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Are Carbs Essential?

zackrock

zackrock

Member
Sep 8, 2010
87
6
#1
So whats your take on Carbs? more specifically, large amounts of carbs? Are they essential to building a good physique? or can you substitute them out in alot of cases?

Would a bodybuilder eating 400g of carbs a day make better gains than a guy eating 50-100g? Or is it just cheap additional cals?
 
jdjack

jdjack

MuscleHead
Sep 22, 2010
568
32
#2
No they are not IF you eat enough protein and fats. Any extra calories eaten will be broken down into sugar and essentially become "carbs". Its a process called gluconeogenesis. This is a VERY simplified way of saying it but its basically what happens.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,237
2,526
#3
Are carbs essential for weight training, imho yes I do believe they are. ATP drives muscle contractions and since the amount of ATP in the muscle is very limited (enough for only a couple seconds of intense muscle activity),it must be continuously supplied through both anaerobic and aerobic pathways. There are 2 anaerobic pathways: the phosphagen and glycotic pathways. These 2 pathways provide immediate ATP in limited amounts BUT are critical for high intensity, short duration exercise. The aerobic pathway is necessary for sustained energy. It's far more efficient than the anaerobic , BUT it cannot produce ATP rapidly. It provides energy for low to moderate intensity exercise by using carbs, fats, and protein as fuel.

I feel if you're training for strength you do need carbs in your diet but they should be timed right.
 
W

Wolf

MuscleHead
Dec 25, 2010
274
45
#4
To expand on what these guys said.

No it is not essential to survive
Yes it is essential for performance.

In the absence of dietary carbohydrates your body will go through a few changes in order to supply glucose for the brain. Your body will switch to the use of fatty acids and ketones for energy. The glycogen in your liver will be depleted within about 2-3 days then the glycogen in your muscles will start to diminish. In a situation where you can not obtain dietary carbohydrates your body will produce what's needed from protein, protein itself has something of up to a 50 percent conversion rate to glucose when the body needs it. Fats supply relatively very little glucose, the only way they can supply glucose is via the glycerol.

In terms of performance. Lack of dietary carbohydrates also limit insulin, insulin is one of the most if not the most anabolic substance that your body will produce naturally. A carb depleted athlete will not be able to perform at the same level as someone with full glycogen stores.

There is a point of diminishing returns where extra carbs that are taken in don't necessarily garner the same amount of difference than say a person eating 200 grams at the right time a day compared to someone eating 30 grams.
 
hugerobb

hugerobb

VIP Strength Advisor
Sep 15, 2010
2,027
56
#5
good post wolf that should help with the question
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,002
419
#6
nice post wolf - i keep my carbs below 300 and thats been for at least 8-10 years even when out in the field ...just keep the pro up and fats mod is all i do
 
Billthebutcher

Billthebutcher

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2011
294
20
#7
Since Last august I have lowered mine to see how it goes and energy has increased. It depends on a lot of factors I think. You have to feel out how your body responds. I dont think I could switch back.
 
Marly27

Marly27

New Member
Aug 25, 2014
4
4
#8
I have found that if my glucose responsiveness and insulin sensitivity are on par, little carbs goes a LONG way....so coming off a hard cut I don't need much. Certain factors influence this though such as training intensity..also if I am on gear or not I may need more as my anabolic period progresses. But factors outside of just more carbs/less carbs would be increase in training intensity, increase in glycogen uptake, etc.
 
JackD

JackD

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Sep 16, 2010
4,989
504
#9
I don't eat much carbs, I cut out for most days all grains, yeast, pasta, rice...ect. I eat a good amount of good protein and fat, lots of fruits and veggies, I get better results and get bigger quicker.
 
Titan

Titan

VIP Member
Dec 28, 2010
329
88
#10
Carbs are very much needed. We as humans are not strictly carnivores.
However, we can live on very little carbs but to remain healthy we need carbs daily.
Carbs are one of 3 micro nutrients we should be having each meal.
Fats are less essential than carbs. Yet still very necessary for good health.By eating meat we get plenty of fats and fats are in many vegetables.
Try totally (100%) eliminating carbs and you will soon find you have less energy and little stamina for hard work outs.
Cutting back on carbs slowly we find that over time we can live a very healthy life style with little carbs ie, around 300-500g per day.
 
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