Carbs food is necessary to bring the energy necessary to move but also to think. Indeed, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. They are like the coal in a train, the gasoline in a car, the battery in your phone,.., you get the idea. So, let’s have a more scientific look at what those carbs are about.

Carb equivalence:

carbohydrate :
1 g = 4 Kcal = 17 KJ.
polyols :
1 g = 2,4Kcal = 10 KJ.

The science behind carbs food

Carbohydrates are also known in biochemistry as saccharides. The saccharides are then divided into four chemical grouping: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

carbs classification

Generally, monosaccharides and disaccharides are classified as sugars. Sugars are also commonly called simple carbs.

Oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are commonly referred to complex carbs. The digestion rate of carbohydrates varies depending on the source. The scale for measuring the digestion rate of carbs is called the glycemic index. The higher the rating a carbs has on the glycemic index the faster it is digested. The lower it is on the glycemic index the slower it is digested.

So why in the world should you care how fast a carbohydrate is digested? And more importantly, why shoukd you care of the type of carbs food you eat?

This has to do with the hormone insulin. Insulin is an extremely powerful anabolic hormone that is released whenever carbs are eaten. If a carbs is digested quickly, it will cause a large insulin spike. The first possibility is that they will be broken down into glucose and used as energy.

Glucose is the preferred source of energy for working muscles and the brain, so all carbohydrates must be broken down into glucose before they are used by the organism.

If the body does not require glucose for energy at the moment then absorbed carbohydrates will be converted to glycogen and stored. The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen within liver and muscle tissue to be used at a later time.

When the body needs energy it can break down this stored glycogen and convert it to glucose and use it for energy purpose. If a carbohydrate is slowly digested, the insulin spike will be more subtle and steady.

If all glycogen stores are full in both the liver and muscle tissue then carbohydrates will be converted to fat and stored as adipose tissue (body fat).

Obviously, this is what serious lifter want to avoid. This is why it is important to consume enough carbohydrates to fuel training and the overall system but not so much, meaning no more than what your body needs.

Role of carbs in the body?

Energy role

Especially necessary for muscle contraction and intellectual work, allows the saving of proteins.

Functional role

Participates in the synthesis of certain molecules (not: ribose and DNA).

Lack of carbohydrates

Deleterious effect because ketogenic (Nb: Ketosis = synthesis of ketone bodies from fatty acids by the liver, to be used as a replacement energy for glycogen, the accumulation of these ketone bodies causes an acidification of the pH of the body that induces ketoacidosis).

Importance of the Glycemic Index

GI < 55 = low glycemic index

That means the dissemination of carbs from those nutrients will go slow into your blood stream so you’ll have an ongoing energy flow without storing anything as fat. So that’s a good one, you know, the one your mom tried to make you eat when you were toddler but no way, no matter what, you ex lil’ OG 🤣

Main low GI food:

55 < GI <69 = moderate GI

That means the dissemination of carbs from those nutrients will go a little bit faster than the former food cluster into your blood stream so you’ll have an ongoing moderate energy flow which is not that bad if you’re active like walking, or having manual job, or whatever you do since you keep moving…

Main moderate GI food:

69 < GI = high glycemic index

That means the dissemination of carbs from those nutrients will go really fast into your blood stream so your organism will have absorbed way more energy than needed at a certain point so it’ll start storing the carbs still available as fatty acids. Sucks, huh?!

Main high GI food:

How shall you consume carbs food then?

Carbohydrates are considered “empty calories” because they provide energy but not vitamins or minerals. We must favor the consumption of unrefined carbohydrate products.

Breakfast – After a whole night of fasting, liver and muscle glycogen stores are going to be depleted. It is important to eat whole food carbs at this time to restock glycogen stores. Fruit, oatmeal, or whole grain cereals are good choices for breakfast.

2-3 Hours Before Training – Eating carbs before training will allow carbs to be in your blood stream at the time you are working out. This will fuel training and lead to a more productive, intense workout. Slow digesting carbs from food sources are the best choices. Ideal choices for carbs at this time are sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, or whole wheat pasta.

Immediately Before, During, and After Training – These carbs will not only fuel intense training but restock liver glycogen stores as they are being depleted by heavy training. These carbs will also serve to protect muscle tissue from breakdown by increasing insulin levels. To get the biggest insulin spike you will want to consume high glycemic carbohydrates in supplement form. Dextrose and maltodextrin are the best choices here. Waxy maize is also a very popular choice.

1-2 Hours After Training – Carbs at this time will serve to keep insulin levels elevated after training. The longer you can keep insulin elevated the more muscle growth you will attain. These carbs will also top off glycogen stores and facilitate faster recovery after training. Slow digesting carbs from whole foods are best. Things like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and vegetables are best.

Before Bed – While it is often considered a no no to eat carbs before bed this is a myth. Carbs before bed are important for muscle growth. As you are preparing to lay down for a whole night of fasting it is important to eat carbs to make sure muscle and liver glycogen levels will not dip too low during the night. A slow digesting carbohydrate source such as a piece of fruit will work well here.


* DV = Daily Value, the amount of a certain nutrient daily recommendations.

Carbs food in a nutshell

Fruits contain about 12% carbs.

Vegetables contain about 5% carbs

Whole grains contain about 75% carbs.

Legumes contain about 50% carbs.

Potatoes contain about 60% carbs.

Here’s how you want to consume carbs regarding your morphotype and your goals

For Fat Loss

For Muscle Growth

Body weight x 27-29 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

Body weight x 30-32 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

For Fat Loss

For Muscle Growth

Body weight x 27-29 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

Body weight x 30-32 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

For Fat Loss

For Muscle Growth

Body weight x 27-29 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

Body weight x 30-32 x 50-55%
= daily caloric intake from carbs

Alright fit fam, that’s it for carbs food! Hope I know this was a long one but there’s so much to say about macros, that sometimes you can’t cut things off. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the article and learnt some tips. Have a nice one! 😉

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