Carbohydrates – Dylan Spina

Dylan Spina – @DylanSpina61

“Dude carbs are so bad for you dontcha know?” is something you probably hear at least once a day if you’re an avid consumer of food. Stephanie from the cubicle across the way has been “keto” or “low-carb” for a month now and all she can rave about is the weight she lost so quickly.

How carbs work:

Truth is, carbs are your friends. They are the bodies main fuel source, or source of energy, and are critical to the growth and repair of the bodies muscle and tissues throughout the body. When you consume carbohydrates in a meal or drink the body will break down the “CARBon” and “HYDROgen” bonds of the carbohydrate molecule and use it as energy. When the body digest carbs in the body they get sent into the blood stream as glucose, excess glucose (sugar), will be stored as glycogen (sugar) in the muscles and tissues. When there is a raise of sugar in the blood stream the body will release a hormone called insulin created in the pancreas to help shuttle the glucose into the energy stores in the bodies tissues. During physical activity we use the already existing glycogen in these stores and use them as energy. Therefore, after exercise or even during exercise for some athletes, it can be beneficial to intake carbohydrates to help keep energy levels higher and your muscle full and healthy.

Different Types of carbs:

There are 3 different types of carbohydrates that we can consume; Simple, Complex, Fiber. By name, the only thing that separates these different types from each other are the number of bonds between the carbon and hydrogen atoms. Let’s start with Simple Carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are just that, simple. There are pairs of carbon-hydrogen bonds link together ranging from two pairs linked to ten pairs linked together. Complex are also just like the name pairs of carbon-hydrogen bonds that rank from ten pairs to 1,000+ pairs bonded together.

Simple carbohydrates are broken down fast and are in your blood stream relatively quickly. Examples of simple carbohydrates are your sugars and refined carbohydrates, things like candy, Gatorade and white bread will still spike your blood sugar levels quicker then a whole wheat grain bread.

Complex carbohydrates are broken down much slower and enter your blood stream at a slow pace in comparison to simple carbohydrates. Examples of complex carbohydrates are your starches, grains, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. These will not affect your blood sugar levels as drastically as simple.

Fiber will fall under the complex carbohydrates and are broken down in the large intestine or colon, i.e. why they can help you poop.

Secret behind low carb diets and how they work:

Like Stephanie, your co-worker who’s praising about losing all that weight because she switched to a low carb diet, there’s facts and fallacies about that statement. When people cut something out of their diet and see instant results they’ll correlate it directly to fat lost. Its not her fault she thinks this, it’s just misinformed. Most of that weight that is lost in the beginning of a low carb diet is from a loss of water being held in the body. For every gram of carbohydrate you intake your body holds 3-5 grams of water. So, let’s say your now cutting out 100 grams of carbs, at most through the carbohydrates your body will hold 500 grams of water, which is roughly 17-18oz of water. One pound of water. Depending on how the intake was this can cause drastic change quickly over time. Ever wonder why carbs are the first thing manipulated in a water cut outside the water intake? This is exactly why.

Of course, when your blood sugar isn’t constantly spiking, like it would be on a higher carbohydrate diet, the chances are less for spill over. When the bodies energy stores are filled in the muscle tissues and liver. The body will convert the excess glucose into fatty acids called triglycerides.

Now when your body uses up all its glycogen stores it will start using the triglycerides as energy, in sense “burning” fat.

RECAP:

Carbohydrates are molecules made of carbon and hydrogen atoms. There are three different types of carbohydrates Simple, Complex and Fiber. They all digest at different rates, effecting your blood sugar levels different. They are used as energy for your body to move. They aren’t bad for you and can be utilized to enhance your performance. When eating the right amount and at the right time

Thanks for reading if you have any further questions feel free to email or DM me.

One Love,

-Dylan Spina

IVB Trainer and Nutrition Coach

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