Monday, October 13, 2014

LIFESTYLE: HOW MUCH CARBS DO I REALLY NEED? #MacrobreakdownMania

It's time for the second of three installments of the #MacrobreakdownMania, where I, the nerdy Nikki tell you the bitty gritty of exactly how much of the three macronutrients (carbs, lipids, and protein) that we really need to survive. However, carbohydrates (CHO) seem to have the worst rep. Little do most people know, they're actually the most vital macronutrient out there. Where would we be without carbs? We'd be energy-less, tissue-less, and motion-less.



Carbohydrates consists of CHO (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). It's functions are to make energy to preserve tissue, and to fuel your central nervous system. So, next time you're feeling sad about eating that last bread stick, think of it this way: would you feel sad for not fueling your metabolism or your central nervous system?

Carbs give us energy during workouts/activity by producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which kickstarts your metabolism to give off energy essentially. Not only do we need carbohydrates to fuel our workouts, but to replace the tissue lost in our workout if our workout was high duration or intensity.


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Part of the reason that carbs get a bad rep is because the composition does break down into sugars. Simple carbohydrates inclue monosaccarides and disaccarides (single and two sugars). These easily break down, so if you don't use them ASAP they will store as glycogen in either muscle or tissue. These are found in processed foods, table sugars, fruits, and milk products
However, polysaccarides are complex carbs, which don't break down as easily. They include starch and fiber. They're found in vegetables, potatoes, rice, and whole wheat pasta and bread.

I can't tell each and every one of my readers exactly how much carbs you need (unless you e-mail me), however I can say that the recommended daily value for carbs is 45-65% of your calories. That's a big percent, more than the other two macronutrients combined. So, long story short, don't sweat it! Unless we're talking about exercise, then in that case, yes, sweat it. Happy carbo-loading, lovelies!


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