Have you ever noticed why bodybuilders and athletes have such a great ripped and muscular body with 5-8 percent of body fat? What is the secret behind such a great ripped body?
The answer is that bodybuilders and athletes know how to play with macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) to lose fat, build muscles, and enhance their performance. Today I’m going to discuss with you one of the macronutrients i.e. carbohydrates. Stick and read this article till the end and you’ll be going to know why carbohydrate is important for fat loss and how bodybuilders use this macro to lose their body fat and enhance their performance. I will also be going to tell you which carbohydrate to include in your diet and which carbohydrate to exclude from the diet. Here we go!
Carbohydrate is the most effective nutritional source for body’s energy requirement because carbohydrate easily converts to glucose than protein and fat. Glucose is used by every cell in the body as fuel for providing energy. Some of the glucose is carried around in the bloodstream to supply and goes to the brain and other internal organs, but most of the glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscle. This stored glycogen replenishes blood sugar to meet our body’s energy needs whenever blood sugar level goes low.
Carbohydrate also plays an important role in “protein sparing” effect. It protects protein in our body from being converted to glucose when blood sugar and glycogen are low. When we exercise, our body burns more energy, at that time, our body taps into the muscle’s glycogen to meet these energy demands that is why it is very crucial for a bodybuilder or a person who tries to lose fat, to consume an adequate amount of carbohydrate in their diet.
Question no. 1: How much quantity of carbohydrate should I consume in order to lose fat and build muscle?
Answer: According to Strength and Conditioning Journal review in 2002 on diet and anaerobic exercises stated that diet containing less than 42 percent carb does not meet the energy demand on providing adequate glycogen stores for the bodybuilder, given their intense workout.
In accordance to lose fat and get lean, you have to take 45 percent of your calorie from carbohydrate food. 45 percent of calories from carbs is very beneficial to lose body fat and getting lean. Even bodybuilders & athletes use the same proportion to maintain their physique and enhance their performance. But, as you know all calories are not created equal. Thus, you have the right to choose your carbohydrate wisely. But before choosing the right carbohydrate, it’s important to know which carb is healthy for you and which is not.
Carbohydrates can be broken down into 3 categories: monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are commonly known as simple carb while polysaccharides are known as a complex carb.
A monosaccharide is a carb that has one sugar molecule. A Common source is glucose, fructose, sorbitol, galactose, mannose, and mannitol.
Disaccharides are carb with two sugar molecules. Some sources like lactose and sucrose.
Polysaccharides are carbs with three or more sugar molecules. Some sources include dextrin, cellulose, and starches.
The classification of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides helps in differentiates the variety of carbs.
Now, here comes one more very important thing to know and that is the Glycemic index. Be very careful in choosing the rights carbohydrate for you. It is important to check the glycemic index of carb, so you can help your body in ingesting the right carb so that your body can function properly and helps you curb fat.
What is a glycemic index?
The GI of a food is a measure of the power of carbohydrate content in a specific food to raise blood glucose levels after being eaten. Simply, the GI is a way to classify carbohydrates. The GI is the ranking of carb-based on their effect on blood sugar level.
Carbohydrate that breaks down quickly have the highest GI and carbohydrate that breaks down slowly has low GI level. Foods that measure the GI of 70 to 160 are considered high glycemic index foods. Food that measures 56 to 69 is considered as medium GI. Foods that measure 55 or less than 55 are considered low GI.
Question no. 2: Which type of carbohydrate is best for fat loss according to glycemic index?
Answer: Carbs food with low to moderate GI is best for fat loss. Low to moderate GI carbs digest more slowly, providing a steady blood sugar level. The slow energy level is important for energy and performance. It also helps in maintaining muscle glycogen level and help to regulate two very important hormone- insulin and glucagon for fast muscle building and fat loss. That is the reason why bodybuilders & athletes take low to moderate glycemic index carbs.
Question no. 3: Why ignore high GI carbohydrate foods?
Answer: High GI carbs such as white bread, donuts, bagel,s, etc. cause insulin levels to be high and glucagon levels to below. Insulin promotes the increase in body fat and glucagon promotes the burning of body fat. Both hormones play different roles and thus, we don’t want this kind of metabolism in our bodies. So, to burn fat from the body, it is very important to ingest low to moderate glycemic index carbohydrates.
Below I have prepared a chart for you which shows high, moderate, and low GI food. Try to limit your food to moderate to low and don’t eat high GI foods if you’re aiming for fat loss.
|Food items||GI||Food items||GI|
|Pop tart||70||Corn pops||80|
|Bagel, donut||72||Special K||84|
|Total cereals||74||Rice cakes||94|
|Food items||GI||Food items||GI|
|White rice, boiled||56||Spaghetti||64|
|Pita bread, whole wheat||57||Grape nuts||67|
|Cranberry juice||56||Whole-meal bread||66|
|Food items||GI||Food items||GI|
|Grape fruit||25||Sweet potato||42|
|Lentils boiled||28||Brown rice||48|
|Pear||33||Whole grain, whole meal||42|
|Yogurt||36||100% whole grain bread||51|
The food items given in the above table are considered to be carbohydrate foods. These foods are little in protein and fat. Try to eat moderate to low food is combined with food that is higher in protein and fat to lose fat.
I hope now you get enough knowledge on why carbohydrate is important for fat loss. How bodybuilder and athletes maintain their bodies all year long. Every single person can adopt a well-ripped body. Just have to be aware of what is wrong and what is right for you.