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Do You Need More Carbs?

By Sara Butler

Many of the diet trends around these days severely restrict a person's intake of carbohydrates. But is that really the healthiest option in the long run? Your body needs carbohydrates to function optimally. That's why if you're not eating enough of them, then your body will definitely let you know. Here are a few signs that you're not eating enough carbohydrates.

Why Carbohydrates Matter

Carbohydrates have a reputation as a "bad" food, but it's important to know that carbs are a very neutral food group -- they're neither good nor bad.

Your body uses carbohydrates as its primary fuel source. They provide energy to the cells in your body and if you're not getting enough of them, then your body cannot work as it was made to. In fact, your brain is your body's biggest user of carbs, so not getting enough can impact the way your brain works.

You should be getting between 225 and 320 grams of carbohydrates per day on a 2,000-calorie diet. In other words, around half of your day's calories should be from carbohydrates.

Signs More Carbs are Needed

If you don't get enough, then your body lets you know. Some of the signs you may not be eating enough carbohydrates include:

  • Brain fog and fatigue - Feeling mentally and physically exhausted is a big sign that you're not getting enough carbs. You also may have frequent headaches and difficulty focusing.
  • Mood swings - Changes in mood such as irritability can be a big sign that you're not eating enough carbs. Carbohydrates help your body to balance hormones that impact your mood, so getting enough is essential to your sense of well-being and happiness.
  • Poor performance - When you don't eat enough carbs, your gym performance can really be a struggle. Your yoga workout may not be impacted, but tougher workouts will be very difficult if you're not fueling your body right.
  • Funky breath - This is perhaps one of the most unexpected side effects of not eating enough carbohydrates and that's bad breath. When you cut carbs from your life, then your body uses fat for fuel. Burning fat releases chemicals called ketones and that will cause bad breath. If your breath stinks and you're on top of your dental hygiene, then it may be because you're not getting enough carbs.

Carbohydrates are an essential food group. As long as you stick with high fiber, healthy options, then you are giving your body what it needs without the extra stuff you don't want.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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