What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found in food, along with protein and fat. They provide glucose, the main energy source for the brain, central nervous system, and red blood cells. Glucose also can be stored as glycogen in liver and muscle or converted to body fat. Glucose is essential for brain function; an adult’s brain is responsible for 20%-25% of the body’s glucose consumption. The recommended daily intake of carbohydrates is a minimum of 130 grams per day but because energy needs vastly vary amongst individuals a goal of 45%-65% of daily intake consisting of carbohydrates is a better guideline to follow
What are the functions of carbohydrates?
— energy production
— energy storage
— sparing protein
— assisting in lipid metabolism
Types of Carbohydrates
There are three different types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar, and fiber. While carbohydrates are most known for providing energy, some carbs can also help promote digestive health.
Fiber acts as food for the good bacteria in the gut and promotes their growth, your body cannot break down fiber so most of it passes through. Fiber slows the rate at which food passes through your intestines, it makes you feel full longer which can lead to lower calorie intake, if weight loss is your goal. It may help control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels after meals. Fiber may also help prevent heart disease by helping reduce cholesterol. Eating foods high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can also help with regular bowel movements, minimize constipation-related issues.
The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories per day, or, about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men each day. Your exact needs may vary depending on your energy needs. Most American’s do not consume enough fiber daily, so if you increase your fiber intake you need to do it gradually and increase your water intake. This will give your body time to adjust and not cause any digestive discomfort or constipation.
Sources of fiber include: beans, apples, broccoli, berries, avocado
Starches are also known as complex carbs. They break down slower than simple carbs (sugar) and are found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. The body digests starch by metabolizing it into glucose, which passes into the bloodstream and circulates the body
Sources of starch include: corn, peas, potatoes, rice, oats
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and there are two types, naturally occurring and added. Naturally occurring is what is just what it sounds like, the sugar that is naturally in food sources such as milk and fruit and added sugar is the sugar added during processing to products such as soda, cookies, and candy.
What is the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are identified as simple, or complex based on the foods chemical structure and how quickly it is broken down and absorbed by the body. Simple carbohydrates cause an almost immediate spike in blood sugar and activating the pancreas to release insulin. The fast break down and fast absorption will give you immediate energy, but it will not last long, usually leaving you to be hungry again soon after. Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and supply a lower steadier release of glucose into the blood stream, leaving you with longer lasting energy and feeling fuller longer.
Complex carbohydrates are the preferred source of carbohydrates for your body but when you do consume simple carbs it should be in moderation. Especially when the simple carb source is added sugar; added sugars do not contain the nutrients that naturally occurring sugars do, are very easily overconsumed which can lead to weight gain or risk of diabetes.
What is the best carb supplement?
If you have a very active lifestyle and you are finding it hard to meet your carbohydrate goals by diet alone, Muscle Feast has an excellent product. Our all natural Oats + Isolate is a nutritional powerhouse in a smooth, drinkable shake that's quick to prepare and easy to drink. Muscle Feast all natural Oats + Isolate is a mix of our hormone free, grass fed whey protein isolate and whole oat powder. Muscle Feast Oats + Isolate is gluten-free, sugar-free and supplies slow-burning complex carbohydrates. Each serving packs in over 30 grams of whey protein isolate and as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal. Oats + Isolate is great for breakfast, after workouts, or anytime you're looking for an on the go meal.
Oats and Isolate combines a high quality protein with a slow-digesting carbohydrate source to keep you satiated and feeling fuller longer. Oats and Isolate delivers 31g of whey protein per serving, making it a great option for those with an active lifestyle