Carbs get a bad rap. They are blamed for everything from spikes in blood sugar levels to bloating and weight gain. There is some truth to this, but it is excessive consumption of refined carbs that are the main culprits. Processed foods and foods containing refined sugar easily release sugar into the blood stream and are responsible for many health conditions over time.
The human body needs carbs to function—as much as 55 to 65 pecent of your daily caloric intake. Good carbs provide a multitude of benefits to your health and performance. Here are 5 reasons why you should eat those carbs!
Fuels Your Post-Workout Recovery
During long workouts, the glycogen that is stored in your muscles is depleted. Without it, your body is unable to use protein to build muscle. Your metabolism is also slowed as a result of this depletion. It is critical that you consume adequate amounts of healthy carbohydrates within an hour after your workout.
Keeps You Full & Helps Manage Weight
Good carbs contain plenty of fiber and helps to curb your appetite. Enjoy foods like oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, and legumes like lentils to fill you up and keep your energy levels high.
Improves Your Overall Health
Eating the right amounts of good carbohydrates can improve your HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein, or good cholesterol), reduce LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol), reduce overall body fat, keep your blood sugar levels constant, and prevent disease. Watch this video to learn how carbs affect your health, for better or for worse.
Keeps A Smile On Your Face!
Carbohydrates help the body produce serotonin, the "feel good" hormone. You will find that when you have been hungry for prolonged periods of time, you become cranky or depressed. You might be tempted to reach for something sweet or starchy like chips or candy. Not a good idea. Grab an apple instead. It has natural sugars and lots of fiber to ensure a slow release into the bloodstream. And you know what they say--an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Helps Store Energy For Long Workouts
Whether you are a distance runner or a lover of extreme sports, you need the extra energy to get through your workouts. You don't have to carb-load like marathon runners or triathletes, but you must be mindful of what it will take to sustain long periods of physical activity. If you don't plan ahead, you might hit a wall and not be able to finish. Plus, your recovery will be brutal.