Carbohydrate Needs - How Many Grams
of Carbs To Build Muscle
Carbohydrates are the first & most efficient source of
energy for the vital processes. Chemically carbohydrates are a mixture of carbon,
hydrogen, & oxygen. These are naturally manufactured in plants by a process
called photosynthesis in the presence of air, water, sunlight & chlorophyll.
are of two types:
- Simple carbohydrates: These are readily
digested & absorbed after being consumed. These are mostly found in fruits
& refined products. E.g. sugars (glucose, galactose, and fructose).
carbohydrates: these are found in all plant-based foods & take a longer
time to digest. E.g. starch, cellulose.
Functions of Carbs:
These are the least expensive source of energy to the body. Each gram of carbohydrate
gives four kcals of energy. At least 55%-60% of our daily calories should come
from carbohydrates. However it may range from 50%-70% in our daily diet.
Starches & sugars provide with readily accessible energy for physical performance.
Every nutrient plays its own role in providing nutrition to our bodies. When carbohydrates
are adequately provided in the diet they are utilized to fulfill the basic energy
needs. When the amount in the diet is not adequate, dietary protein is used as
a source of energy. If this situation continues for a long period, muscle protein
is also utilized and this puts a lot of load on kidneys. The digestion of proteins
also leads to the formation of ketone bodies which when accumulates in blood causes
ketosis & may result in renal problems.
spare proteins from being used as the source of energy & this is known as
'protein sparing action'. It occurs mostly during prolonged dieting, starvation
- It also helps in metabolism of fats.
- The heart muscle
mainly uses glucose as source of energy.
- Lactose (milk sugar) promotes
the growth of desirable bacteria, some of which are useful in the synthesis of
vitamin B-complex. It also enhances calcium absorption.
after being consumed are converted to glucose, which is absorbed in the bloodstream
& provides the body cells with energy for metabolic & physical activity.
The extra amount of glucose is stored in liver & muscle cells as glycogen,
which provides extra energy when required. Any left over glycogen is turned into
fat globules & is stored in adipose tissue. Steady excess intake of the carbohydrate
through the diet, is turned into fat.
A brisk walk for more than 30 minutes
utilizes glycogen & then targets for fat reserves for energy. So a 45min-1hr
brisk walk daily is a wonder exercise for losing weight in a healthy way!
of cooking on carbohydrates
Cooking facilitates the breaking down of starch
granules & makes digestion process easier in small intestine. Raw starch from
cereals is digested slowly. Raw starch from banana (mainly unripe) & potato
passes 90% undigested through the small intestine.
blood glucose levels are important for the brain & nervous tissue, which depends
on blood glucose for energy. Moreover, glycogen is also not stored in the nervous
After eating a meal containing carbohydrates, blood glucose level (80-100mg/dl
of blood) normally rises to 130-140mg/dl in one hour. However, after two hrs of
meal intake normal fasting blood glucose levels returns. If the blood glucose
levels fall to 30-50mg/dl, the condition I hypoglycemia in which the brain is
deprived of energy & the person experiences fatigue, irritation, sweating,
headache etc. if the level drop down to a more lower range fainting, coma &
ultimately death may follow. So maintaining normal blood glucose levels is necessary!
is the key organ in this process. Even when there is no carbohydrate in the diet,
it along with kidneys undergoes a process of gluconeogenesis & converts non-
carbohydrate substances into glucose.
It is that
portion of food derived from plant cells, which cannot be digested by the human
Soluble fiber obtained from fruits & vegetables gives healthy
skin & hair. Insoluble Faber obtained from legumes & whole wheat grains
acts as a
- Natural laxative.
- Gives feeling of fullness.
Prevents digestive disorders.
- Aids in intestinal movements.
Bulks up the stool & makes it softer.
An excess of fiber can
- Interfere with
mineral absorption such as that of calcium & iron.
diet should have 15-25g of Faber per day.
Requirement of carbohydrates
minimum requirement of carbohydrates is 100g. However, in a balanced diet, 60%
of total calories should come from carbohydrates.
honey, sugar, malt products, milk & milk products, beans, processed foods,
legumes, whole grains, bran, outer covering of seeds etc. are all good sources
- Pure sugars are almost 100% carbohydrate source.
jellies, & jams contain 65-80% carbohydrates.
- 100g of rice has
78g of carbohydrate.
- 100ml of skimmed milk powder has 51g of carbohydrates.
of potato has 23g of carbohydrates.
Therefore, carbohydrates form
a very essential part of our daily diet & should be included daily in appropriate
amounts to ensure enough energy supply & proper functioning of our body. Include
more of complex carbohydrates, fruits, & whole grains in the diet and have
long lasting energy!