Here at Crux Fitness, we help clients from complete beginners to well seasoned pro-athletes. Even though the fitness levels can be vastly different, one thing always stayed the same.
They are all confused as hell when it comes to nutrition!
First of all, everyone is confused about if they need to drink protein shakes or not.
The other question that we often get asked is if they should cut out carbs completely to lose fat and lose weight.
The low-carb approach that has been so ingrained into our collective social psyche is almost always the first strategy that comes to mind.
But does it work? Of course it does.
The problem is not that it doesn’t work, it is that it works, but only for the short term.
To really understand the effects of a low-carb approach, let us first understand what is considered a carb.
Carbohydrates are organic sugar molecules that are either linked or by itself.
Some carbohydrates are more complex, having more than 2 molecules linked together. These are called polysaccharides, and can often be found in the forms of: vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Other carbohydrates are simpler, having either 1 or 2 molecules. These are called monosaccharides and disaccharides. Because of the simple nature of the molecules, these types of carbohydrates are easily digested and absorbed by the human body. They can be found in the forms of: table sugar and other highly refined foods like soft drinks, jams, jelly, and candy.
Alright, now what do we do with all that information? And why does it matter?
Well, to put it simply, carbohydrates are absolutely essential for long term fitness and health results.
Here are some known consequences of long term carb deprivation:
- decreased thyroid output
- increased cortisol output
- decreased testosterone
- impaired mood and cognitive function
- muscle catabolism
- suppressed immune function
All really bad things that will leave you feeling weak, sluggish, sick, and also muscle loss.
And now let us take a look at the benefits of carbs before exercise:
It should be very clear to you now that you want to learn to incorporate carbs into your nutrition practice for long term results.
Just remember to choose minimally processed carbs that digests slower and helps with a sustained energy level.
Here is a quick list of some of my favorite carbs to go with your protein and your fat:
- Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
- Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Mixed beans/peas (black beans, lentils, split peas, garbanzo beans)
- Whole oats
Yes, I know how the fitness and nutrition world can be such a confusing place.
Let us make it easy on you. Make sure to like us on Facebook to be kept in the loop!