Different body types and Carbohydrates

Different body types and Carbohydrates

Carbs always seem to get a bad rep - I hear it so often “bread is bad for you” or “I don't eat carbs”. Both of these statements are not true - Bread is bad for you if you are gluten intolerant, and yes you do eat carbs if you eat fruit, veg dairy and grains - they are pretty hard to avoid completely.

That being said - it doesn't mean we can’t be about smart when we eat our carbs to get the most benefit from them. Everyone responds to carbohydrates differently. For example - and ectomorph generally has higher carb tolerance and needs the extra carbs to fuel their bodies as they don't store as much fat. Whereas an endomorph who has more body fat stores needs to eat lower amount, and the time the carbs correctly so that its used to replenish the muscle stores and not be store as fat.

As a guide I would recommend that Ectomorph (tall and skinny build - think long distance runner) eat 50%-55% of they daily calorie intake as carbohydrates - drinking something that contains carbs during exercise for added energy and not to start using muscle mass for energy - coconut water is an excellent option. Ectomorphs will generally find it harder to put on muscle.

For a mesomorph (sprinter) - who has the more muscular build, I would recommend 40% carbohydrates. Mesomorphs generally have a moderate tolerance of carbohydrates and with a higher amount of muscle - the carbs will be used to replenish their larger muscle stores and allow and give them the energy to train harder.

Endomorphs carry more body fat (powerlifter and field events) and have the lowest carbohydrate tolerance. They should be eating 25% of their daily calorie allowance from carbs. Timing is also important for this body type and starchy carbs should only be eaten after exercise so less likely to be stored as fat. The rest of the time carbs should be coming from vegetables and fruit (mainly vegetables - using the ratio of 5:1)

I have used athletes as an example as physiques for different sports can be so different and it gives you a good picture in your head. If you can’t place yourself in a specific body type and your goal is body fat loss I would suggest starting off with 25% carbs. This can be adjusted as you go based on the results you are getting or if you feeling like you don't have the energy to train.

The best type of carbohydrates to eat all the time are the unprocessed, slow realising ones. These will contain more micronutrients and as they are high in fibre you will feel fuller for longer. After a hard training session thats when you can go for the quick release options like rice, pasta, bread etc. Your body will be more insulin sensitive at this point and will use these quick carbs to help replenish your muscle stores. I like to use a glass as an example - imagine it full - while you exercise the glass starts to empty. Eating quick release carbs after exercising will help the full the glass up faster (replenish your muscle stores) - but over eat and the glass will overflow and this will be stored as fat.

Have a look at one of my previous posts - showing what you plate of food should look like to get a better idea.

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