This is an ever present question in the fitness world with many different, confusing answers. Ben Coomber, founder of the UK based BTN Academy, gives a clear and scientific explanation in his newsletter. Here I have summarized his words to give you the shortest and simplest answer.
Although ‘macros’ or macronutrients are described as nutrients that the body needs in large quantities to remain healthy and function properly, Coomber says carbohydrates are non-essential for humans.
An essential nutrient, micro (1) or macronutrient, is one that your body needs but cannot make itself, so it must be consumed in food.
“Your body can survive perfectly well without carbohydrates because the very small amount that is necessary can be produced in your liver,” says Coomber.
BUT just because something is not essential that doesn’t mean it is not important. So let’s rephrase the question: are carbohydrates important or not?
It depends on your goal.
Carbohydrates are not important if you have no desire to perform well in high intensity exercise or to grow muscles.
Studies show that it is possible to build muscle on a low-carb diet but there are also many studies that show consuming the right amount of carbs can prevent muscle loss, help repair muscles and give energy.
So if you want to be powerful, fast, build muscle and fuel your training to the best of your body’s abilities, you should probably eat some carbs.
1. Micronutrients: The term micronutrients refers to vitamins and minerals. Most micronutrients are essential and can only be supplied by our food.