We’ve all got an opinion on this seemingly devilish food group, but what are the real facts about eating carbohydrates?

Carbs are one of your three main macros and are essential for day to day life, unfortunately however their consumption over recent years has been so badly abused that it has earned them a terrible reputation. Years of eating processed and refined carbohydrates in the form of cakes, breads, pasta and cereals has led to an evermore obese population. This then followed by seemingly successful fad diets which completely cut carbohydrates has led to a nation terrified of eating carbs.

So should you be eating carbs? In short… yes, you wouldn’t be much use without them! But it all comes down to what type, when and in what amount.

Those of you looking for body fat reduction should maintain a limited intake of carbohydrates and stay away from starchy types such as breads and pastas. As a general rule of thumb, most individuals are eating around 80-100 grammes a day of good quality carbs such as vegetables, oats and potatoes, as part of a balanced diet and good exercise regime should lose body fat.

Those looking for muscle gain and performance improvements will find the need for greater quantities, perhaps 150-300 grammes per day, dependent on the individuals weight and training regime. However again theses should be good quality carbs like previously mentioned.

Some final quick tips on the dos and don’ts of eating carbs:
– Don’t eat carbs for breakfast!
– Do eat carbs straight after training!
– Do eat carbs before bed (seriously there are many benefits to this one)!
– Do stick to your carb quota for the day.
– Do get your carbs from good quality sources.
– Don’t eat sugary and refined carbs (the only exception can be immediately after training, in moderation).

So, stop running for the hills every time your mum cooks rice for dinner… We carb and you probably should too!

Happy training, and eating!