The Basics of Carbohydrates 🍠🍎🍚

FRIENDLY REMINDER that we will be having a modified schedule today in observance of MLK Day;

No 530am SWEAT Class

No 6am THRIVE Class

9am Group THRIVE

AM Open gym from 10-1230pm

PM Open gym from 4-515pm

915pm Group THRIVE

No 630pm THRIVE Class

Now……onto the Carbsssss……

The third and final macronutrient up for discussion this month is the carbohydrate. Typically carbohydrates can have a bad ‘wrap’ for causing weight gain. The honest truth is that over-consuming any poor quality foods will cause weight gain, whether those foods are protein, fat, or carbs. Understanding the how, when, why of carbohydrates will greatly enhance our ability to perform in all aspects of life.

  • What are they? Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Each serve a different purpose but both provide energy to our bodies. In basic terms, simple carbohydrates provide immediate energy while complex carbohydrates provide a slower, more steady source of energy.

  • Why do we care about them? Besides the energy you want for playing with your kids, taking your dog for a walk, going to the gym, playing a sport, etc., our bodies also need this energy for small functions such as digestion and brain function. Essentially we need carbohydrates to live and support all bodily functions. From a fitness enhancing perspective, carbohydrates allow our energy stores to be full and ready for whatever workouts get thrown our way.

  • What foods contain them? Simple carbohydrates (foods that are digested quickly and deposited into the blood stream for immediate use) are foods such as fruits, vegetables, coconut water, white rice, white potatoes, rice cakes, white breads, flour tortillas, pasta, donuts, bagels, popcorn, pretzels, cake, etc. Complex carbohydrates (foods that are digested slowly, contain fiber, and are released slowly into the blood stream over long periods of time) are foods such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, high fiber breads, oats, corn tortillas, barley, beans, etc.

  • When should I eat them? Simple carbohydrates, due to their nature, are best consumed 5-30 minutes before or after a workout. This is in reference to consuming simple carbs by themselves. Adding a simple carb, such as fruit, to a complex carb, such as oatmeal, a fat, such as a nut butter, or a protein, such as greek yogurt, will slow down the body’s digestion and utilization of that fast energy. Complex carbohydrates are best consumed in equal amounts throughout the day, allowing for larger amounts in the meals that surround fitness. With that being said, carbohydrate consumption does not need to be as great on rest days or low-activity days simply because there is no fitness to support.

This is only a brief overview of how carbohydrate consumption could look and how our bodies react to them.

In the video post this Thursday, I will focus on different macronutrient spreads for rest days versus days with fitness, along with how those spreads could change depending on when fitness is done or other factors.

As always, if you have any questions about your specific situation and how carbohydrates could or should fit into your lifestyle, feel free to track me down at the gym or send an email to!

(Sources: Smith-Ryan, A. E. & Antonio, J. (2013). Sports nutrition and performance enhancing supplements. Ronkonkoma, NY: Linus Learning.)

Your C5 Nutrition Coach,