Carbohydrates have taken a beating lately from the most recent fad diets to the popularity of both the Atkin’s and Paleo diet. No, carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you but I will agree the Western Diet consists of entirely too many carbohydrates. With that being said, carbohydrates are, or should be, an aerobic athlete’s best friend. The literature is riddled with study after study demonstrating the benefit and importance of a high carbohydrate diet for athletes, particularly aerobic athletes. Simply put, carbohydrates are the body’s fuel currency. No other nutrient burns as efficiently as the carbohydrate does. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Dietitians of Canada all agree that carbohydrates should make up the majority of calories in your diet. Want numbers? A range, albeit large, of 6 to 10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight is recommended. Swimmers and other mostly aerobic athletes will need closer to 8-10 g/kg.1 For a 160 pound person, this turns into 580-720 grams of carbohydrates. Outside of the actual workout itself, the carbohydrates that you want to focus on are complex carbohydrates. Examples include: Legumes (lentils, beans and peas), Whole Grains (oats, brown rice, and whole grain breads), Fruits and Vegetables.