Are Carbs Bad for You?

Carbs make you fat….okay, not really.

All the trendy diets are saying it, so it must be true right? It’s all the buzz right now especially with keto, Atkins and Paleo touting low carb diets.

But you know better. After all, it’s hard to call all carbs bad when vegetables are carbohydrates, and so are fruits. You know that eating the rainbow is how you get the best nutritional benefits.

Yup, something like that.

So it should come as no surprise that any diet attempting to completely purge carbohydrates — or anyone suggesting all carbs are evil — needs to take a step back, cut out the dogma, and take a hard look at reality, personal preference, and make sure we’re all clear on the real rules of carbohydrates.

Bars that tout low net carb are generally geared toward weight loss and keto dieters. The keto diet, as many are aware, is a diet that touts the benefits of a high fat, low carb diet in order to push your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is like supercharging your metabolism to breakdown fat to use as energy. It can be a diet geared toward a variety of people including athletes if done right. Generally though, a low carb or keto diet should be a temporary ‘reset’ and can be hard to sustain for long term weight loss if that is the nutrition goal. The keto diet has several pros and cons. You can check out more of our discussion on keto here.

Carbs are Vital for Performance

However, for the purposes of this post. We’re all about those carbs! Carbohydrates are vital for athletes to reach peak performance during physical activity. Carbs are also the quickest energy production the in the body. Carbs are your brain’s main energy supply through glucose, the brain’s key neurotransmitter. Carbs are absolutely necessary for athletes looking to improve their performance intensity due to the need of muscle glycogen during aerobic and anaerobic exercise. In addition, carbs are easily digested compared to fat or protein foods.

Macros are the Secret Sauce

If carbs are the condiment, then macros are the secret sauce. It’s no wonder that carbohydrates play a major role in sports nutrition. Often excluded are important factors such as the quality of carbs, timing and macronutrient balance. Did you know that your macros are more important than calories in hitting those fitness goals? The macronutrient ratio goals vary depending upon what you are trying to achieve – whether it be muscle gain, performance or fat loss.

According to Precision Nutrition, you should aim for 40 – 55% carbs, 25-30% protein and 20-30% fat in a day if your goal is either muscle gain or increased strength and performance. As you goal becomes more geared toward muscle gain, your carb goal should increase slightly and fat/protein goals decrease slightly.

Our macronutrient profile

The following is the macronutrient profile for Real Food Bars. It’s worth noting that we aren’t a “full meal” since all of our bars are 240 – 260 calories, but they have a perfectly balanced macronutrient profile. 

macronutrients-protein-bar-real food bar

Remember – proper fueling is important for peak performance. Carbs are not the enemy! Proper fueling is important for athletes to be able to put in the hard hours day in and day out. Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates, avoid the 70/30, 60/40 Diet-X mentality and fuel the body and brain the right way.

Keep on eating those veggies and especially real food! Before long, you’ll soon be doing the happy dance like us. Fist bump anyone?