Why bodybuilders (and you) need carbs

Bobby Cox lifting weights
I’ll be really happy and everyone will be a whole lot healthier when this low-carb, high-fat, high-protein faze goes away. Many of those interested in losing fat are eating low-carbohydrate, high-protein and high-fat diets, or high-protein and low-fat diets. Many of those folks look great now, but what’s the point if those results are only temporary? Carbohydrates are important for muscle construction and immunity. “Muscle protein synthesis will be much greater when a combination of carbohydrates and protein is consumed immediately after exercise” (1). This is precisely why I drink a fruit smoothie with protein powder right after my workouts.

If you have a hard or long workout ahead of you and haven’t eaten in a few hours, carbohydrates will give you energy so you can put in more intensity. The more intense your workout, the more muscle and fat loss. You need good carbohydrates in your diet such as vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, and nuts. The carbs you want to avoid are the ones you find in a wrapper or a box such as candy, cookies, chips, soda, and refined breads and pastas.

I love fruit; don’t eliminate it from your diet because some diet book says to. Fruit is a carbohydrate and prevents muscle breakdown. Since “…carbohydrate intake can play an indirect role in building muscle mass” don’t omit carbs from your pre and post-workout meal (unless it’s a chocolate bar).

Sources: 1. Practical Application in Sports Nutrition (pg 411)

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