Are carbohydrates important for active people?

Yes, carbohydrates in some portions are needed by the body for a physically active individual. When starch or sugar is eaten, the body changes them all to glucose, which is the only form of carbohydrate used directly by muscles for energy. Carbohydrates in any form are digested and ultimately changed to glucose:

1. Carbohydrates are in the form of starch (in vegetables and grains)

2. Sucrose (table sugar)

3. Fructose (found in fruits and juices)

4. Lactose (milk sugar)

The body uses this glucose in the blood for energy; in fact, in some active people, eating or drinking carbohydrates during exercise helps maintain their blood glucose and energy levels. Focusing on getting enough carbohydrates everyday by eating a nutritious, balanced diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat with lots of different foods, is the best way to ensure plenty of energy for exercise.

If someone is taking amino acids such as arginine and glutamine, does that count as protein?

Arginine and glutamine are amino acids. Although amino acids are the building blocks of protein, they do not count as whole protein. Consider a patient who is assessed to require 65 g of protein/day. A common supplement provides 7 g each of arginine and glutamine. This does not count toward the goal of 65 g of protein/day because 14 g of amino acids is not the same thing as whole protein such as is found in an egg or chicken breast. It is possible to calculate the amount of nitrogen contributed by the amino acids, but most practitioners do not do this.

How much should I eat to lose weight, but also have the energy to work out?

There’s a fine line between eating for energy and muscle recovery and eating to drop body fat. Weight loss will be a byproduct if you’re burning energy at the gym, but shouldn’t necessarily be your goal over fitness, strength or endurance. People think if they exercise more, they’ll lose more weight. But its effect on weight loss is minimal as humans have a variety of adaptive and compensatory mechanisms to make up for the energy burnt in the gym. Your exercise recovery goals should include a good night’s sleep, a balanced meal consisting of all three macronutrients and rehydration.