Four Ways CARBS Are Used In The Body.
You’ve likely seen my posts on social media, caught my Facebook Live videos and beyond as I cover the topic of Carb Cycling and talk to you all about why carbs are not bad. As always, I’d be happy to continue to share how utilizing carbs and timing them with the right workouts for maximum results is something you can start now to see long term results. In the past weeks, I’ve shared why carbs aren’t bad (check out my past blog here) and what carbs do for your body to keep you at optimal health. Today I want to spend some time sharing what carbs do for you. Specifically, what carbs do in your body so that you have a greater understanding on how carbohydrate nutrients fuel you and help you to achieve the long term success in your wellness journey you are looking for.
You can take my word for it and you can rest assured in knowing that carbs are essential for helping your body and mind thrive. Carbohydrates truly do create the FUEL you need so that you can work hard, give your body what it needs to function and to trust that allowing carbs to be a regular part of diet is NOT a bad thing! God made our bodies to do amazing things and carbohydrates are utilized to help us perform at our peak!
Lets take a look at four ways carbs are used in your body.
1. Carbs provide energy—
After you consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into smaller units of sugar know as glucose, fructose, and galactose. This process happens in the stomach and small intestine.
“These small units are absorbed in the small intestine and then enter the bloodstream where they travel to the liver. Fructose and galactose are further converted to glucose in the liver. Glucose is the form of carbohydrate that is transported by the bloodstream in the various tissues and organs, including the brain, where it is used as energy throughout the body.” 1
2. Carbs store energy-
If the body does not need glucose for energy right away, the body will store glucose in the liver and muscles in a form called glycogen.
“This storage form is used by the body for energy when the body needs more glucose that is readily available in the bloodstream, for example after exercise. The body does have limited storage capacity for glycogen (about 2000 calories), which is why carbohydrates are commonly referred to as a limited fuel for physical performance.” 2
3. Carbs enabling fat metabolism-
From the time you begin eating food, each bite starts to be broken down and the body starts to use it. This fires up your metabolism which is a series of chemical reactions that take food and changes food into pieces that can be by the body in its basic processes.
"Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats move along intersecting sets of metabolic pathways that are unique to each major nutrient. Fundamentally—if all three nutrients are abundant in the diet—carbohydrates and fats will be used primarily for energy while proteins provide the raw materials for making hormones, muscle, and other essential biological equipment.” 3
4. Carbs prevents protein from being used as energy-
In effort to not use your muscle tissue as a source of energy during exercise, it is SO important to have carbohydrates in your body!
“Utilizing carbohydrates will spare protein as an energy source in the body. This is an important factor for our exercise planning because when carbohydrate consumption is inadequate and protein is broken down, we lose our primary source of building blocks for muscle development. Further, protein breakdown may result in an increased stress on the kidneys, through which protein byproducts are excreted.” 4