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To Carb or Not to Carb: How One Sugar from Peas Solves a Metabolic Riddle

by Dr. David Minkoff September 21, 2017 4 min read 0 Comments

To Carb or Not to Carb: How One Sugar from Peas Solves a Metabolic Riddle

Carbohydrates are one of the most hotly debated topics in the health world, and opinions run very strong on both sides. Some claim a strictly no carb diet will get you the best results for weight loss and muscle gain. The ketogenic and paleo diets fit in this category.

Others swear that carbs play a crucial role in their nutrition and performance. Most sports drinks and muscle-gain powders contain some variant of sugar: fructose, sucrose, dextrose, or maltodextrin.

To make matters more confusing, both sides can cite peer-reviewed scientific literature to support their claims.

Before we can sort this out, we need to start with the fundamentals of what is actually going on in your body.

 

Crash Course In Carbohydrate Metabolism

First of all, let’s be clear: glucose is the body’s primary fuel. Glucose is a carbohydrate. A simple sugar. Most of the time, this is what your body and brain are fueled by. This can change in states of fasting or ketogenic diets, where ketones become the primary fuel, but this is a special case that we will return to in a minute.

When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars. As these enter the bloodstream, your blood sugar level rises. Your body works hard to maintain a pretty narrow range of conditions for optimal functioning, like pH, for example. And temperature. Blood sugar, too.

Special cells in your pancreas sense this rise and begin releasing insulin, a hormone that triggers cells to begin taking the sugar from the blood and storing it. Your blood sugar level begins to drop, which is again sensed by the pancreas, and now it starts releasing glucagon, a hormone that releases glycogen (stored sugar) from the liver.

 

What Does an Insulin Spike Really Do?

You can see there is a bit of a back and forth between your insulin and glucagon to maintain optimal levels of blood sugar. The tricky part here is that the more your insulin levels spike, the more your blood sugar crashes. Dramatic swings in your blood sugar like this are at the root of many of the problems associated with carbohydrates:

  • Insulin insensitivity and type two diabetes,
  • Obesity,
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Some types of cancer.

So what spikes insulin?

The short answer is carbs, but the reality is a bit more nuanced than that. The faster the carbohydrate enters your bloodstream, the faster blood sugar levels rise. The faster your blood sugar levels rise, the stronger your insulin response.

Some carbohydrates, like refined sugar, are very simple and very pure and spike your insulin levels a lot. Other carbohydrates, brown rice, for example, are larger, more complex, contain fiber, and take a while to break down. The simple sugars are released into your blood slowly and the insulin response drawn out over time.

How quickly different sugars raise blood sugar is measured by the glycemic index. The higher the number, the more it raises your blood sugar.

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get into

 

How Carbs Improve Your Performance

When you exercise, you consume both your blood sugar and your glycogen stores. If you deplete your glycogen stores, your body begins breaking down protein for energy, which is not terribly helpful for gaining muscle mass and improving performance.

So having enough glycogen is important for anyone training or trying to maintain healthy weight. And this is why so many sports drinks and protein powders have sugars in them. The idea is that in order to replenish glycogen stores and maximize muscle gain, you need the carbs.

This makes sense, to a degree, but because they are mostly using simple, high-glycemic sugars that spike your insulin levels, they don’t take the after-effects into account. One of the most common additives, maltodextrin, has a glycemic index 2x that of sugar!

We are faced with a bit of a riddle: how can we quickly replenish our glycogen stores for energy and performance without spiking insulin?

 

Carb10: The Carbohydrate Solution

Hidden within peas is a special carbohydrate. Isolated and purified it is called Carb10tm. Peas are often used as a protein source for many vegan protein powders, so it often was simply overlooked by those focusing on its protein content.

This is an astounding low-glycemic starch that has almost no effect on blood sugar or insulin. And yet, it’s still processed quickly by the body. Measures of gastric emptying show that it actually moves through your system faster than maltodextrin. And no blood-glucose response. 

Even more unbelievable is that it has even been found to be keto-friendly. Participants in a preliminary study with people on a ketogenic diet ingesting over 20g of Carb10 maintain ketosis.

So what does all this mean? 

Fast energy for your body and brain. Faster recovery. Better response times.

And all with none of the typical carbohydrate downside.

No protein catabolism. No energy crash or brain fog. No worries.

Just fuel.

 

Carb10 and PerfectAmino PowerMeal: The Best In Performance Nutrition

This incredible advancement in performance nutrition is the perfect complement to our proven PerfectAmino formula. And that’s why we put them together as a part of our newest and most innovative performance nutrition product: PerfectAmino PowerMeal.

We combine these two powerhouses of performance with ketogenic MCT oil, a full dose of vitamins and minerals, and a nutrient-packed Superfoods blend.

This is the ultimate in meal replacement.

Try PerfectAmino PowerMeal and experience the difference.

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego.

He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine.

In 1992, Dr Minkoff’s wife Sue, a Registered Nurse, became interested in nutrition and health and began to go to lectures from some of the experts in the field. At the time, Dr Minkoff was pretty fixed in his view of traditional medicine and it took a lot of convincing to get him to come to one of these lectures. After hearing Dr Jeffrey Bland speak, Dr Minkoff had a eureka moment and began pursuing the alternative field with a vengeance. Based on this new knowledge Dr Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic in 1997 to help some friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into Lifeworks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States. In the process, he gained expertise in Biological medicine, integrative oncology, heavy metal detoxification, anti-aging medicine, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, energy medicine, neural and prolotherapy, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. He studied under the masters in each of these disciplines until he became an expert in his own right. Dr Minkoff is one of the most in demand speakers in the field and wrote an Amazon best selling book called The Search For The Perfect Protein.

The demand for the products and protocols he discovered became a catalyst for founding BodyHealth.Com, a nutrition company that now manufactures and distributes cutting-edge nutritional solutions for the many health problems of today. Dr. Minkoff writes two free online newsletters, “The Optimum Health Report” and ”The BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter”, to help others learn about optimum health and fitness.

Dr. Minkoff is an avid athlete himself and has completed 44 Ironman Triathlons. To keep his fitness maximal, he lives the lifestyle he teachers to others and tries to set an example for others, so they can enjoy a life free of pain and full of energy.



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