Obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and heart disease.
Each of these diseases has been linked to the consumption of too many carbohydrates. It’s true, the humble carbohydrate, once the golden child of the nutrition world, has been put through the ringer the past decade. In fact, the topic of carb consumption is probably more polarizing than the President of the United States!
Leading the battle against carbs are the diehard “carb haters” — paleo, keto, and Atkins dieters — who blame carbs for just about everything terrible there is in the world. And they’re right to a degree the overconsumption of carbohydrates can lead to a host of health issues, especially if you’re not actively training. But to completely and utterly disregard carbohydrates as unnecessary and useless is simply wrong.
The truth is, if you’re a hard training athlete that’s looking to put on size and maximize performance, you need carbohydrates! The trick is to consuming the right carbs at the right times. Doing that, you guarantee results and avoid the unwanted fat gain that’s so frequently feared with carb consumption.
Let’s drill down into carbohydrates role in muscle growth and performance, as well as which ones you need to use during training for maximum results.Carbs & Muscle Growth
When you eat carbs, they’re broken down into glucose, which turns into blood sugar and stores it in your muscles as glycogen, which in turn is used to fuel your body during moderate to high-intensity exercise. Unfortunately, our bodies can only store enough glycogen for approximately 2 hours of exercise. If you’re not consuming any intra workout nutrition (carbs, EAAs, etc.), fatigue begins to set in leading to decreased performance and that feeling of “hitting the wall” or “bonking.”[2,3]
To prevent this “bonking” sensation, athletes tend to either “carb up” prior to training or supplement with some fast-digesting carbohydrates during their workout or competition. While there are some who will argue that going low-carb and becoming “fat adapted” might prevent this tiredness from setting in, the truth is for high-intensity training (weight lifting, sprinting, etc.) your body runs best on carbs. Fat simply can’t produce energy fast enough to meet the demands of elite athletes.[4,5]
It stands to reason that if you’re engaged in high-intensity training, you need carbs. And the benefits of consuming carbs
• Energy Production
Carbs play a critical role in the ATP and anaerobic energy systems of the body, the primary sources of fuel for high-intensity exercise.
• Improve Nutrient Transport
Consuming carbs causes a release of insulin, which helps drive nutrients (including essential amino acids) into muscle cells, supporting muscle growth
• Enhance Neural Drive
Carbohydrates improve neural drive, “spiking” activity of motor neurons that causes your muscles to fire with maximum effort. Consuming carbs during training can help reduce fatigue and sustain focus during training.
• Reduce Muscle Breakdown
The duo of carbs and carb-generated insulin release combats muscle protein breakdown during training, which maintains a positive net protein balance, allowing for better growth.[10,11]
• Aid Recovery
Consuming carbs during and after your workout can also accelerate recovery and help reduce the onset of soreness, allowing you to train more frequently and reap more gains.
When you step back and look at the laundry list of benefits carbohydrates have to offer for performance and muscle growth, you wonder how carbs ever got a bad rap in the first place. Now let’s take a look at the best carbs to use during training.Ideal Training Carbs
By now, you know what the “good” carbs are out there — sweet potatoes, whole grains, vegetables, etc. These slow-digesting carbs should make up the majority of your carb intake during the day as they provide a steady release of energy, but what about during training?
Obviously you’re not going to be pounding a bowl of oats during your rest periods (you could if you really wanted to, we guess?!), so what type of carbs should you consume during your workout?
Consuming fast-digesting carbs during your training means they get to your muscles ASAP where they can get to work immediately, powering your muscles through even the longest training sessions.
Here’s two of the very best:
Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD)
For decades, athletes messed with all sorts of quick digesting carbs. Fooling around with the likes of maltodextrin, waxy maize, and numerous others sugars all in the hopes of finding the perfect training carb. Sadly, those popular carbs of yesteryear were simply too slow digesting to be of real benefit during training.
Enter Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD).
HBCD is created from amylopectin (a type of starch found in plants). These amylopectin molecules are treated with enzymes that alter their structure and shape yielding a unique cross-bridge structure that gives HBCD a high molecular weight and low osmolality — exactly what we want in an intra workout carb!
This unique branch-like structure means HBCD flies through your GI system, without causing any GI upset, and onto your muscles where it’s immediately used for energy and muscle repair. HBCD also improves endurance and helps reduce soreness[14,15], by way of bringing extra nutrients to your working muscles.
Proponent of HBCD constantly rave about the improved performance, reduced fatigue, and stronger pumps they get when supplementing with HBCD intra workout.
Also known as isomaltulose, Palatinose is a low glycemic form of sucrose (table sugar) derived from beet sugar that’s about 50% as sweet as regular sucrose. This means that Palatinose won’t spike blood sugar levels like other intra workout carbs. Palatinose helps increase fat oxidation during training, ramping up fat burning, and sparing stored muscle glycogen for the really intense work later in your training session.
Furthermore, Palatinose also resists the onset of post-exercise hypoglycemia, a condition where blood sugar stores are depleted after intense training. Blood glucose can drop for 24 hours following vigorous exercise, which can cause tiredness or the “lag effect” while your body replenishes its depleted glycogen stores. We’ve all experience the feeling of being run down the day after a hard workout, you don’t even want to get out of bed! But, with Palatinose, you can avoid those sluggish feelings and get back in the gym day after day.
Your Optimal Training Fuel
Carbohydrates are absolutely essential to maximizing your performance in the gym and building slabs of lean muscle tissue. The only intra workout to combine both the power of Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin and Palatinose is Primeval Labs Intracell 7.
Each serving delivers 20g of rapidly digesting carbs along with hydration supporting agents in Taurine and GlycerPump to sustain performance and reduce fatigue. Primeval Labs has also included all the essential amino acids (including the BCAAs) to combat muscle protein breakdown and support muscle growth.
When looking for the ultimate intra workout carb supplement, the choice is clear — Primeval Labs Intracell 7!References
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