Written by: Michelle G. Thibault
Edited by: Ryan McTeigue
Over the past few years, biohacking has skyrocketed into fame, and has become a trending topic when it comes to body transforming. If you are not familiar with the term biohacking, it is the process of incorporating scientifically proven techniques in a person’s everyday routine to positively effect ones body and biology to look better, feel better and live longer.
For this article, we are going to look closely into Carbohydrates (yes, Carbs!), and we can use this essential nutrient as a biohacking tool to:
1. Improve Athletic performance
2. Increase Energy and Stamina
3. Accelerate Muscle Growth
Believe it or not, with all the buzz that Keto and Paleo diets have received, Carbohydrates still remain as be the best fuel for the body’s engine. The crucial point is knowing the right carbs to take, and the right time to take them for better athletic performance.
FACT: Carbohydrates are the essential energy source during high intensity exercise such as weight training. If you are looking to burn more fat, you still need Carbs to perform your highest facilitate the body’s metabolism of fat molecules for energy.
Carbohydrates and Athletic Performance
Athletes need plenty of carbohydrates before, during and after exercise because it is the fuel that the muscles use when doing any version of short duration, higher intensity work basically anything that isn’t solely cardio that goes for under 1.5 hours. While fats present as an alternative source of energy, the body generates energy mainly from glucose (carbs) to supply energy into the cells particularly during high intensity training.
Have you heard the saying, fats burn in a carbohydrate flame? Simply put, carbohydrates need to be present in order to completely break down fats that will result in the release of energy.
This is the process of how fat is actually burnt during exercise:
Part 1. Pyruvate is formed as a product of glucose metabolism.
Part 2. Fat attaches to pyruvate in the cell’s mitochondria to fire up metabolism.
Part 3. When the body lacks carbohydrates, it turns to muscle tissues as energy source.
So if your diet lacks carbohydrates, the body produces less pyruvate and fat has nowhere to attach to for it to be metabolized, and will halt the body’s fat-burning capacity. If the body is depleted of carbohydrates, critical amino acids are stripped out of protein from muscle tissues to be converted into the body’s fuel. The instant that muscle tissue is decreased, the body’s metabolic rate substantially slows down, and muscle growth and repair is also negatively effected.
Before a training session, ‘top off the tank’ with some low-fat, high-carb foods to help maintain blood sugar during training. A pre-exercise meal serves two purposes for the training athlete:
1. It keeps you from feeling hungry before and during exercise, and
2. It maintains optimal levels of energy for the exercising muscles.
Low-fat and low fiber foods are best to help avoid any stomach upset while foods containing fat and fiber delay digestion time, so they’re best left for consuming after exercise.
During activity, consume 6 to 12 ounces of a sports drink with 6-8% carbohydrate concentration during exercise. Sports drinks are designed to provide much needed fluids and the right amount of carbohydrates to ensure that the muscles receive adequate amounts of energy (about 30-60 grams for the first couple of hours).
Note: Sports drinks should not be confused with “energy” drinks. Sports drinks are beverages that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates and potentially amino acids. Sports drinks contain mainly sugar and artificial stimulant.
After a workout, most of the stored glycogen have been expended and the muscles are craving carbs, so refuelling with carbs is a smart move as they’ll be taken up readily by the muscles and stored away in the muscles for the next workout. Load up on higher fiber carbs post workout along with protein for faster recovery and energy repletion.
Cardarine (GW-0742) is a great supplement for athletes since it works as a PPAR Receptor Agonist. For those who are not familiar with PPARs, they are transcription nuclear factors found in various tissues of our body and play important roles in metabolic processes, such as regulation of glucose (sugars) uptake into muscle and lipid (fat) breakdown. One study showed that GW0742 has the ability to improve glucose homeostasis in diabetic rats through activation of PPAR-δ.
Another benefit of Cardarine (GW-0742) is that it also regulates cellular metabolic functions which are especially important in fatty acid uptake, transportation, and β-oxidation. These are all key processes to sustain stamina during rigorous physical training, but also vital if you want to shred fat while building muscles. Moreover, as an Exercise-mimetic, researches show that Cardarine can enhance training adaptation or even pre-program the skeletal muscles with Oxidative Fibers to that of a trained athlete. What does this mean?
Oxidative fibers rely on aerobic respiration to fuel muscle contractions, and consist of slow-twitch (Type I) fibers, which are muscles with long contraction duration, and are associated with endurance. Therefore, an increase in this type of muscle fibers essentially means improved physical endurance.