There is an ongoing debate within the fitness world about carbohydrates – some advocating a high carbohydrate diet, others saying carbohydrate restriction is the way forward. We therefore spoke to fitness expert Brendon Hartt of Xplosive Fitness to shed some light on the issue. He explained the bottom line is that whether you need more or less carbohydrates in your diet depends entirely on the individual. It also depends on three key factors – your individual activity level, your metabolism and your physique. Ultimately, your carbohydrate intake should be in line with all three of these factors.
If your fitness regime involves a lot of high intensity activity such as strength-training or sprinting, you definitely need carbohydrates to fuel your body and help you recover.
If you’re a less active individual, an excess of carbohydrates will lead to weight gain. In general, overweight individuals have poor nutrient partitioning abilities and therefore the carbohydrates they eat are more likely to be stored as fat. This is a less of an issue for those of a normal weight as they tend to have better nutrient partitioning abilities and are therefore more likely to store carbohydrates as glycogen.
It is important to remember that your individual activity level, your metabolism and your physique will naturally change over time, so you will have to reassess your carbohydrate intake, even after you have been following a fitness regime for some time. The best advice is to speak to a professional about assessing these key factors and working on a personalised nutrition plan together.