A guide to Carbs is exactly what you need when you’re bringing on a new fitness goal. Depending on your fitness goal, your ideal daily carbohydrate requirement may vary. It does not mean that when you want to lose weight, you automatically decrease your carbohydrate intake. It’s a little bit more complicated than that.
This guide to carbs will give you information on carbohydrates you never knew you needed.
You might be surprised to know that even fiber is a carbohydrate! Despite being a carbohydrate, fiber does not contribute to your calorie intake because it does not get absorbed by the body. With this fact, you can catch a glimpse of what carbohydrate means to your fitness goals and diet plans.
Carbohydrates are present in almost all types of foods. Carbohydrates are divided into two distinct types. We have the complex carbs where fiber and starch belong. We also have the other kind which mostly consists of sugar and all the other sweet stuff, otherwise known as simple carbohydrates.
In order for your body to work, you definitely need carbs. If you are not getting enough carbohydrates, you can forget about fitness altogether. This is because without enough supply of carbs, your body will break down your lean muscles. It will use up your protein deposits to provide glucose to your organs, tissues and blood. You also need carbohydrates to make your brain work!
How Much Carbohydrates Does Your Body Need?
We’ve dug up various information on carbohydrates and guess what? Just to get your brain to function and your nervous system to work, you need at least 130 grams of carbs in a day. What happens when you consume a dangerously low amount of carbs? You will feel sluggish, distracted and you can start saying goodbye to your lean muscles because they will start to self-destruct.
In order to get your entire system to work, you will be needing more than 130 grams of carbohydrates per day. In fact, carbs should be 45 – 65 % of your total calorie intake, and each gram of carbohydrate consists of 4 calories. You might need some carbohydrate counting resources in order to know your exact carbohydrate intake goals in relation to your fitness goals. Here’s one of our highly-recommended carbohydrate counting resources.
Do you have to follow a high-carb diet or a low-carb diet?
If you’re looking to get fit and build muscles, you need a high-carbohydrate diet. Your carbohydrate intake is proportionate to your physical activities and athletic performance. If you’re working out, you definitely need to take into consideration this guide to carbs.
If you’re considering a carbohydrate food counter, keep this information on carbohydrates in mind:
For workouts that are moderate to high in intensity that lasts a total of 4-5 hours a day, you will need 8-12 grams of carbs per kilogram so if you weigh 50 kilograms, your daily intake of carbohydrates should be between 400 – 600 grams of carbs.
For activities with similar intensity but lasts for a total of 1 – 3 hours per day, you need roughly 6- 10 grams of carbs per kilogram.
If you are doing workouts on such level but for only around one hour a day, you need 5 – 7 grams of carbs per kilogram.
For very light trainings and workout programs, you will need around 3 – 5 grams per kilogram of carbs.
When should you go for a low-carb diet?
A diet with low carb levels is popular among people who want to lose weight. It may be effective for some, but a low carb diet tends to be restrictive. Your blood sugar levels may drop which can cause headaches, irritability, lack of coordination, overall body weakness, nausea, anxiety and many other symptoms.
If your goal is just to lose weight and not to gain muscles, this might be your best option. You will have to deal with the changes in your blood sugar levels so it’s best to do this gradually.
Watch out for our articles on how to adjust to a low-carb diet and articles tackling questions such as ‘where can I get carbohydrates?’.
At Green Regimen, we always encourage a plant based diet – the ideal diet for weight loss and overall health. Our premier product, Elite Protein will provide you with much-needed protein if you choose a low-carb diet. It prevents muscles from breakdown and serves as a meal replacement too!
Check out our recipes that contains high protein and less calories!