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Performance Nutrition: You Need Your Complex Carbs — Part Two

My friends! Let’s get into the carbohydrate business. As I said in my last post on complex carbohydrates, carbs give us glucose and glucose fuels our bodies. Even if some of us don’t like it, it is necessar. The worst part is that the human body stores very little carbohydrates — that means we have to eat quite a bit of carbs to fuel the machine. If we don’t eat them, our muscles don’t get the necessary glucose that helps them perform, and the brain goes awol, often times leading to us not even wanting to be on the mat. So, now that we understand how important carbs are, we need to be sure we have some carbs in our pre-workout meals, during workouts that last more than 60 minutes or are particularly intense, and in our post-workout/recovery meals. The earlier we refuel after training, the better.

Simple For a Reason

Let’s talk specifics. We have to know the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex ones. The simple ones are most likely found in “not-good-for-you-anyway-processed-food,” such as soft drinks, refined fruit juices, sugar and candy. Those simple carbs are quickly absorbed by the body and make their way into the bloodstream to give you that feeling good feel pretty fast. The sad truth about simple carbs is that the “mojo” won’t last more than 30 minutes if you are really training hard — remember what I said in a past article? If you plan to win, plan to train hard. Those simple carbs also don’t contain healthy vitamins, fiber, or minerals.

You Have Chosen…Wisely

Complex carbs are the holy grail of your performance nutrition. Complex carbs are full of good nutrients, generally low in calories, and are rich in fibers. They make you feel full and that allows you to eat less. Rice, pasta, potatoes, grains, fruits, breads, vegetables, cereals, barley, and more can keep you going longer and harder. Most of the carbs you eat daily should be the complex kind of carbs. Make sure you look at food labels and stick to the 100 percent whole grain family, for example. Some of that glucose you get from complex carbs does not go straight into the bloodstream. A lot of it goes to the liver where it is converted to glycogen and stored for that last moment — like the last two 10 minute rolls, the last 200 meters sprints around the track, or that last set in the weight room. These moments will make the difference in that hard fought match.
You need to pick your carbs wisely. Complex carbs will help you lose weight faster if that is one of your goals. Complex carbs have the vitamins you need for optimal health. Complex carbs have the fiber you need for weight gain, loss or weight maintenance. And complex carbs are healthier and help sustain your body and your mind. What are you waiting for? See you on the mat!

About Guy-Patrice Tchoumba

Guy-Patrice Tchoumba is a former Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor. He served in combat as a Force Protection Operator, a Counterintelligence Specialis, and an Interrogator Translator. He is a Brazilian jiu jitsu purple belt and teaches Combatives and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Parker. He has been training in martial art disciplines since 1989. Guy-Patrice discovered BJJ in 1996 and started training regularly in 2005 with John Danaher at the main Renzo Gracie in New York City. His goal is to help you realize your full potential as a warrior through the study of the different aspects of Jiu-Jitsu.

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