directly transported to the muscles and will be used in the process of muscle recovery.
An excellent source of simple carbohydrates (sugars) for after a workout are: fruit, honey, dark chocolate combined with a protein supplement or chocolate milk.
• On days when you don’t exercise it is necessary to consume a small amount of carbohydrates (these calories should be replaced with a higher protein intake), especially if your goal is reducing weight.
As mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for physical activities of our body which means that when we are not physically active our body doesn’t require a greater amount of carbohydrates.