CARBS

life, nutrition -

CARBS

The path I took in gaining experience and knowledge in nutrition was long and varied, and now it's my turn to share with you the knowledge I've gained. Today my article is about carbs.  


Heavy physical activity requires proper recovery. An Olympic weightlifter can recover in two ways: sleep and nutrition. Sleep is a great tool for the professional athlete but sometimes you can’t get the sleep you need, and sometimes sleep isn’t enough. You can not ignore the need for PROPER NUTRITION! It's no secret we get energy and results from our training thanks to the use of three basic macronutrients - proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The intake varies depending on your body’s needs, the sport you are engaged in, and the type and duration of the training load. In weightlifting, carbohydrates are important constituents in the process of recovery.

Simply taking carbohydrates is not enough to provide an athlete with adequate recovery of glycogen (the glucose reserve in the body), and further generation of energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Simple carbohydrates (such as honey, candy, sugar) are considered to be empty “junk" food, since they do not contain any vitamins/minerals, or trace elements, and are only sources of calories. Complex carbohydrates (such as cereals, legumes, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, potatoes) differ from the previous ones significantly, since they are rich in vitamins and macro- and microelement composition. In addition to calorie intake, such products have important nutrient components, therefore making a weightlifter's recovery more effective. Fiber in cereals and legumes helps to resist the sharp leaps of glucose and insulin in the weightlifter's blood, thereby solving the problem with feeling hungry. Vitamin B is an important component of effective glucose combustion and energy production. Without them, the process of recovery is very hard, and so is the actual training.

A few words about fruits, which are also considered to be a carbohydrate product and contain a few vitamins and nutrients. I would not advise using fruit as the basis of a carbohydrate diet, neglecting grains and legumes. Fruits contain a large amount of fructose, which is not always converted into glucose, but can also be converted into fatty acids. Therefore, when including bananas and apples in the diet, remember that it is more effective to eat them as just one part of your regimen. Eat them in a bowl of porridge, for instance.

Taking into account the heavy and frequent training loads, the amount of all carbohydrates in the athlete's ration should be in a range between 50% and above. A combination of complex (40%) and simple (10%) carbohydrates will be optimal.

The path I took in gaining experience and knowledge in nutrition was long and varied, and now it's my turn to share with you the knowledge I've gained.

Train together – train right!

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3 comments

  • Vincent

    Where do I get more information?

  • Ekaterina Tolstikova, MD

    Honey contains 5% of vitamins and microelements in 100 grams from the daily required dose. This is very a small amount, especially if you eat a couple of spoons a day. The norm of honey is the same as sugar, it is equated 1:1. Regarding fruit: it is not necessary to neglect other more useful carbohydrate products and focus only on fruit. Because fructose is absorbed only by liver cells, and in the case of a filled glycogen depot, fructose will be converted to fatty acids. Products in which there is starch are broken down to glucose. In turn, it can be converted to fatty acids ONLY with an excess of daily calories.

  • Alexander

    Alexey, I have to disagree with some of the statements mentioned.
    First, not all simple carbs are “empty”. How could you say empty about honey which contains a lot of important vitamins, amino acids and other trace elements? Or fruits which have a lot of vitamins and fiber.
    On the other side a lot of complex carbs which you mentioned (bread, pasta, rice) contains very few valuable elements. Also, even though it is really hard for our body to convert fructose to glucose (=energy), but at the same time it is much easier to convert excess carbs from any source (simple or complex) to fatty acids. That’s why you probably never can find a person who got fat eating apples and honey but easily – who eat a lot of bread, pasta and potatos ;)

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