HOW MANY CARBS?
Your body will always need glucose, like the brain which needs about 120g glucose (simple carbs) per day.
But that doesn’t mean you need to be eating 120g per day, our amazing bodies can make all the glucose itself:
-Ketones can provide 50-75% of the brain’s energy needs. Fats can’t cross blood-brain barrier, but ketones can
-Glycerol from your own body fat can be converted to 21% of your glucose needs
-The brain also prefers lactate over glucose, especially during intense exercise
-Gluconeogenesis (literally means making new glucose) comes from amino acids in the liver
-& eating low carb veggies tops off the brain with more than enough glucose!
Bottom line: the body is designed that even if you’re literally starving, the brain could still function to get you to your next meal
What about the carbs you need for your muscles?
Glycogen is how we store carbs in 2 places:
-in muscles = gives them quick energy
-in liver = for gluconeogenesis
Some people think you need to drain both of these stores to start making ketones, but ketones are only made when the LIVER runs out of glycogen. No need to drain your muscles (except it’s good for insulin resistance)
Plus, ketosis is “glycogen sparing”—what does that even mean?
It means a sugar-burner will directly burn through glycogen stores during exercise.
A fat-burner will try to save as much glycogen and burn other fuel sources instead.
Which brings us to a ✨refeed/carb-up✨ to restore glycogen stores.
For example, doing the same workout:
-a sugar-burner burns 250g carbs
-a fat-burner burns 50g carbs
both end at 75g glycogen stored, but the fat-burner needs to eat much less carbs to replace what they’ve burned.
Ketosis makes your carbs go much farther.
So how much carbs do you need?
-for fat-burners, 50g is the upper limit for a refeed if you’re feeling deflated, flat and stale
-for sugar-burners, everyone’s different but from everything above⬆️ you don’t need that much. I would work on bringing carbs below 200g, then 150g, etc. Even high performing athletes can thrive with carbs at 15% of their caloric intake (75-100g)
Finally, stick to low-glycemic carbs to avoid storing fat! 💪🏼