Fat BurningEnduranceInjury

What are carbohydrates - a beginner's guide

Fat BurningEnduranceInjury

What are carbohydrates - a beginner's guide

 | By Holly Trueman | @hollytrueman

With summer fast approaching, the classic 'no carbs before Marbs' is being thrown around left, right and centre. But guess what? You don’t actually need to cut the carbs to get the lean body you’ve been dreaming of.

The effect that carbs have on your body is entirely dependent on your activity level. So if you’re an avid gym goer, carbs ought to be your best friend, not your worst enemy.


If you’re on a mission to lose fat, eating a big bowl of pasta whilst lounging on the couch all day won’t be a sensible idea. But eating that exact same bowl of pasta after an intense HIIT session will have you on a one way road to success. 


Because carbs start the recovery and muscle growth process.

Another reason?

When you eat carbs, they get stored in the body as glycogen. This glycogen is what your body uses to provide you with energy during an intense workout.

After you’ve exercised (and done a full cool down, of course), your glycogen will be depleted, meaning that your body will be crying out for some more energy – “feed me, feed me!!”

If you fail to re-fuel your body post-workout, you could be hindering your progress. What’s more? Your overall health could be on the line. Without carbs, your energy levels will plummet, leaving you feeling constantly sluggish, headache-ey and unable to perform well during exercise.


Similar scenario: if you're trying to lose fat, eating a large banana whilst lying in bed isn’t going to do you any favours. But eating the same large banana on your way to the gym will land you on that one-way road to success once again.


Because bananas are very rich in carbohydrates - the average banana has 27g of carbs in it (don’t be fooled into thinking that only starchy foods are making up your daily carb intake).

Bananas are full of fructose, sucrose and glucose – all of which are easily broken down by the body, meaning that you’ll experience a quick boost of energy and a spike in your blood sugar for your workout.

Think of it like this - if you don’t fuel your car, it won’t run.

And the exact same applies with your body. If you don’t give it the fuel (aka – the carbs), it won’t perform well.

So, before you hop on the Atkins diet bandwagon, think twice! If you’re expending a lot of energy through regular exercise then go and enjoy that bagel – you deserve it!