The Pre-Workout Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Carbs vs. Protein

Carbohydrates are carbohydrates, which means they contain one carbon atom plus six hydrogen atoms. They include starches such as rice, corn and potatoes; sugars like glucose and fructose; and fibers like cellulose from plants. These carbohydrates provide energy for your body’s cells, but they don’t supply the calories needed to sustain life.

Protein is made up of amino acids, which includes all proteins other than those found in animal products such as meat or dairy products. Proteins are used by your muscles to build muscle mass, repair damaged tissue and produce hormones that affect growth and development.

Both carbohydrates and protein have been shown to benefit health, but the benefits of each depend on their type. Carbohydrates have been linked with weight loss because they provide fuel for your body’s cells while protein helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. Both types of nutrients also contribute to good moods, energy levels, strength gains and endurance.

There are two main sources of carbohydrates: whole grains and vegetables. Whole grain foods include brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, millet and quinoa. Vegetables include sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage and spinach. Most fruits contain some carbohydrate content. For example apples contain 5 grams of sugar per serving while oranges contain 7 grams of sugar per serving.

Milk is also a good source of carbohydrates. Low-fat chocolate milk has about 50% of the calories from carbohydrate content.

For the purpose of this article, we will only be focusing on monosaccharides and disaccharides mainly because these are the types of carbohydrates that can be absorbed directly into your blood stream and most importantly, quickly.

Sources & references used in this article:

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International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise by R Jäger, CM Kerksick, BI Campbell… – Journal of the …, 2017 –

Effects of a pre-workout supplement on lean mass, muscular performance, subjective workout experience and biomarkers of safety by AW Kedia, JE Hofheins, SM Habowski… – … journal of medical …, 2014 –

Comparison of pre-workout nitric oxide stimulating dietary supplements on skeletal muscle oxygen saturation, blood nitrate/nitrite, lipid peroxidation, and … by RJ Bloomer, TM Farney, JF Trepanowski… – Journal of the …, 2010 – Springer

Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation by ER Helms, AA Aragon… – Journal of the …, 2014 –