carbohydrate, Carboidratos

Carbohydrates – My Take on Carbs

Carbohydrates, carbs, starches

Fats used to be evil, now they have been justly rehabilitated. In the U.S., polarization is the norm. Carbohydrates are no exception. Some people claim that the quality does not matter as long as you watch your calories. In other words, a blender drink of soft drinks, leftover pizza and a few Cadbury’s Turkish Delight is fine, as long as it fits your macros. On the other pole, carbs that were not around in the paleolithic era are downright evil. Those are obviously very different opinions, so here is my take on carbohydrates

1 – You Have to Deserve Your Carbohydrates

You need to earn your carbs. Various factors will determine how many grams of carbohydrate you can afford to consume. The most relevant are: your levels of muscle mass, the volume and intensity of your training, your percentage of body fat and your insulin sensitivity. Some people obviously need to restrict their carbs to 10 licks of a dried prune every six months. Others can indulge in using 1,000 to 1,500 grams

2 – Select Your Carbohydrate Sources Wisely

Some people can get away with grains, some should stay away from them. A high quality food intolerance panel will help determine that.  Cyrex labs is offering the BEST ONE AND THE ONLY ONE WORTH DOING.Carbohydrates

3 – Carbohydrates Affect The Hormonal Cascade

Carbs can be your friend or your enemy. The effect you want to have on your r neurotransmitters and hormones will dictate the amount and type you should eat. Circadian cycles should also be considered.

Most people, for example, cannot fall asleep with low serotonin levels from a carbohydrate-restricted diet.

4 – Don’t Forget Inflammation

Some people can get lean on donuts and chocolate milk, true. They have skinfolds as thin as cellophane paper. However, when you look at their blood work, you won’t be impressed. For example, they often have silent levels of inflammation that are staggering. Once the damage becomes symptomatic, it is too late.

5 – Replenish Your Glycogen If You Train Hard

If you want to put on large amounts of muscle mass, you may have a hard time doing so with a strict Paleo regimen. For example, rice oligodextrins are certainly not paleo or low carb. And yet, they have been instrumental in the development of the athletes I have coached. As you may know, cyclists, rowers, speed skaters, and bodybuilders have used  them in large quantities to restore glycogen stores rapidly.

The training protocols in most of the studies on glycogen replenishment are so wimpy that they have no practical value. Only very low levels of carbohydrates are necessary to replenish energy stores in most cases studied.

For example leg extensions for 5 sets of 12 at 50% are not exactly a quality workout, as opposed to doing 4 exercises : back squats, and dumbbell deadlifts, leg presses, lunges for 5 sets each of 6-12 R.M.

6 – Interaction with Other Nutrients

Low quality carbohydrates are a drain on your nutrient reserves. Zinc, manganese, magnesium, thiamine are a few of the nutrients that take a beating from poor quality carbohydrate sources such as donuts and Pop Tarts.

7 – Carbs and Androgens

Very high intakes of refined sugars have a negative impact on androgen production and can suppress it. Which of course, impedes your recovery ability. In other words, if you take refined carbohydrates at the wrong time, they can act as a castration agent.

Enjoy the carbohydrates you earn!

Coach Charles R. Poliquin