How many grams of carbs do you really need?
The simple answer is zero.
There are essential fatty acids. This includes alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acids) and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acids).
There are essential amino acids. Examples are phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
There are no essential carbohydrates.
So, you could live the rest of your life without consuming any carbohydrates.
The same cannot be said about the other two macronutrients.
Obviously the above is not very feasible, nor is it advisable. There are certainly healthy and beneficial carbohydrates.
However, the purpose of pointing out the lack of need for carbohydrates is to debunk statements such as “you need to eat carbs or your blood sugar may drop” or “you need to eat sugar so your brain can work properly.”
While it is true that the body requires a stable amount of blood sugar, it is perfectly capable of creating all the sugar it needs using a process called gluconeogenesis which is carried out in the liver.
This study outlines how the body shifts and controls new endogenous glucose production based on demand and blood sugar levels.
This idea becomes a lot easier to accept when you recognize how much sugar there really is in the blood.Lets assume the standard normal blood sugar to be 5 mmol/L; although this is debatable, as it has been proven that the body can function with much lower levels.Nonetheless, with simple mathematical calculations we can derive that 5 mmol/L is equivalent to about a teaspoon of sugar in the entire blood. That is about 1/5th of what is in a glass of orange juice or in a medium banana.
Therefore, despite the popular myth, you don’t need to drink 3 cans of coke with a chocolate bar before a test. Your body can create all the sugar it requires. Overdosing on this toxic substance will only be taxing to the body as it will need to work hard to get it out of the blood.