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Smitty
10-07-2002, 10:53 AM
Ive been going down the gym years but have just recently moved up to a 3 day
/ week split and for the first time am seriously considering my diet to try
and bulk up.

Ive been reading loads but am still not 100% clear about carbs. This is what
Ive got...

All carbs have to be broken down into glucose to provide the muscle with
energy. (unless they are stored as fat etc etc)

There are 2 types of carbs - simple & complex.

The simple carbs or sugars, are monosaccharides (1 carb molecule) and
disaccharides (2 carb molecules) such as glucose and frucose. These are very
easy for the body to breakdown into glucose. The down side is they stimulate
a huge influx of insulin from the body which converts carbs to fat.

Complex carbs or starches, are longer chains of molecules, hundreds long for
some carbs in whole-wheat bread etc. Starches from wholemeal sources provide
a steady source of energy and avoid the 'insulin spike' as its called.
However looking for foods which have a high percent of starch as their
carbohydrate source is not in its self the solution. As refined foods such
as white bread contain starches, but these are very easily broken down into
sugars.

So, questions...

Is there anything on the food breakdown label which tells you this food is
a *good* carb source ?

Ive read that insulin is the bodies principal anabolic (muscle building)
hormone. So is it good to get an insulin spike just before training ? In
fact... as Im consuming my 1g/1 lb protein steadily though 6 meals a day and
at least 2 of my muscle groups are always recovering from work-out... aren't
insulin spikes gonna be beneficial ?

Ive read that simple sugars should be consumed after training to prevent
catabolism (muscle being used as the energy source)... Is this the perfect
excuse to binge on chocolate ? If not what is the ideal source of these
simple carbs ?

Any answers to these questions and related links will be much appreciated.
;)

The_Chicken_Daddy
10-07-2002, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Smitty
[B]Ive been going down the gym years but have just recently moved up to a 3 day
/ week split and for the first time am seriously considering my diet to try
and bulk up.

Ive been reading loads but am still not 100% clear about carbs. This is what
Ive got...

All carbs have to be broken down into glucose to provide the muscle with
energy. (unless they are stored as fat etc etc)

There are 2 types of carbs - simple & complex.

The simple carbs or sugars, are monosaccharides (1 carb molecule) and
disaccharides (2 carb molecules) such as glucose and frucose.

fructose is a dissacheride, yes, however, glucose is a mono.



These are very
easy for the body to breakdown into glucose.

Well, glucose doesn't need to be broken down into glucose now does it? ;)



The down side is they stimulate
a huge influx of insulin from the body which converts carbs to fat.

Not quite. Stimulating insulin via simple sugars does inhibit lipolysis, but if you eat less calories than you burn, you can still drop fat.

And the rate of carbs getting converted to fat is smaller than most are lead to believe. Nevertheless, eat more cals than you burn and you'll add weight. It's up to you to make the correct food choices and train hard to ensure that most of it is muslce.



Complex carbs or starches, are longer chains of molecules, hundreds long for
some carbs in whole-wheat bread etc. Starches from wholemeal sources provide
a steady source of energy and avoid the 'insulin spike' as its called.
However looking for foods which have a high percent of starch as their
carbohydrate source is not in its self the solution. As refined foods such
as white bread contain starches, but these are very easily broken down into
sugars.

Correct.



So, questions...

Is there anything on the food breakdown label which tells you this food is
a *good* carb source ?

'good' by who's standards?

Unfortunately not, no. But you can find out additives such as 'corn sugar' or 'dextrose' to mean added glucose.

Basically, good sources are: oats (non-processed), brown rice, wholewheat rice, sweet potatoes. Then there's 'second choice' (in my view anyway) carbs like pastas, breads etc...

Fruit is good for it's fibre, vit/minerals and phytochemical contents. The carb count is minimal for high-water/fibre content fruits like apples, grapefruits, strawberries etc...



Ive read that insulin is the bodies principal anabolic (muscle building)
hormone. So is it good to get an insulin spike just before training ?

Maybe. Depends on your goals at the time, but maybe, yes. Well, maybe not to have a spike before training, but drink som of your insulin-spiking-concoction before training, since digestive processes take a little longer so your 'spike' should be occuring at the end of your workout - right where you want it.



In
fact... as Im consuming my 1g/1 lb protein steadily though 6 meals a day and
at least 2 of my muscle groups are always recovering from work-out... aren't
insulin spikes gonna be beneficial ?

As far as i'm concerned, you don't need to spike insulin any other time than post w/o. Others may disagree. It's personal preference, but i prefer slow burning carbs for other times of the day.



Ive read that simple sugars should be consumed after training to prevent
catabolism (muscle being used as the energy source)...

Well, the insulin shuts of catabolic hormones like cortisol quicker, so in that regard, it's beneficial. It also promotes glycogen synthesis and aids recovery quicker. However, i personally control my calorie intake over the entire day so that at the end of the week i gain (or lose) about 0.5-1.5lbs a week. Hopefully 0.5lbs to keep fat gain minimal. In that regard, since it all comes down to the 24-hour calorie balance whether you gain or lose, it doesn't matter that much. However, from a recovery point of view, and due to more beneificial nutrient partitioning post training (ie more carbs and protein to muscle) a post workout shake is a good idea. Like i said earlier, it's up to you to dictate how much of what you gain each week is muscle vs fat. A post workout shake off good nutrients can assist that goal.



Is this the perfect
excuse to binge on chocolate ?

No. If you want some chocolate, have some, but don't binge. The fat in chocolate just slows digestion further which is something you don't want. Not to mention the majority of the sugar in chocolate is sucrose (ie table sugar, ie glucose+fructose).

When my cravings have been really bad i've used chocolate, but try not to use it too much.



If not what is the ideal source of these
simple carbs ?

Dextrose (or maltodextrin, which isn't actually a 'simple' carb, but still spikes the hell out of insulin). It's cheap and easy to drink 9since the sweet taste is quite nice).

Holto
10-07-2002, 12:48 PM
nice post TCD

Smitty
10-09-2002, 02:47 AM
thanks a lot for the advise TCD.

One thing, when you mention bread & pasta as 2nd rate carbs (in your opinion), do you mean white or wholemeal ?

The_Chicken_Daddy
10-09-2002, 04:34 AM
Originally posted by Smitty
One thing, when you mention bread & pasta as 2nd rate carbs (in your opinion), do you mean white or wholemeal ?

Well, wholewheat and brown breads and pastas are 'second string' and white breads and pastas are more 'third string'.

I don't actually eat any white bread at all.