Many athletes have learned and understood the importance of getting the proper nutrients, but many have turned to the idea of using a low-carb diet to help with weight management. The field of sports medicine is quite alarmed by this recent trend. The number of athletes starting to use low-carbohydrate diets has been alarming in recent years. Even more alarming is that these diets can cause serious long-term complications, such as making weight loss more difficult.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy needed by all athletes. Without this vital energy, the body becomes more prone to injury from fatigue and stress. This is never a desirable outcome, but sadly, it has become more common in recent years. A proper diet for an athlete includes consuming a few carbohydrates.
Generally, the amount of carbohydrates that athletes should consume is much higher than that sedentary people require. The number of carbohydrates each athlete needs varies greatly, and some need more than others. It is essential to speak with your sports physician to determine the exact amount of carbohydrate intake you should personally target.
There are times when athletes are specifically encouraged to increase their carbohydrate intake; this is especially common during tournaments, competitions, and if you are involved in more than one sport at a time. This is to ensure that you have enough strength to handle the rigors placed on your body during particularly strenuous activities. Additionally, there are other situations where your doctor may recommend reducing your carbohydrate intake. However, your sports medicine team should carefully monitor all severe adjustments to your diet to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients.
With more and more fad diets appearing on the market, it’s essential to listen to what your doctor has to say about your diet. Athletes should store 15 grams per kilogram of body weight in the form of carbohydrates—that means15 grams for every 2.2 pounds. For an average 180-pound athlete, this translates to 1227 grams of carbohydrates.
Depending on how carbohydrates relate to calories, it’s easy to use the following conversion. One gram of carbohydrates converts energy into four calories. This means that for an athlete weighing 180 pounds, 1227 grams of carbohydrates should consume 4909 calories. This is a huge number for most people; However, some athletes require higher caloric intake while others can handle much lower intake levels. Ultimately, it’s up to you to work with your doctor to determine the best class for your personal needs.
Remember, reducing the level of carbohydrates can significantly harm the body. If your body doesn’t consume enough carbohydrates, the body starts using protein as energy. It can cause muscle breakdown. The result for many people who do not consume enough carbohydrates is an overall poor condition and less energy to engage in their favorite sport actively.
An important consideration is who will provide advice on your dietary needs. Most trainers don’t always know the most up-to-date nutritional information. This makes it too risky to take a coach’s word for how many calories and carbs you should be consuming per day. You can consult with your trainer and your doctor to develop the best possible solution, keeping your fitness, athletic, and health goals in mind to achieve the best possible results.
Maintaining your health is essential to ensure you are as healthy as possible. Remember, sometimes you need to adjust your carbohydrate intake; It should always be done under the supervision of a doctor to ensure that it does not harm your body or overall health. Your physical safety is more important than lowering your carb intake.