WEEK 1- CARBS TO FUEL
Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel for muscle and brain during intense exercise. They also spare muscles from being broken down to be used for energy. Studies have shown that we perform better in athletic events when properly fueling with enough carbs. If we don’t get enough, we can feel sluggish and hit a wall during long or intense workouts. When properly fueled, your muscles will have plenty of glucose stored as glycogen in the body, to be used as energy.
The best type of carbohydrates we can get are nutrient dense sources. That means they provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that are essential in our overall diet. Typically these sources are less processed and whole grain. Some examples are colorful fruits and vegetables, wild rice, and whole-wheat pasta. Limit low quality carbohydrates like cake, cookies, desserts, sodas, and sugary cereals. These food spike your insulin and don’t provide long term energy or micronutrients. Get the most bang for your buck with your carbohydrates.
Don’t be afraid of using carbohydrates to power up before intense workouts! You’ll feel the difference, fuel like an athlete.
Superfood Spotlight: Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. This gives it that bright orange color! Beta-carotene is an antioxidant as well as a precursor to Vitamin A, which is essential for skin and eye health. Sweet potato is also a great source of complex carbohydrates; long chain starches that are paired with soluble fiber to slow their digestion and absorption. This helps us have a longer lasting energy source throughout the day opposed to a quick spike that you’d get from sugar.