Gym trainers and some nutritionist treat carbs as the black sheep of all nutrients. What some of us didn’t know is that carbs help aid in muscle growth and buildup. For years, people have been misled by false information and leave it that way, since some of us like to be spoon-fed on such things without knowing the reality behind it.
Along with the usual micronutrients such as protein and fats, the list won’t be complete without carbs in the picture. So how important are carbs and other nutrients to be included in your plate? Here are four reasons why.
- When it comes to muscle building, protein got you covered. Wherever you go, or whatever nutritionist you’re being accompanied with, they will always suggest that you need to consume as much protein as you can if you want to build muscle.
- The moment you decrease your carbs and fat intake, the more you need to increase your protein to prevent muscle loss. Dietary protein helps preserve lean muscle whenever you reduce your calorie intake. It also keeps you satiated throughout the day to avoid unwanted cravings as well. Additionally, consuming lots of protein helps your metabolism speed up for up to 25% too.
- Protein-rich foods to eat: Lean meats such as chicken breast and turkey breast. Lean fish. Egg whites, Greek Yoghurt, Whey Protein.
- When to eat: Preferably after your workout sessions such as resistance training workouts.
- How much:
For building muscle – 1.6 to 2.0g/kg per day
For losing weight – 2.0 to 2.5/kg per day
- Veggies contain lesser calories and more of fibrous carbs. Vegetables that are rich in fiber lets you do more and improve your performance throughout the day. It also keeps you stay full for longer to ward away those unhealthy cravings your mind is bugging you about.
- Lack of vegetables is the main reason why our bodies enter the state of micronutrient deficiency. That’s why you should always make it a habit to include veggies in your daily meals.
- Veggies to eat: Fibrous carb-rich veggies include spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower.
- When to eat: Every meal of the day if possible.
- How much: At least 2-4 servings of veggies a day should be enough.
- When it comes to fat, we need to focus on healthy fat, such as dietary fat. Compared to other kinds of fat, dietary fat gives your body the energy it needs, and it does it so well that blood sugar spikes are unlikely to happen.
- Dietary fat also helps in brain development, which improves your cognitive function. And it doesn’t stop there; it also helps your nervous system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system to function normally as well.
- Dietary fat-rich foods to eat: Avocados, olives, butter, fatty meats, oils
- When to eat: Every meal as possible.
- How much: 20-35% of your daily calorie intake should be enough
- Carbs are your ultimate energy powerhouse. This is because carbs provide a faster-burning source of energy, which makes it the ideal source of fuel to keep our body alive and alert during intensive workouts.
- Meanwhile, for low-intensity workouts, you don’t need to consume too much carbs as dietary fat is already enough to fuel your body during these sessions.
- Carb-rich foods to eat: Rice, pasta, veggies, fruits, bread, etc.
- When to eat: Preferably before and after workout.
- How much: 3-5g/kg per day (minimum of 1g/kg per day)