Ridge Personal Trainer Kate Murphy gives you the dirt on carbs and exercise…
Current research shows that when carbohydrate stores are depleted by almost 50%, there is evidence that there is actually increased stimulus for enhanced enzyme activity in skeletal muscle, which is a good thing, since it means you can more efficiently produce energy from fuel. As long as the training session is not performed in a carbohydrate depleted state, and does not exceed about 2 and a half hours, there is no evidence to show that avoiding carbohydrate during the session will reduce performance, and there is research that actually shows quite the contrary – no loss of performance!
Whether any of these benefits are due to decreased carbohydrate use or increased fat use is unclear, but there are obviously benefits to going low carbohydrate before and during training.
In summary, if you restrict carbohydrates before, during or after training you may:
#1: Increase activity of the biological mechanisms responsible for building and repairing lean muscle tissue.
#2: Increase ability to preserve and ration valuable carbohydrate stores.
#3: Increase fat utilization during exercise.
#4: Increase the activity of the enzymes responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates during high intensity exercise, such as racing.
*Also, reducing overall carbohydrate consumption is directly linked to weigh loss. The theory behind the low-carb diet is that insulin prevents fat breakdown in the body by allowing sugar to be used for energy. Proponents of the low-carb diet believe that a decrease in carbs results in lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy. Try it!!! You won’t be disappointed!
Remember…choose the best carbohydrate-rich foods, such as 100% whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that contain large amounts of refined (white) flour and sugar, such as sugary snacks, pastries, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, candy, cookies, greasy chips and most processed, packaged snack foods. These foods contain too many calories while offering little or no nutritional value.