4 indicators you should eat extra carbs, from mind fog to train, colds and flu

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that, along with fats and proteins, make up all of our foods. They are found in varying amounts in many foods, from pasta and bread to oats and bananas.

Cutting down – or cutting down on – carbs is often mistaken as a way to

weight loss

but not only Is this a legend?it can negatively impact your health.

Limited quantity highly processed foods like the cookies and chips that we eat are often beneficial. But there’s no good reason to reduce or eliminate carbs from your diet, registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine told Insider.

Dietary requirements vary from person to person, but Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends creating half your plate with fruits and vegetables, which are usually mostly made up of carbohydrates.

Dr. Mark Hyman previously told InsiderGabby Landsverk’s that the average person should consume up to 75% of their overall food intake (by mass) from carbs. Prioritize carbs from vegetables and fruits over sugary foods or Refined carbshe say.

When you don’t eat enough carbs, it can show up in physical signs in the body, says Ludlam-Raine.

Low-carb diet Ludlam-Raine says:

These side effects include fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty recovering from exercise.

“Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel that provide our muscles and brains with the energy they need to move and think,” registered dietitian. Lily Soutter previously told Insider.

1. Lack of energy

Carbs are the body’s main source of fuel, so if you reduce your carb intake significantly, you’ll likely notice your energy levels depleting as well, says Ludlam-Raine.

“Our bodies can use other fuel sources (such as fat), although carbohydrates can provide a faster source of energy to allow us to function optimally, both cognitively and physically,” she said.

2. Brain fog

The brain needs glucose, broken down from carbs, to function optimally. So when you don’t consume enough carbs, you can feel bad and have trouble concentrating, says Ludlam-Raine.

“Consuming carbs along with protein helps support production tryptophan It is then converted into serotonin, also known as the happy hormone,” she says, referring to the essential amino acid needed to produce and maintain proteins in our bodies.

Ludlam-Raine recommends getting your carbs primarily from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as they provide fiber and essential nutrients to support overall health and well-being.

3. Less energy to exercise

The body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in the liver and muscles. This is used to provide energy and is therefore beneficial for exerciseWhether it’s running, cycling or hitting the gym, says Ludlam-Raine.

Eating enough carbs is especially important for people who do intense workouts like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or CrossFitSports nutrition coach Dr. Mike Molloy previously told Insider.

If you don’t consume enough carbs, your performance will hit peaks and you can experience muscle loss and “exercise flu” – this is “a pretty nasty place” where you feel completely exhausted. Your body aches, your mind hurts, and you just want to lie on the ground, Molloy says.

4. Hard to recover after a workout

Carbs are not only beneficial for exercise but also support post-workout recovery also.

“After we exercise, our body needs to replenish glycogen stores that have been depleted during exercise, and therefore we should consume carbohydrates along with protein to aid recovery and allow you to feel your best before your next workout,” says Ludlam-Raine.

If your body doesn’t recover effectively, you may experience muscle pain longer after a workout, less energy the next time you hit the gym, and slower progress.

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