Carbohydrates are one of the most common nutrients known to our planet. They could possibly be the single most consumed nutrient in every country and plays a big role in the Indian diet.
Carbohydrates provide the body with a source of energy. They are classified under macronutrients, similar to their protein and fat counterparts. Carbohydrates break down into glucose to provide the body with energy for our everyday functioning. Nutrition coach and fitness trainer Shubhag Rao helped us out again with everything you need to know about carbohydrates.
Our smartphones make a wonderful example. They function in a language that is known to us and allow us to access our favourite apps, games and connect with everyone. But you must be wondering what does this have to do with nutrition?
Similar to a smartphone, our body has its own way of communicating within itself to ensure that we function properly. Our body begins the process of digestion the minute we start eating, all the way from chewing it in the mouth to assimilating it for various functions. Carbohydrates that go through the process of digestion are called complex carbohydrates. But you may have heard of simple carbohydrates? Those are the ones that can pass through your system easily and provide a quick boost of energy.
Some avoid carbohydrates like the devil. And just like many fitness and nutrition trends visible on social media, carbohydrates receive a bad reputation despite being one of the most essential nutrients. Our brain functions on carbohydrates, so when you feel fatigued, it occurs due to having no blood or energy rushing to your brain. You can recover from this by consuming fruit juice, a form of simple carbohydrates, or eat a delicious meal.
However, there is such a thing as too much. When consuming your favorite carbohydrate based foods, make sure to get enough activity too. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of fat to make sure that you have enough energy to perform activities later. While you may loathe this, it is actually a survival instinct that our bodies developed through evolution. Ancient hunters would have to go long times without food, hence our body learned to conserve calories so that it can help us work longer.
Believe us when we say that carbohydrates are not the enemy. Even bodybuilders who compete at the Olympia stage happen to be one of the highest consumers of carbohydrates when they are not competing. You need a balanced diet to lose weight and get in shape, and part of a balanced meal happens to be carbohydrates. Take our favorite team India cricket player Virat Kohli. He advocates for carbohydrates and yet remains fit. This shows that even a world class athlete can eat carbohydrates and get in shape, it is a matter of diminishing excuses than blaming factors.
40-60gms Oats soaked in water /milk
1 scoop whey protein isolate powder
1 spoon flax seeds / peanut butter
Half apple / strawberry chopped.
This tasty oatmeal snack is great for boosting energy. The oatmeal and whey isolate powder are great sources of carbohydrate and protein respectively. This, when consumed 1 or 2 hours before exercise can help you with an energetic boost for your workout.