One of the biggest misconceptions in dieting is that carbohydrates are the enemy. Although carbs are responsible for unwanted weight gain, they are also responsible for our body’s daily energy and the building of muscle, which means they are very important to our diets. When we engage in activities such as weight training, calisthenics, etc., our bodies use what is called glycogen. Glycogen is our body’s main source of energy. The only way to replenish what we’ve burned is to eat carbohydrates.
I like to use this analogy: a car runs on fuel. The more we drive, the more fuel we burn.Once our cars run out of fuel, they are no longer able to function. The same concept applies to our bodies. The more we exercise, the more we burn our own fuel (glycogen), which in turn means we need to re-fuel our bodies with carbohydrates. The best and healthiest way to maintain our bodies’ fuel, or glycogen, is to eat complex (good) carbohydrates throughout the day. Complex carbs are slow-digesting carbs that won’t spike your insulin, which simple (bad) carbs would do. Complex carbs consist of sweet potatoes, brown rice, jasmine rice, oats, quinoa, whole wheat bread, black beans, etc. We have recently released a great product called SuperCarb. This product is composed of the complex carb ClusterDextrin, which is the brand name for “CyclicDextrin.” This specific form of carbohydrate has an extremely low osmalarity rate, meaning it quickly moves through the stomach into the small intestine for sustaining energy and replenishing glycogen. These sources of carbs will be able to maintain proper glycogen levels in your body and aid in muscle-building or weight loss.
Simple carbs, on the other hand, are our enemy—sometimes. They consist of rice cakes,fruit, sugary drinks such as Gatorade, bagels, cereal, etc. These are the foods we want to stay away from throughout the day, with the EXCEPTION of one time of the day. Simple carbs are most valuable POST workout. Once we finish our workouts, our bodies are severely depleted of glycogen (fuel), and we need to replenish those storages fast to avoid going catabolic (muscle breakdown). This is when simple carbs become our friends. Due to the fast-digestion and insulin spike of these types of carbs, they aid in building back up the muscles that we beat down, and fast! This is the only time of day when we want to be eating these types of carbohydrates.
Personally, in addition to my post-workout protein shake that consists of whey protein isolate and glutamine, I like to indulge in 30–60g of cream of rice. Because this type of food is a fast digesting carb, it aids in spiking my insulin levels and replenishing my glycogen levels fast.
Now this doesn’t mean going on a junk food free for all! As I said, I like to keep it between 30 and 60g of simple carbs post-workout with my shake. We still need to maintain control over what we put in our bodies, even at this time. Now, if I am training early in the morning or afternoon, once I have my post-workout shake with simple carbs, I will go back to eating the complex (good) carbs for the remainder of the day. Doing this will help keep your body constantly fueled in the proper fashion. I hope this has helped in your understanding of carbohydrates.