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SUGARS.. HOW HEALTHY ARE THEY?

Alright this is going to spark some debate but do you actually know the difference between sugars and carbs?


Did you know carbs are sugars... Carbohydrates are your body's favourite source of energy and the energy source which is used first before any other processes are followed by the body. The body can and will break down proteins and fats for energy but it is not a preferred or efficient method for energy use.


Due to this carbohydrates are truly needed and necessary for consumption on a daily however the amounts vary depending on your activity level. Someone that is relatively inactive may not need a heavy influx of carbs/sugars however athletes would need a lot more than the ideal person thinks.


Your body sees sugars and carbs as the same thing and the body utilises it in a similar manner but why are sugars demonised in this day and age let me break it down!


Why Sugars Are Demonised


Carbohydrates can be classified into 2 categories and this is going to make more sense for you to understand once these categories are broken down.


  1. simple carbohydrates - or aka simple sugars - these are your stereotypical sugary foods and drinks which are demonised today and always have been. Your lollies, energy drinks, and other processed and refined foods and drinks, fruits. Your body is able to quickly absorb this nutrient and it raises your blood sugar level and provides that quick boost of energy.

  2. complex carbohydrates - or complex sugars - these are your sterotypical healthy carbs which are seen as so beneficial but it may not be all sunshine and rainbows for you! these include; Potatoes, rice, vegies, pasta, whole grains etc. They include multiple molecules which is why they take longer to break down by the body for use. However they are longer lasting and there is no general sugar crash if these are consumed.


How Do I Navigate All Of This


Athletes use both simple and complex carbohydrates and have reasoning behind each. If they are preparing for a competition that is more endurance based the goal is to carb load. Carb loading involves the process of ingesting slow acting long releasing carbs (complex) over days and the night before competition to provide the energy needed for performance. They may use simple sugars/carbs on the day of the event to provide that extra boost or provide that energy to get instant results pre and during competition.


This is done similarly by both endurance and speed based athletes in individual and team sports!


Now i'm sure reading this may interest you or it doesn't and maybe you don't view yourself as an athlete so I am here now to talk to you.


Complex carbohydrates are your best solution if your daily movement is pretty limited and your not trying to run a marathon do a max intensity sprinting or gym session etc. They provide everything you need energy wise to get through a day but monitor your energy levels starting today. If you feel lethargic or of low energy there may be multiple reasons however carbs can be a solution to increase energy levels.



Problems With Carbs


I've spoken so far about the benefits of ingesting carbs but now I am here to show you the drawbacks... Carbs can beneficial for improving performance, increasing and providing both long term and short term energy boosts how can they be negative??


As stated before carbohydrates are used by the body straight away for energy even if you are doing nothing it is the nutrient desired for everything you do, from turning your head, watching the TV, reading a book or even typing a blog!


Now the problem with this is if you consume a high amount of carbs and relatively inactive you are creating high blood sugar levels that are never depleted or utilised to completion. So essentially having molecules run through your blood with no purpose. This will be stored if and only if you are over consuming your calories also.


Maybe carbs are your entire diet maybe only a small portion.


My task for you today is to assess your activity levels, are you highly active or pretty sedentary. How do you feel during the day and week are you always energised or always depleted and low of energy?


These 2 questions should give you an indication of your specific need for carbs!


If you need help with this let me know and I can help you out


Brendon





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