Why Carbohydrates are important

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source.  That being said, why are we so scared of carbs?  The majority of our diet on a daily basis should come from carbohydrates.  I think some people initially get scared of carbohydrates because they immediately think of white bread and pasta.  There are different types of carbohydrates, and while white bread and pasta are both delicious, it might not always be the best choice.  Here at East Side we often encourage our clients to make sure that they are consuming up to 50% of carbohydrates in their daily diet.  Because carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, we need to make sure that we have enough “energy” to sustain a full workout.


I think I speak for the majority of our class clients when I say each daily workout is not a simple stroll in the park, but a full workout where you are pushing your body to extreme efforts.  A lack of efficient carbohydrates can lead to extreme fatigue during a workout, and our body can also go to our muscles as a means of energy because we do not have enough carbohydrates in our system.  This can be troubling because if our goal is to build lean muscle mass while dropping fat, our bodies will have a hard time letting go “body fat”, simply because we are not getting enough carbohydrates and other nutrients.  

I often get asked, “I don’t feel like I’m losing weight” or “I don’t feel like I’m getting stronger”.  My first response usually is “Are you eating enough?” which then that usually takes off into a conversation about daily food intake, and more times than not, people simply are not eating enough carbohydrates!

There are many different “low carb” diets out there, but carbohydrates are not something to avoid, or to completely cut out.  Like I said earlier, there are “good carbs” and “bad carbs”.   The good carbs are also known as your “complex carbohydrates”, and your bad carbs are also known as your “simple carbohydrates”.  

Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables take more time for the body to break down and use, so therefore it supplies you with more energy to sustain a workout.  Simple Carbohydrates, like chips, candy, and soda are fast absorbing so therefore these carbohydrates don’t supply you with much energy.  Yes, simple carbohydrates are some of our favorite things, but just on occasion, and not as our primary source of carbohydrates.  

So the next time you see any reference towards a “low carb diet” you can simply ignore it and enjoy eating your good carbs that are going to help you push through your workouts here at East Side!

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