Why you need “carbs”

mp900182719-300x198You need “CARBS” to burn fat.

You need carbs for high intensity exercise and proper mental function.

The idea behind the low-carb and no carb diet plans is that you are forcing your body to utilize fat as its fuel source.

When you are engaged in aerobic activity at a low intensity level you are burning fat primarily as your fuel source.

You should be aware that fat only burns when carbs burn, fat burns in the flame of a carbohydrate.

When you are low on carbs your ability to burn fat diminishes.

Even when engaging in low intensity aerobic exercise to burn fat you will still burn more fat with a high intensity workout because your body will require more fuel to burn.  Your overall output is higher so your fuel consumption will be higher.

So your body is burning more fat even though it is using a mixture of fat and glycogen.

This is a topic for another article but that is why interval training is so incredibly effective at burning fat.   During interval training you switch from aerobic to anaerobic exercise which allows your body to release the lactic acid that accumulates in the muscles & release into the blood stream where the liver can take it & synthesize into glucose providing you with more fuel.

When the intensity of your workout increases to about 50% of  your max output about half of your fuel consumption will come from carbs and the other half will come from fat.

When you are low on carbs, your ability for short intense explosive movements such as lifting weights, wrestling, and sprinting is greatly diminished. This includes any intense physical exertion above 85% of your max output lasting from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

At 50% of your max, the majority of  your carbs are coming from blood glucose and glycogen which are being burned through your aerobic pathway. At this output level you’re burning about 50% carbs & 50% fat.

Since fat requires more chemical reactions to break it down your body can’t can break it down fast enough to be utilized during intense physical exertion (about 85% or higher of max output). For this reason carbs are needed.

During short intense physical exertion your body uses mostly glucose called muscle glycogen stored in the muscles to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate=the main energy for cells and muscle contraction).

This muscle glycogen is burned through the anaerobic pathway to produce ATP to feed the muscle. This process called glycolysis doesn’t require oxygen and it is not as efficient or clean burning as the aerobic pathway, but it is the quickest way to resupply ATP to the muscles.

Since your body can’t burn fat through the anaerobic pathway, carbohydrates become critical to your diet.

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