What are carbohydrates
If,in fact,protein has been the most over-emphasized nutrient, then carbohydrates have been the most maligned. The anticarbohydrate litany began in Britain in the early 1950, and reached its apex in the U.S., when diet books by so-called “experts” blamed carbohydrates for everything from obesityto schizophrenia! Talk about being estraged from realty. Now let’s debunk the theories of those who rail against carbohydrates.
One of the first things we lear in elementary biology is that life on the planet earth is dependent on the sun. We also learn that all of our food energy begins with plants. When we eat beef, for instance, we derive nutrients that the animal stored by eating grass.
Plants ger their energy in a process involving the sun called photosynthesis, which means “putting together with light”. What the sun is putting together are two of the most common chemicals on earth and in its atmosphere – carbon dioxide and water. Plants use oxygen to combine with carbon dioxide and water to form a hydrated carbon, or carbohydrate, as we commonly refer to it.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source of our muscles. And for high intensity training of the Heavy Duty variety or any other type, carbohydrate in the form of the simple sugar, glucose, is the only fuel. When we don’t take in enough sugar throught our diet to fuel muscular contractions,our bodies transform the amino acid alanine, derived from ingested protein or our own muscle tissue, into glucse. So carbohydrates also have a “protein-sparing effect,” which should cause any bodybuilder on a low-carb diet to reconsider such folly. Both our muscles and our central nervous system derive almost 100 percent of thir nutrition from sugar.
In addition to supplying energy, carbohydrates supply important building blocks of life. The ribose found in RNA and DNA is made from carbohydrates we consume. In light of all these facts, how can carbohydrates be poisonous toxins as asserted by the anti-carbohydrate people?
The fact is that carbohydrates can be dangerous, but only when consumed in exess. The body has a certain capacity for dealing with excess beyond need. But this capacity is not infinite, and can be overwhelmed. The same is true, however, with proteins and fats. Proof exists now that excess protein may be the most harmful of all, having been implicated in intestinal cancer, kidney disorders and a host of other degenerative diseases.
Carbohydrates, therefore, are a vital nutrient in the bodybuilder’s diet. In addition to providing the energy necessary for intense workouts, carbohydrates (in the form of glycogen) are stored in muscles, where each gram of glycogen “holds” three grams of water.
This is the reason you often feel loggy, and gain an inordinate amount of weight, the day after going on a carbohydrate binge. And living on low-carb diets inevitably results in periodic binges.
No matter how hard you try to abstain, the wisdom of the body wins out eventualy. and will attempt to “over-compensate” for the prolonged shortage of vital carbohydrates by making you eat everything in sight. This sets up a pattern of failure and frustration for many who equate such binges with moral weakness and personal shortcomings. These binges are the natural result of trying to live on a very low carbohydrate diet, as Dr. L. M. Vincent points out in his book on dancers, Competing With The Sylph. Why not avoid all that by folowing a well-balanced diet which has up to 60 percent carbohydrates?
The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer!
What are carbohydrates article is from Mike Mentzner book “Heavy Duty”.
Official website @ Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty