Beginners Guide to Carbohydrate
Probably the most important nutrient for the human body, certainly needed in the largest quantity. Carbohydrate is essential as it's our primary energy source. Here we give you the lowdown on carbohydrate, the forms it comes in and how much you should have.
How much carbohydrate do we need?
Carbohydrate typically contains 4 calories per gram and is needed in the following amounts per day to maintain body weight:
Carbohydrate accounts for at least half of our energy. Without it we'd get our energy from proteins and fats. This is synonymous with a low carb diet where side effects are usually felt when first undertaken. These include headaches, constipation and, predictably, an exhausted feeling. There are better ways of losing weight without sacrificing carbohydrate.
Carbohydrate comes in 2 forms
These are simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars. These are the carbs that typically give you a rush of energy and a crash when the energy expires. This is because they are simple molecules and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Examples of simple carbohydrates include:
Complex carbohydrates are mainly starch. These are the carbs that give a long slow release of energy into the body. This is because they are complex molecules and are not easily absorbed into the bloodstream. This is a good thing because the energy lasts for a much longer period. This makes you less inclined to snack and put on weight. Examples of complex carbohydrates include:
The balance between the 2 carbohydrates in the diet should be as follows:
Our advice is that it may be beneficial to go higher with the complex carbs especially for weight loss. Simple carbs are easily stored as fat in excess quantities. Simple carbohydrates are especially needed in reduced quantities in children as sugars will cause an increase in tooth decay.
Overall ensure you get a good supply of complex carbohydrates everyday for good nutrition and wellbeing in a balanced diet.
Click above for intake during a day of 30, 60 and 90 minutes of exercise.