What is Carbohydrates?
A carbohydrate is a large biological molecule that contains oxygen, carbon and hydrogen; it is further divided into four chemical groups’ polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides. They can be used as a primary source of energy for metabolism as well as for the synthesis of more complex molecules for use by the human body. In many formal contexts and in food science the term carbohydrate means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch or simple carbohydrates.
Where Does Carbohydrates Come From?
Carbohydrates are of different forms and are found in various foods. Simple carbohydrates can be found in processed foods, confectionary and fruits whereas complex carbohydrates are found in pasta, grains, vegetables and bread. The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are unprocessed whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits. Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include sodas, pasteries, white bread and highly processed foods.
Benefits of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are ideal source of energy. After consuming carbohydrates foods the body breaks down into simple sugars and then into glucose. The body gets energy as well as the liver and muscles store this energy in the form of glycogen. It also helps to protect muscle tissue. When the body gets a sufficient amount of carbohydrates muscle tissue doesn’t get damaged easily. Carbohydrates are also good for digestion. The dietary fiber found in them aids digestion by moving the food quickly through your intestines. Carbohydrate rich foods such as bananas, whole grains and oats are sources of dietary fiber. They keep you full and cut the risk of overeating which helps to manage your weight.
What are The Potential Side Effects of Carbohydrates?
Overconsumption of carbohydrates means taking in more calories. The extra calories do not get burned by the body and are stored as fat which may lead to obesity. Too many carbohydrates in the body increase* your blood glucose levels which are not healthy. Limit the intake to avoid such negative effects. If your blood glucose stays high a long time you can develop type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can affect the body heart, nerves, and kidneys.
Recommended Doses and Timing for Carbohydrates
Consume complex carbs 45 minutes prior to a workout to ensure maximum muscle glycogen, this helps to improve* your performance during exercise. Simple carbs should be taken during a workout to manage the levels of glycogen.
You can get Carbohydrates from pre workout supplements, post workout supplements and intra workout supplements. Sports drink, some protein bas as well as weight gainers also provide sufficient amount of carbohydrates.
Stacking of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates stack very well with protein and creatine to increase* energy and lean gains. There are different forms that can be stacked together to get extra health benefits