This week ADOFitness trainers will be addressing topics we get asked a lot about. This week Coach Tara will be addressing the benefits of carbs preworkout for sustained energy throughout your workout.
This is definitely a question that I get asked a lot about. Recently I have had many people asking about the benefits of carbs before they lift. A lot of these individuals were on a low carb plan or fasting before they lifted, and were noticing they were feeling weak during their workouts. Carbs are essentially your energy source and are going to help power your workout. I understand some people prefer to lift on an empty stomach and that is totally fine, but if you want to feel energized and strong enough throughout your entire lift I would definitely recommend getting the proper amount of carbs before you head to the gym. Everyone wants to have a killer workout and we all have had those days where our workouts are dragging or we lack motivation and energy. One of the biggest reasons for that comes from what you are putting in your body.
While protein plays a role in muscle building and repair, carbohydrates are actually going to be your bodies energy source for long workouts. They are one of the best fuel sources due to how well they use oxygen. The amount of glycogen (carbs) that’s stored in your liver and muscle cells is going to be solely dependent on your intake. Your body will convert glycogen to glucose, which then your muscles will use as fuel. The amount of fuel your body gets to use for this workout is going to be based on what you have just put in your body. Once your body runs out of glycogen stores, not only do you feel lethargic and tired but you don’t have enough glycogen to sustain your energy throughout the rest of your workout. This is where our bodies will then start to burn fat as an energy source. YES, you do want your body to burn fat if your overall goal is fat loss, but you do not want your ONLY fuel source to be body fat, as body fat burns at a much slower rate than carbohydrates providing less overall energy. Which in the end slows you down and makes it much more difficult to get in a great workout.
Studies have shown that once your body has depleted it’s self of carbs you will feel very fatigued, you won’t be able to get full muscle contractions, and your tryptophan levels decrease. Tryptophan assists with serotonin production which is going to help improve your motivation and mood. So when that drops it makes it so much hard to push through a workout and keep your motivation up. Studies have shown that a low carbohydrate diet significantly enhanced fatigue and reduced overall desire to exercise. Which makes so much sense, as it is very hard to stay motivated when you are eating very little and have very low energy.
So overall if you want to have amazing energy and strong workouts where you can actually sustain your energy, I would highly recommend making sure to get a good portion of carbohydrates in before you head into the gym to lift.