The carbohydrate calculator suggests how many carbohydrates per day you should eat each day to stay fit and healthy. Depending on the lifestyle and intensity of training, an individual’s carbohydrate requirement varies.
1. WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?
Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for your body. They are one of the three macronutrients you need, along with protein and fat. Your body converts carbohydrates into glycogen for energy. You can increase the amount of glycogen in your musculoskeletal system reserves through resistance training. The liver also has a glycogen supply of around 100g.
1.1 WHAT ARE COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES?
Complex carbohydrates are foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They contain essential nutrients and minerals. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest. Many starchy foods are also a source of complex carbohydrates (beans and legumes in general, for example).
Complex carbohydrates do not cause blood sugar spikes, which is essential not only for those with diabetes but also for everyone else, including athletes.
Examples of complex carbohydrates:
100 g of brown rice contains 23 g of carbohydrates
1 large potato contains 45 g of carbohydrates
100 g of oat flakes contain 66 g of carbohydrates
1.2 WHAT ARE SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES?
Simple carbohydrates are a type of sugar. Your body processes them quickly, and your blood sugar suddenly spikes when you take them, then drops rapidly causing your blood sugar to drop. So at first, you feel like you have plenty of energy, but then suddenly you can’t get up from the couch. Try These 8 Healthy Sugar Alternatives!
So would it be better to completely eliminate simple carbohydrates from your diet? Not exactly. Consuming too many simple carbohydrates can lead to hyperglycemia and, in the long term, diabetes. But simple carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for athletes. When carbohydrate stores are depleted, the body starts breaking down fat for energy, but the process is less efficient than with carbohydrates. The result is a feeling of extreme fatigue while running.
Consuming simple carbohydrates helps build up energy for endurance physical activities such as running or cycling, but otherwise, it is better to consume a smaller amount.
Examples of simple carbohydrates:
100 g of sugar equals 100 g of carbohydrates
100 g of maple syrup contains 67 g of carbohydrates
100 g of honey contains 82 g of carbohydrates
2. HOW TO CALCULATE THE CARBOHYDRATES I EAT?
Always take a look at the labels of the foods you buy. Look for the carbohydrate section, where you typically find three numbers:
Total Carbohydrates: The total amount of carbohydrates in a serving.
Fiber: The part of carbohydrates that the body cannot process as insoluble fiber. Learn more about the benefits of dietary fiber for athletes. If you’re trying to track your carbs, you can subtract fiber from the count.
Sugar: The part of the total carbohydrate that comes from sugar. Find out what are the good reasons to eliminate sugar from your diet.
Record all the carbohydrates you eat in a day to get your total daily intake. Subtract the carbohydrates that come from dietary fiber from the total to get the net carbohydrate intake.
3. HOW MANY CARBOHYDRATES PER DAY DO I NEED TO TAKE TO LOSE WEIGHT?
Reducing carbohydrate intake can help those looking to lose weight, as their daily calorie intake is lowered. Also, unlike proteins, carbohydrates do not provide a lasting sense of satiety. Protein also contains fewer calories per gram than carbohydrates.
The precise amount of carbohydrates to be consumed daily to lose weight must be part of a healthy weight loss strategy, which also depends on your level of physical activity. For example, if you already consume 300g of carbohydrates per day but increase exercise by one hour per day, you have effectively cut your daily intake, as your diet has remained unchanged despite burning more energy throughout the day.
Another way to set your carbohydrate consumption if you want to lose weight is to cut your consumption of simple sugars when you are not exercising. This strategy also has a positive effect on blood sugar and promotes good cholesterol.
So, should you cut your carbohydrate consumption to lose weight? Or is it better to focus on exercise and a balanced diet? The answer is that combining more physical activity with a healthy diet will likely give you better and longer-lasting results.
4. LOW CARB DIET: HOW MANY CARBOHYDRATES PER DAY?
There is no definition of how “few” carbohydrates are. From 50g down a day, you can probably talk about a low-carb diet, but it all depends on your level of physical activity. A cyclist burns over 100g of carbohydrates every hour, for example. If you don’t get enough fuel, you risk having to slow down when your body starts burning fat for energy.
It should also be noted that the human brain is a muscle that needs carbohydrates to function. Eating too few carbohydrates can cause you to feel dizzy or have difficulty thinking, as the brain is not used to reduced consumption of this macronutrient.
At this point, you may be wondering: Why not train your body to burn fat instead of fueling it with carbohydrates? After all, the human body has an almost unlimited supply of fat but a very low ability to store carbohydrates. This is not a simple question, and the answer varies from person to person. However, most people don’t benefit greatly from a low-carb diet that focuses on fat burning.