Carbohydrates in Vegetarian Bodybuilding

In any vegetarian bodybuilding diet, there is the necessity for carbs, or carbohydrates. This is one key point that is easy for any vegetarian or vegan to incorporate into their diet because they are found in beans, potatoes, bran, rice, cereals, fruits, sweets, soft drinks, breads, and pastas. All things that are vegetarian! Easy right?! So, why are carbs good for you? Well, these carbohydrates break down in your body and turn into glucose. Glucose directly fuels your body and muscles and allows you to have more energy throughout the day and maintain an active lifestyle.

Carbohydrates are found in pretty much all foods other than meat. Makes it pretty easy for us! Recently, some diets have recommended taking out all carbs from what you eat. Many food companies have bought into this new type of diet and introduced products such as low-carb bread, claiming it is healthier for you. Limiting is definitely a good thing, you never want TOO MUCH of a good thing. However, you should never go so far as to refuse whole grains and fruits since these items have been proven to help extend life and many of them have cancer fighting agents. 

These can be broken up into two main categories, simple and complex. Candy, soda, and even fruits contain simple carbohydrates while whole grains and cereals contain complex carbohydrates.  The main difference between simple and complex is their chemical structure in a whole. Simple can be made up of just a few sugar molecules when complex can be made up of hundreds, or even thousands of all these molecules put together. In the end, your body creates glucose either way.

Remember, glucose is very simple, so just be cautious when consuming carbohydrates that you are staying active, otherwise you risk it turning into fat. A good rule of thumb- Do not consume carbs after 8 PM if you are serious about vegetarian bodybuilding. When you go to bed at night, you obviously aren’t moving around or using much energy. So if you eat them before bed, they convert into glucose, and turn right into fat while you are sleeping!

Also keep in mind, both simple and complex carbohydrates will need a different amount of time to fully digest. If you consume 200 calories of a simple carbohydrate, your body will digest it a lot faster than if you consumed the same amount of calories through a complex carbohydrate. This is because simple carbohydrates are much closer to the end product (glucose) than complex carbohydrates, which need time to digest. Therefore, if you take the meal of simple sugars, you will be hungry a lot quicker than if you ate a meal that was based around complex carbohydrates. So if you run around eating candy bars and drinking soda, that will add up to a lot of calories that your body has digested at the end of the day!

Studies have shown that simple sugars are one of the top factors contributing to obesity and diabetes, especially in younger children. It has also been determined that eating good complex carbohydrates can lead to a long and healthy life, and shield you from many different types of cancer. So next time you pick up a low-carb magazine, chuck it in the trash and go eat an apple!
If you liked this article, check out our post Protein in Vegetarian Bodybuilding. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at!

Remember, not all carbs are bad. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise sessions, they will help you on the track to vegetarian bodybuilding!


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