When I started training at P360 back in 2011, I jumped on the “carbs are bad” train. I had a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and avoided carbs at dinner. I did this for years thinking I was being “healthy.”
I was also training 5 days/week and the only way I could stay awake throughout the work day was to keep coffee in my hand all day long. I forced myself through afternoon workouts. I had no idea I was sabotaging myself.
At one point a few years into this, I started adding oatmeal to my breakfast, and had sandwiches for lunch with whole wheat bread. Immediately I noticed a spike in my energy. When I went in for the afternoon workout, I wasn’t exhausted. I was energized. I started moving faster and lifting heavier. I had no idea I was depleting my fuel for my day and for my workouts by cutting out carbs!!
The biggest nutritional myth that has taken over is that carbs are bad. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Carbs are our best friends. But, just like fats, there are bad carbs and good carbs. We just need to learn how to navigate this and get the good carbs in our bodies.
Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy for our bodies, especially during intense physical activities like strength training. Here are some key benefits of incorporating sufficient carbohydrates into your diet:
- Fuel for Intense Workouts: When you engage in strength training, your muscles require readily available energy to perform at their best. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for high-intensity exercises, supplying your muscles with glycogen—their preferred energy source. This ensures you have the stamina and endurance needed to power through your training sessions with vigor.
- Enhanced Performance: Consuming enough carbohydrates can significantly impact your performance during strength training. With sufficient glycogen stores, you'll experience improved strength, power, and overall exercise capacity. This means you can lift heavier weights, achieve more repetitions, and attain greater gains in your fitness pursuits.
- Efficient Recovery: Carbohydrates play a critical role in post-workout recovery. After an intense training session, your glycogen stores become depleted. Replenishing them with carbohydrates helps speed up the recovery process, reducing muscle fatigue and promoting faster healing of micro-tears in your muscles.
- Muscle Preservation: Adequate carbohydrate intake is essential for sparing protein usage as an energy source. When your body has enough carbohydrates, it can focus on using protein for muscle repair and growth, rather than breaking down muscle tissue for energy. This preservation of muscle mass is crucial for your strength and fitness progress.
- Balanced Mood and Focus: Carbohydrates influence the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Ensuring you have enough carbohydrates can help maintain a positive mood and keep you focused and motivated in your training sessions.
- Immune System Support: Carbohydrates provide energy not only for your muscles but also for your immune system. A well-fueled immune system is better equipped to defend your body against infections and illnesses, helping you stay consistent with your workouts.
To harness the benefits of carbohydrates effectively, aim to include complex carbohydrates in your diet. Great options include
- whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, oats),
These sources provide sustained energy and essential nutrients, helping you power through your workouts and recover optimally.
As with any aspect of nutrition and fitness, finding the right balance is key. Tailor your carbohydrate intake to your training intensity and goals, making adjustments as needed to optimize your performance and overall well-being.
If you have any questions or need personalized guidance on your strength training and nutrition journey, feel free to reach out. I'm here to support you on your path to success!
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Wishing you continued strength and achievements,
CEO | P360Nutrition