Today we know a lot more about what to eat and why. So what’s better for fitness performance: carbs or fat? We’ve all heard the saying eat carbs before doing a physical activity and if you’re a mom, the saying went that you fed your child a large meal of pasta before a soccer game.
Nutrition is a significant element for anyone especially those who exercise or consider themselves athletes. Food is the fuel for your endurance and high-intensity. For this reason, carbohydrates have been the food source of choice.
In looking at Fitness performance is it really the best resource for you?
What’s Better for Fitness Performance: Carbs or Fat?
How Carbohydrates and Fat Compare During Exercise:
Our body can store both fat and carbs. Why we have always been told to eat a large bowl of pasta before running a race, or playing a hockey game is that carbohydrates convert to energy faster. Carbs also are the most efficient form for the experienced athlete.
What about fat then? Fat burns slower. This means it increases endurance and as your workout longer, or run farther having fat before you begin can increase your ability to sustain your running, cycling, or triathlon.
Our body’s store fat limitlessly. This is why we gain weight so eating fat or having a bit of body fat can be a good thing! The available carbohydrate stores are limited to what you’ve just eaten, not eliminated, or converted to fat storage.
There is no straight answer to what’s better for fitness performance: carbs or fat it depends on what you’re doing!
Weight gain and Carbohydrates
Another topic around food and fitness is weight gain and carbohydrates.
If you don’t use up all the calories from carbohydrates, you’ll store these as fat adding pounds and body mass in fat grams to yourself. There is a direct tie between weight gain and carbohydrates.
The key is eating a balance. In 2004, the Australian Institute of Sport found that your body can use a high-fat, low-carb diet by burning more fat during exercise.
Other research those still points out that performance is lost when you add too much fat.
Bottom line balance in all your meals means better performance. Eat the right diet for you to be at a healthy weight. The issue of weight gain and carbohydrates come in when you eat too much of this food group.
Before you move into a high-intensity workout or cardio activity, eat a tiny amount of carbs. Running for the large slice of lasagna or eating a heaping pile of mashed potatoes means weight gain in many instances.
Instead, eat a headful of nuts or sample a few small bites of pasta 30 minutes before activity for the average person. What’s better for fitness performance: carbs or fat is individual to each one. It also depends on what you’re doing as an activity the intensity or the endurance. Finally, consider weight gain and carbohydrates. If you’re looking to lose weight limit high carbs in your diet until you reach your goal weight.
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images: Nick Freund | Dreamstime.com – Model with spaghetti, Rido | Dreamstime.com – Man Eating Energy Bar