Carbohydrates and Bodybuilding

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A Good Carbohydrate Diet for Bodybuilding

Balancing your intake of carbohydrates can be as tricky as balancing your cardio and strength training. Eat too many carbs and you run the risk of increasing your fat. But carbohydrates furnish the body with energy. You probably can recall the news reports showing a room of marathon runners downing large plates of pasta the night before a race.

The first thing to do to manage your relationship with carbohydrates is to avoid too many processed carbs.  Pastas and breads should never be over-indulged in, especially if they are made from white flour.  Start eating whole wheat breads.

Look more to vegetables and fruits to get complex carbohydrates. Don’t be ignorant of the additional nutrients value of carb heavy food. For instance, substitute yams for white potatoes. They provide vitamin A.  

Become aware of hidden sources of bad carbohydrates. Certainly, snack and junk foods are swimming in them. But even protein and “health” drinks can be loaded with carbohydrates.

Legumes(beans), beside being a good source of protein-when combined with grains- happen to provide complex carbohydrates and slow releasing ones. Slow releasing carbs are beneficial since they feed the body what it needs as required.

Legumes you’ve probably eaten or heard of include into kidney beans, pinto beans, chick peas, lima beans, and soy beans. Prepare these beans with a side dish of a grain such as rich or barley, and you will get a serving of complete protein along with the high quality carbohydrate the bean provides.

Just as you don’t exercise each muscle group every day, learn to time your intake of nutrients. More and more, science is showing us how the body can assimiliate nutrients better at some times of the day than others. There are times when you can take in major quantity of carbs- and the extra calories a body builder needs-  without amping up your body’s fat storage. The best time to carb load is right after a workout. The body has just been strained, its strength depleted, and muscles broken down. You can have a snack, a drink or meal high in carbs- and the body will use it to start the process of repair that begins after a workout.

Another way to manage your relationship to carbohydrates is carb cycling. No, it’s not some bizarre contraption.  Simply put, carb cycling means that you should eat more carbs on workout days and/or when your general level of physical exertion is high. On days when you’re not in the gym or very active, cut your intake of carbs, especially simply carbohyrdrates. If you eat the same number of grams of carbs on days you don’t work out, you will find the body getting fatter.               

Once again, you need to do two things to make sure you get all the positives of carb without risking adding body fat. Make sure you are consuming complex carbohyradates, and make sure you consume your highest carb meals and snacks on workout days, especially not long after workouts.

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