Our organism receives the major part of energy it needs from carbohydrates. They provide us with 55-60% of total utilized energy. Carbohydrates are oxidized in cell mitochondrions; and the released energy is stored in the form of ATP molecules.

Make a note: caloric value of 1gr of a carbohydrate amounts 17 kilojoules or 4.1 kilocalories.

The table of minimum carbohydrate necessity in accordance with different load duration

Workout duration Carbs / paund of body weight a day
Short-average (for about 1 hour) 2-2.5
Average (1-2 hours) 2.5-3
Average-long (2-4 hours) 3-3.5
Long (more than 4 hours a day) 3.5-4

GOOD CARBS FOOD DIETCarbohydrates are the main energy battery of any sportsmen. They appear to be not only a means to keep the high level of working intensity throughout a training session but also a regulator of our metabolism. If you stick to low-carb diet your body will start using proteins as an energy source.

Shortage of carbs in your food will lead to reduction of proteins because in this case food proteins will be used as an energy source instead of being used for muscles construction.

Glycemic index

Glycemic index (GI) is the factor of carbohydrate assimilation speed. GI determines ability of carbohydrates to increase sugar level in our blood in comparison with glucose intake. According to GI all carbohydrates are divided into ‘good’ (low GI) and ‘bad’ (high GI). The last ones increase insulin level of our blood very quickly; and this can lead to accumulation of excess fat. We can always witness increase of glucose level in blood after any intake of food containing carbohydrates. The speed of rise of sugar level in blood depends on its amount containing in food products and peculiarities of its chemical composition. All carbohydrates are divided into simple (sugars) and complex ones.

Simple carbs (sugars):

Simple carbohydrates are present in milk, fruits and some vegetables. Pure table sugar is a simple carbohydrate. The main peculiarity of simple carbohydrates is that they are assimilated very quickly and dramatically increase insulin level in blood.

 Glycemic index Complex carbs (starch and food fibers):

In comparison with simple carbohydrates decomposition of complex ones includes several digestion stages. Food fibers are so complicated that they simply cannot be assimilated by our organism. Complex carbohydrates are present in grain crops and such products as bread, cereals and macaroni, potatoes and some other vegetables.

After-training carbs nutrition should obligatory include a lot of carbohydrates with high GI. To put it simpler, you’ll have to eat a lot of sweet stuff. The reason for this is that a training session results in so-called after-training ‘carbohydrate window’ when carbohydrate need increases due to lack of energy spent during this training session. This is the time when glycogen in muscles is accumulated most actively (your energy supply). So, if you miss this ‘carbohydrate window’ glycogen storing process will slower to its regular level.

You’ll need really a lot of carbohydrates! Athletes, who stick to high-intensity trainings of 1-1.5 hours’ duration, require 1-1.5gr of high GI carbohydrates together with their after-training cocktail. To replenish glycogen supply a bodybuilder weighing 220 lbs needs approximately 100-150gr of carbohydrates. In addition he’ll have to take 30-50gr of proteins obtained from easily assimilated proteins or amino acids.

Carbs Diet tips

1. The total amount of carbohydrates should be enough for muscle growth. Don’t neglect complex carbohydrate dishes (rice, macaroni, cereals).


2. Drink a sweet protein cocktail containing a lot of simple carbohydrates (50-100gr) right after getting up in the mourning: it will refill your ‘tanks’ that got empty during the night.


3. Eat complex carbohydrates 2 hours before your training in order to provide your body with energy. Drinking sweet carbohydrate drinks during trainings is also a good idea during the period of mass growing.


4. Drink a cocktail after your training to replenish glycogen supply; 50-100gr of simple carbohydrates + 30gr of proteins will be enough.


5. Don’t eat carbohydrates several hours before going to sleep. Be especially attentive to simple carbohydrates because when you sleep they lead to fat accumulation.


Written by: Dennis Borisov
© April 2010 All rights reserved. Reprint article with link only.