Eat your carbohydrates. There… I said it. You either want to give me a hug or punch me in the throat for saying that. Depending on what side of the debate you’re on, you should first fully understand the benefits of carbohydrates before you take action after reading that statement.
Whoa now! Simmer down. I know you may be a little hesitant to focus on carbohydrates in your nutrition plan. For some reason, carbohydrates were part of cancel culture before cancel culture was even a thing. If you talk about carbohydrates or tell someone that your nutrition plan contains a moderate or high amount, you’ll get a swarm of people ganging up on you, ready to kick you into the bottomless pit and scream, “This is Sparta!”
Unfortunately, quite a few people are part of an anti-carb cult and don’t truly understand the benefits of carbohydrates. Many believe that the only way to enhance weight loss is to eliminate carbohydrates — but that isn’t necessary.
When you look at the various macronutrient options (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), each of them serves a very important purpose in the body. While some may argue that you can get away with eliminating carbohydrates and replacing them with fat, it may not be the best or most ideal option for you.
In this article, we will look at the many benefits of carbohydrates and why you should make them a priority in your nutrition plan — no different from how much emphasis you probably put on your protein intake.
Let’s dive in!
The Benefits of Carbohydrates
Below, you will find a list of the many benefits of carbohydrates and why they need to be included as part of your well-balanced nutrition plan. Carbohydrates are not the enemy. The only enemy is those who are ill-informed on the topic.
1. Weight Management
Now, wait a minute! I thought people were screaming from the mountaintop that carbohydrates are the reason for weight gain? How could one of the benefits of carbohydrates be that they can aid in weight management? Well, it can!
Here’s the truth… Not all carbohydrates are bad. The ones you should try to stay away from are simple carbohydrates and sugars (with the exception being fruit). These will cause an immediate spike in blood sugar and tend to not have the most ideal health benefits.
Focus on complex carbohydrates to help fuel your body (provide you with adequate energy to get through workouts and allow you to live a more active lifestyle) while also helping you feel more satiated throughout the day and helping prevent you from going into a caloric surplus. The less your body is causing insulin to spike, the less it will signal for your body to start storing fat.
It should also be noted and explained for those in the back that consuming carbohydrates isn’t the reason for people experiencing weight gain. Weight gain comes from putting yourself in a caloric surplus, which takes into account everything you eat on a daily basis. Just because you had white rice in one of your meals doesn’t mean that carb source is going to cause you to wake up tomorrow and see the number on the scale jump up.
2. Increase Muscle Mass
Do you want to build more lean muscle mass? If so, it’s one of the benefits of carbohydrates. Muscle mass not only enhances your physique but also burns more calories throughout the day without you needing to do anything. This aligns with what was mentioned in #1 and helps you more easily manage your weight.
Carbohydrates provide glycogen to the muscles, which is converted into ATP (an energy source) to help amplify your workouts and allow you to push harder and further in the gym.
3. Boost Energy
As mentioned in #2, one of the benefits of carbohydrates is that it provides the body with a usable energy source. Carbohydrates are metabolized into glucose which aids in our everyday functioning, such as walking, movement, exercise, breathing, everything!
When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates (glucose), you may feel tired, lethargic, and may even suffer from brain fog — which leads us to our next benefit.
4. Enhance Cognition
If you haven’t caught on yet, just about each of the benefits of carbohydrates go hand-in-hand with the other benefits and create compounding effects. When carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, they can get transported to the brain. Your brain demands glucose since glucose cannot be stored in the brain.
When glucose is not supplied to the brain in adequate amounts, you may experience brain fog, a reduction in focus, a lapse in memory, and even a decrease in learning capabilities.
5. Elevate Mood
Who doesn’t love eating carbohydrates? They make you feel happy, right? Well, there’s a reason for that. Most of the carbs you consume daily contain the amino acid L-tryptophan. This amino acid produces a “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Those who follow a low-carb or no-carb diet may find they feel more anxious, depressed, or angry due to tryptophan and serotonin levels not being optimized.
The Carbohydrates You Need… And the Flavors You Desire!
So, what did we learn today? Hopefully, the information presented above gave you a better idea of what you can expect and the benefits of carbohydrates. Carbs are not the enemy and shouldn’t be treated like the red-headed stepchild of the macronutrient family.
With that being said, be conscious of the source of carbohydrates that you’re putting into your body. On top of utilizing complex carbohydrates to your advantage and getting all the benefits of carbohydrates, why not satisfy your cravings with a delicious flavor of Rice ‘N Grinds? With flavors like Taco, Creamy Peanut Butter, Blueberry Muffin, Maple Waffle, and more, your tastebuds will never get bored. Check out all the flavors we have to offer!