The Carbohydrate Debate
The Carbohydrate Debate
Before we get specific and discuss the complexity of carbohydrates, I’d ask that you read and download the free material in a previous blog. Prior to setting up clients on a nutrition plan, we sit down and ask a lot of questions to get specific answers so that we can help them individually. CLICK HERE for your free Marconutrient Guide.
What are the best and worst carbohydrates? This is one of the more frequent questions I get asked as a personal trainer because of the reputation carbs have in our American culture. “Carbs” is the generalized term for veggies, fruit, pasta, bread, fiber, etc. and it often comes with a negative conotation. Not ALL carbs are bad but instead actually incredibly beneficial when implemented in your nutrition plan. We will focus on the beneficial sources of carbohydrates and how to avoid the foods that detract from our goals in this blog!
Processed carbohydrates such as pastas and breads, should be used in moderation or avoided altogether. When I removed them from my diet I saw impovements in sports performance and more importantly, how consistent my energy was maintained throughout the day. In this video from learntomealprep.com, you can see how to substitute zucchini or spaghetti squash for pasta noodles. This healthy switch gets more vegetables into your diet without feeling heavy from processed carbohydrates. I also recommend eating breads only in moderation and focusing on whole grain choiceds. There is a lot of processing that takes place in order to make bread in mass quantities that you find in the grocery store. Removing bread from your grocery list will keep you on the right track towards your goals!
The beneficial carbohydrates that we recommend to our clients could fill up an entire blog if you listed them out, so today we will discuss vegetable selection as a keystone habit in a healthful diet. The RATIO of carbs in your diet is most important and we recommend the following ratios based on three body types of clientele that we work with frequently.
But Dave…. Fruit is good for you right?
- Endomorphic- 5:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit
- Mesomorphic- 4:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit
- Ectomorphic- 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit
Yes, fruit is amazing for you and the more variety the better. When your nutrition plan is highlighted by multiple colors of fruits, your body will be getting the nutrients it needs to perform!
However, the fuel in fruit is consumed so quickly by the body that you may feel drained quickly rather than energized. If we are concious of the type of carbohydrate being consumed and what the result may, our choices become easier to make when they are normally the most challenging.
When do we eat Carbohydrates? On a positve note, carbohydrates fuel exercise and our daily active livings so they should not be forgotten in a healthful nutritional plan. Instead, carbs will be incorporated in our diet with intention and healthful timing. Weight gain, weight loss and maintenance goals all have have specific timing
when carbohydrates should be consumed and accompanied with exercise. The optimal carbohydrate window applies to clients in all three categories discussed above. Focused on a proper veggie to fruit ratio and beneficial timing, carbohydrates will make up between 25-55% of our nutrition plan based on a client’s goal. (See your own Macronutrient Guide for your specific percentages.)
Nutrient Timing of Carbs for the three client body types are…
- Endomorphic- “All sugary/starchy carbs should be included only during and after exercise.”
- Mesomorphic- “Can include sugary carbs only during/after exercise. Starchy, whole grain, unprocessed carbs can also be eaten at breakfast and after exercise. They can be used in moderation during the rest of the day.”
- Ectomorphic- Should include sugary carbs during/after each exercise session. Some starchy, whole-grain, unprocessed carbs can be eaten at every meal.”
Note the timing of “sugary carbs” based on Precision Nutrition’s textbook The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition(2015). When I describe sugary carbs to my clients, that does not mean candy, chocolate or sweets! What I clarify is that sugar in limited quantities helps the body absorb nutritents quickly. And immediately after exercise we need to replenish carbohydrates quickly to begin the restructure and repair cycle of our muscles. Options for a post-workout or peri-workout in this case is Advocare’s Rehydrate, an electrolyte replacement drink. My other recommendation is Post Work-out Recovery, which is higher on the carbohydrate ratio to protein because it is intended to initiate the repari cycle immediately following exercise. These are principles of nutrtion that I coach clients to adhere to each and every day to reach their goals!
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Dave Glaser, head trainer at Fit Life Champions strives to give the best service to women who want to begin resistance training safely in one-on-one personal training, small group training and nutrition to lead them to their goals quickly.
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