Mature athletes know that to get energy, they need carbs.
Carbohydrates are the human body’s preferred energy source. It is mostly because they can be digested faster than protein and fat. Plus, they give the brain and muscles the energy they need to function properly. According to the USDA, carbohydrates should make up 45% to 65% of your daily calories. For instance, if you consume 2,000 calories every day, about 900 to 1,300 of them should come from eating carbs.
Generally, there are two types of carbohydrates. The first one is called simple carbohydrates. Also known as simple sugars, they are broken down quickly by the human body. They have only one or two sugar molecules. Examples include honey, table sugar, and milk.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are more nutrient-dense. They take longer for your body to digest, helping fill you up. Also, unlike simple carbs, they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables all contain complex carbohydrates. Also, most foods with complex carbs are rich in dietary fiber and low in added sugar, making them a much healthier choice.
Here’s why complex carbs are much better than simple carbs:
They keep you full longer
Foods that contain simple carbs, such as candies and pastries, provide an immediate source of energy. However, your body digests them quickly, causing your blood sugar levels to spike. This often results in a post-sugar crash that makes you feel hungry immediately. Foods that contain complex carbs make you feel full for longer because they take longer to be digested, thanks to their much larger molecular structure. Their fiber content keeps you satiated, too. Since complex carbs keep you full for a longer period of time, eating them allows you to avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels.
They have more nutrients
Aside from regulating your blood sugar levels, complex carbohydrates provide you with the nutrients you need to keep your body in optimum condition. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
To illustrate this point, let’s take the humble sweet potato as an example. It is rich in vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide only sugar and none of the essential nutrients.
They are good for your heart
As mentioned earlier, foods that contain complex carbs are also rich in fiber. The good news is foods rich in soluble fiber can help reduce your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, thus, helping you avoid heart disease, hypertension, and other related health issues. Also, consuming 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day can help you lose weight. If you’re trying to shed off those extra pounds, eating complex carbs would be a good place to start.