Eight Facts About Carbohydrates

Apply these carb facts to build a custom nutrition profile that works uniquely with your body.

 Fact 1:  Slow-digesting carbs are natural 

Slow-digesting carbs such as yams, wild rice, beans, red potatoes and fruits all come from mother nature. They'’re not manufactured in a food-processing plant. Natural carbs are loaded with nutrients and fiber. They produce relatively slow increases in blood glucose and modest insulin release. They should be your first choice as a fuel source for energy and growth.

 Fact 2:  Fast-digesting carbs are man-made

Refined sugar is quickly digested. Generally, the more processing involved in producing a carb food, the faster it digests. Bagels, dinner rolls, white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, fat-free muffins, cold cereals, rice cakes and fruit juices require one or more processing steps in their manufacture. This creates a carbohydrate that hits the bloodstream quicker than the slow-digesting carbs listed in fact one and produces an insulin spike that is undesirable in most trainers, except immediately postworkout.

 Fact 3:  Bodybuilders with excess bodyfat need slow-digesting carbs 

When you eat carbs, your body responds by releasing the hormone insulin. Insulin helps energize your training by pushing glucose, the basic energy unit found in carbs, into your muscle. Insulin also helps push protein into muscles, leading to growth. The downside of eating too many fast-digesting carbs and triggering insulin release is that it facilitates the conversion of any excess carbs to fat. The solution is to choose natural (slow-digesting) carbs and to consume them in amounts and at times that support your bodybuilding goals. Gram for gram, they release less insulin than fast-digesting carbs, helping you control your bodyfat levels.

 Fact 4:  Lean bodybuilders break the mold 

Foods such as low-fat baked goods, Pop-Tarts, white bread and cold cereals are generally off-limits to bodybuilders, but they can be used occasionally by hardgainers --lean individuals who have a tough time adding bodyweight. These bodybuilders require a lot of carbs --as well as protein and healthy fats --to grow. The carbs help them maintain an anabolic environment. Refined foods exert a greater insulin surge than natural foods and also help increase appetite. For hardgainers, keeping appetite stimulated is one of the keys to adding bodyweight.

 

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