The Role of Carbohydrates in Exercise

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The Role of Carbohydrates in Exercise

Carbohydrates play a very important role in your body. They are your body’s most important – and preferred – source of energy.

Without the right amount of carbohydrates, there’s a huge chance that you will feel more tired and drained than usual. And aside from hampering your physical performance, your ability to think clearly and make wise decisions may also be affected when your body lacks carbs.

Although low-carb diets are starting to become a trend in recent years, you should never try to deprive your body of this essential macronutrient, especially when you’re working out. This is because reducing your daily carb intake can leave you prone to a myriad of health issues, affecting your ability to exercise in the process.

You see, glycogen is sort of a carbohydrate that is stored in your body for later use – and is directly responsible for providing your muscles with energy when exercising. Some of the excess carbs you eat get converted into glycogen. By depriving your body of carbohydrates, it also means that the contents of your glycogen storage will be at non-ideal levels, which can cause your workouts to suffer.

Since carbohydrates play an important role in your body, obviously it also means that they play an equally crucial part in exercise.

According to numerous studies, a high-carbohydrate diet positively affects high-intensity exercise, endurance performance and capacity, and post-exercise recovery. In the endurance performance study, the subjects were split into two groups – the carbohydrate group and the fat and protein group – and tasked to run a simulated 30-km race via laboratory treadmill. While overall improvement was absent in both groups, the carbohydrate group performed better during the last half of the simulated race, proving that carbohydrates can significantly improve endurance performance.

The incredible results that a high-carbohydrate diet displayed in these studies prove the value and importance of carbohydrates, therefore it’s important for anyone who’s looking to earn some gains through exercise to have a well-balanced diet containing a balanced amount of energy and other essential nutrients.

With enough carbohydrates, your body will have all the fuel it needs for a smooth, trouble-free exercise session. Just be sure to eat the good carbs and to calculate your body’s carbohydrate requirements, which should be based on the activity and the intensity level of the activity you’re about to do.