We’ve all heard that carbohydrates are the enemy, and we all have the one friend who will go to absurd lengths to avoid them. But in lumping all carbohydrates together and labeling them as “evil”, we do ourselves a huge disservice. Why are we so quick to judge something that we actually need?!
The Source of our “GO!”
Carbs provide us with energy. Unlike protein, which doesn’t digest until it hits your stomach, carbs begin digesting in your mouth. Your saliva contains an enzyme, amylase, that helps start the digestion process immediately upon consumption. That means we start feeling the satisfaction from whatever carb it is we’re eating right away, and why we might crave a great big meal immediately after a workout.
However, you still want to think about the kinds of carbs you’re eating. Which brings us to our next and obvious point:
A Carb is Not a Carb is Not a Carb
Fruits are rich in carbs. Veggies are rich in carbs. Candy is rich in carbs. We know which of those is the worst… Choose wisely. The first two mentioned are complex carbohydrates – they take longer to digest and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Candy is a simple carbohydrate – it digests very quickly and is really only made of sugar. And although it is, of course, better to snack on vegetables than it is a candy bar there are certain points in your day during which you will digest carbs much more effectively and efficiently, which brings us to our final point.
Timing is Everything
As previously mentioned, after you finish an intense workout, you’re most likely ready to carbo-load. Indulge in a carb-heavy dish right after your workout to really optimize those calories that could otherwise pack on pounds! We like to call this “conscious carbo-loading.” You’re replenishing your body’s depleted energy with food sources that are sure to keep you feeling satisfied longer.
So the next time you think about cutting this source of life and energy out of your diet, we kindly ask you to reconsider. Just play your carbs right.