Susan E. Harmon WBFF Fitness Competitor/ ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist/ B.A Media Studies/ AFAA Personal Trainer

We all know the hype about low carb diets and that that you can lose weight by eating lower carbs, but the idea is not to cut them from the diet to maintain a healthy weight. Switch to 100% whole grains or natural carbs like oats, potatoes and less processed carbohydrates.  You’ll see great results in training and better performance during competitions and workouts.

Carbohydrates Help Muscle Recovery

Eating a post exercise meal rich in carbs replenish muscle recovery. If you are not eating enough carbs, the body will feed on muscles to make glucose. If you exercise for more than 3 hours, the body will also take glycogen from the liver for needed energy. Eating a carbohydrate rich meal in the morning can help replenish the muscles and liver. When dieting, eating very low or no carbs is not adequate for exercise and proper muscle recovery

Prevent Fatigue With Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can help prevent fatigue during exercise. Think exercising on an empty stomach will help? Not so much, a pre workout carbohydrate rich meal will replenish the liver glycogen and prevent fatigue and improve performance. Too much exercise with not enough carbs can result in Hypoglycemia, low blood glucose levels, dizziness, light headedness, inability to concentrate and fatigue.

Essential Nutrients Can Be Found In Carbs

Whole grains contain essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, B- vitamins and fiber. Less than 5% of Americans consume the recommended three 1- ounce servings of whole grains a day. Lack of these essential nutrients can result in fatigue, poor metabolism, and anemia.

Digestive Health

Fiber in carbohydrates helps digestive health and cholesterol levels. Fiber an also make you feel full longer. Most people need 25-30 grams a day for your body to digest properly. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are a great source of fiber. Dietary fiber can not be digested, so It passes through the small intestine and colon. It also keeps bacteria away from the stomach and intestines.

Athletic Performance

Research shows that that a small pre workout meal, with carbs will enhance training. Lower glycemic index carbs are easier on the stomach before working out, so there is no excuse to skip meals a few hours before exercise. Skipping meals will make you tired and sluggish. Replace those glycogen stores before you exercise and you will shine


Sports Nutrition for Health and Performance: Second Edition Melinda M. Manore, Nanna L. Meyer, Janice Thompson 2009 Human Kinetics USA