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What are Carbs?

Carbohydrates are our body's preferred energy source and is divided into 2 categories:


Complex Carbohydrates


  • Generally found in products that contain starch like rice, potatoes, pasta and porridge.

  • When doing your shopping, start choosing whole grains, whole wheat and whole meal products! You won't regret it :)

  • They provide a slow release of energy and are crucial for those partaking in a regular programme of exercise.


Simple Carbohydrates


  • These are found in sugary foods and natural sources like fruit.

  • The best source is obviously fruit! As discussed in a past post, it provides lots of essential vitamins and minerals.

  • These do provide energy, but only a short burst of it. So it's best to keep them to a minimum for optimum performance and good health.

Free Sugars

These are a form of simple carbs but are ones to be avoided!

  • They are added to food/drinks by manufacturers and consumers usually for flavour.

  • These do include products where sugar us naturally present like honey, syrup and fruit juices.

  • They are more damaging to your health than simple sugars contained in a whole food source like fruits and vegetables.

  • This form of sugar (Free sugars) are very easy to over consume than those found in whole foods. Avoid free sugars where possible!

Functions of Carbohydrates


They should be approximately 50-60% of your daily energy intake, although there are situations where it is necessary to deviate from this guidance.

  • Each gram of carbohydrates = 4 Kcal.

  • They are the only source of energy the nervous system and brain can use as energy in the form of blood glucose.

  • The more stored carbs or specifically glycogen, closely link with increased aerobic performance!

  • When you have sufficient carbs present, they prevent the body from using muscle proteins as a source of energy. Your skeletal muscles consume large quantities of energy each day. (I will go into this another day!)

  • During strenuous exercise, your glycogen levels deplete. Consuming carbs post-workout (after) helps replenish this energy and promote recovery.

  • Without glycogen, the liver and muscles can't retain water needed for many essential body functions. Each gram of glycogen stored within the muscles and liver is accompanied with 3 grams of water.


I hope you have learnt some fabulous facts about Carbohydrates! Now we know it takes a lot more than knowing facts about them to tailor your diet. So we do nutritional plans to help you out with these things! Get in touch and make a healthy change today, your body and mind will be grateful :)


Stay Fresh!



Fact Credit: Health and Fitness Education Limited (2018)

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