Carbohydrates in Bodybuilder’s Nutrition

Carbohydrates are major source of energy for our body. They fall into two types – simple and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates foods should be a base of your nutrition, except a short period after workout. Complex carbohydrates are slower to break down and cause a gentle increase in blood sugar levels, which does not lead to extreme insulin secretion.

Simple Carbohydrates Are Essential after Training

Simple carbohydrates intake first boosts rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This triggers higher insulin secretion and, as a result, lowers blood sugar levels. It explains why you feel exhausted, but what your body and muscles need 1.5-2 hours after training is simple carbs. Increased insulin secretion caused by simple carbs intake helps replenish depleted glycogen deposits, which eventually accelerates the recovery after intensive training.

How Many Simple Carbohydrates Do Bodybuilders Needed?

Some experts say 60-80% of energy is regained 1-3 hours after workout. In other words, effectiveness of your next training session depends on how fast your exhausted and hungry muscles get high-quality fuel. But remember – this short post-training period is the only proper time for simple carbohydrates. The rest of the time, you run on complex carbohydrates which provide muscles with glucose regularly. Carbohydrates make up 50-60% of daily calorie intake. As with proteins, evenly distribute needed amount of carbohydrates among all meals during the day. Recommended balance is 2-3 g carbs per 1 g protein for after-training meals and 1-1.5 g carbs per 1 g protein for the other meals.

Carbohydrates in Your Daily Meals

You must have two meals after training. We have the first meal right in a gym. It is usually a power cocktail or energizer bar. The second meal is a rich dinner 1-1.5 hour after workout. These two meals should contain 30-45% of daily calorie and carbohydrates intake. Here is an easy nutrition tip. 0.5 g carbs per pound of your body weight for each after-training meal. If you have a meal (1-1.5 hours before training) rich in carbohydrates, the following meals should contain as much carbohydrates as needed to balance your diet.

What Foods Contain Complex Carbohydrates?

Here is the list of complex carbohydrates foods: pasta, oatmeal, wild rice, beans, corn, yellow and green vegetables, foods made from whole wheat flour and rye-bread. Sport drinks, apples, bananas and oranges can get you energy after training.

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