According to the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SGE), carbohydrates are the most important source of energy in the human organism in terms of quantity (1). The SBU therefore recommends that carbohydrates should cover 45-55% of the daily energy intake. For athletes even between 55-65% (3). A maximum of 10% of the daily energy intake should be added sugar (1).
Because of the dietary tips in magazines, online platforms and the influencer(s) of trust, it is precisely these carbohydrates that are repeatedly demonised. As a result, consumers are very insecure in their choice of food and tend to follow a low carb diet (<40% of daily energy intake). In addition, the total calorie consumption and thus the required amount of carbohydrates is underestimated again and again in active people.
As soon as a person gets into a mental or physical stress situation (work, social or training stress), the body produces more CO2. If more CO2 is produced, the oxygen uptake capacity automatically decreases.
However, these very stress situations are more the rule than the exception in today’s society.
Stupid only that the oxygen is in the center of the energy supply. Thus, more oxygen is needed for fat burning than for carbohydrates. We find the reason for this in biochemistry. The organic compounds of carbohydrates (e.g. glucose = C6H12O6) provide more oxygen than those of fats (e.g. alpha-linolenic acid = C18H30O2).
If we have more stress in everyday life, the body therefore also needs more carbohydrates. If it does not get these, it has to use valuable proteins as an energy source for the formation of new carbohydrates. In the long term, this protein breakdown can lead to concentration problems or a drop in performance as well as less energy or a deterioration in regeneration (2).
If you switch to a plant-based diet, it typically contains higher amounts of carbohydrates (3) than mixed diets. The carbohydrate supply through a complete vegetable diet thus ensures that the body’s own carbohydrate stores are filled and the body’s own protein is better protected. People get more energy again throughout the day, during training and in competition. In addition, there is always talk of improved regeneration. In short, the well-being increases.
In our everyday consulting work we are always amazed how unbalanced the macronutrient distribution is among our clients. One of the reasons why a change to a vegan diet is said to lead to a better feeling of well-being is probably the previously practiced malnutrition. Or in other words: With the conversion to a vegetable nutrition and the argument with the material one takes again more time in the today’s stress society for itself and the own nourishing strategy. Thus one does to its body increased something good and as result the own well-being rises.
written by Benjamin Signer
- Löffler, G. (2014). Integration und hormonelle Regulation des Energiestoffwechsels. In P. C. Heinrich, M. Müller & L. Graeve (Hrsg.), Biochemie und Pathobiochemie (9. Aufl., S. 466-482). Heidelberg: Springer.
- Calkins, B., Whittaker, D., Nair, P., Rider, A., & Turjman, N. (1984). Diet, nutrition intake, and metabolism in populations at high and low risk for colon cancer. Nutrient intake. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 40, 896-905.