Before I get pushback, hear me out.
First, carbs are not innately good or bad.
“Carbs are our primary food source and provide us with the energy we need just to do daily activities and live, they’re also our brain’s primary fuel source, and without ample carbohydrates, it can’t function optimally.” (The brain relies on carbs for about 90% of its energy.)
When we eat carbs, our body breaks them down into sugar/glucose, which can be used as energy straight from our bloodstream, or stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver to convert into energy later.
If you’re falling short in carb consumption, your body will certainly let you know. Below are some symptoms, some will probably surprise you!
This is a BIG one! When we start limiting carbs or even eliminating them to the best of our ability, we’re also reducing if not eliminating fiber. This can cause all sorts of GI issues. Most of us already do not consume enough fiber as it is, this just exacerbates the problem. “But hey I take fiber supplements!” Now that’s a valid statement. However, natural sources are typically higher quality, more bioavailable (meaning readily available to be absorbed and utilized by the human body), and better suited to have the desired effect.
FATIGUE/LACK OF CONCENTRATION!
Are you tired throughout the day, both physically and mentally? It’s certainly possible insufficient carbohydrates can be the culprit. Do you suffer from chronic headaches? The brain is dependent on sugar (glucose) as its main fuel. While this isn’t the only cause it’s certainly a factor.
This is more prominent in higher-intensity workouts (i.e., sports, group fitness classes, etc.) This type of exercise requires glucose from carbohydrates for fuel. Now can the body utilize fat as a fuel source? Yes. However, the body cannot convert fat to fuel quickly enough for harder workouts.
Low-carb diets require your body to turn to fat as a fuel source. While this may be the ultimate reason for choosing low carb, this is certainly a byproduct. Burning fat produces ketones which are released when you breathe. Heard of keto breath?
ARE YOU CRANKY?
While this isn’t the only reason for irritability it is a contributing factor. Carbs increase the body’s ability to produce serotonin, which helps balance mood.
The purpose of this blog is NOT to pooh-pooh low-carb eating habits. We merely wanted to point out some of the effects you’ll most likely experience. Lastly, if you have questions about this topic, please consult a professional/certified coach, nutritionist, dietician, or doctor. Do not rely on FB groups or other social media platforms for medical advice!