The internet is full of unverified health and fitness information. One such belief is that you shouldn’t eat carbs for dinner. But is it true? We spoke to leading health experts to learn more about the pros and cons of eating carbs for dinner. Here are their top tips.
“Carbohydrates are not the enemy! Carbohydrates are one of the three essential macronutrients in the body. They are a major fuel source that is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen, and stored glycogen in our muscles fuels us throughout our workouts. There is absolutely no harm in eating carbohydrates at night, but it depends on the type of carbohydrates you eat and your daily routine. If you train during the day , have your bulk of carbs around your workout and at night, eat more vegetables. If you train late at night, you can eat whole grains and complex carbs at night. It all comes down to purpose and objectives. If you are someone who will follow a 16-hour fast after your last meal, you can surely have complex carbohydrates because your body needs energy to repair and recover,” says fitness trainer Shivoham. ness.
5 pros and cons of eating carbs at night
1. Nourishes the body
A combination of carbs and protein for dinner can promote positive physiological changes. “Growth hormones are released during sleep, which helps your body grow and heal. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are rich in magnesium, calcium, and fiber, which promote restful sleep and regulate blood sugar through the slow release of glucose. This prevents insulin spike or hypoglycemia and nourishes the body throughout the night,” says Gurmeet Arora, founder of Flax.
2. Sleep Aid
Carbohydrates promote optimal sleep by calming us down and increasing the production of melatonin, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. “Carbohydrate consumption increases insulin, which can help us sleep in two ways. Insulin is a cortisol (stress hormone) antagonist in nature. It reduces the stress response. So, for optimal sleep, stress needs to be low (and we need to be in parasympathetic nervous system mode) and carbs help us with that.Apart from that, an increase in insulin paves the way for tryptophan in our brain, which is a precursor to serotonin and serotonin is a precursor to melatonin which is responsible for optimal sleep,” adds health expert and nutritionist Yash Vardhan Swami.
“Rapidly-raising carbohydrates (those with a high glycemic index) can speed up sleep, especially when eaten four hours before bedtime. These carbohydrates can boost tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals involved in sleep, which will convert into melatonin and help promote a good night’s sleep,” notes Dr. Anish Desai, nutraceutical physician and founder of IntelliMed Healthcare Solutions.
3. Promotes Overall Gut Health
Complex carbohydrates promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. “Adding carbohydrates from whole grains such as unpolished rice, cracked wheat or pot barley and seasonal vegetables for dinner is beneficial. This ensures an adequate amount of fiber which promotes gut health and helps avoid constipation the next morning,” says nutritionist Lovneet Batra.