Carbs have been given bit of a bad wrap lately- don’t you agree? So many diets in the media are encouraging people to cut carbs out of their diet as they are trying to convince us that they will make us fat! Come on now- if we were to cut out ALL carbs- we literally couldn’t eat! Carbohydrates are a macronutrient and therefore needed in our diets and need to be incorporated into each and every meal. What the media should be doing, is educating people on the different types of carbs and which ones are the most beneficial for us to consume. So here you go…
Carbs are the primary energy source for human activities and are found in nearly all foods that we consume.
The benefits of consuming carbs are:
– increased energy storage in the muscle
– providing a protein sparing effect for both growth and the repair of muscles
The popular assumption that carbs will get stored as fat is only partially true. Consuming too many of the wrong type of carbs at the wrong times can lead to storage of fat. However, eating the right type of carb at optimum times can have positive effects on both athletic performance and body composition.
No doubt you’ve heard about low GI and high GI foods. But do you know what they actually mean and what foods are in each category? Basically, the glycemic index (GI) is a measuring system that helps us determine the type of carbs to consume at the correct times. The GI measures the rate at which carbs are absorbed into the bloodstream.
HIGH GI CARBS:
- triggers immediate rise in blood sugar which stimulates secretion which triggers lipoprotein lipase (fat storage enzyme) to be released which takes excess sugar out of the blood and stores it into fat. The immediate rise in blood sugar often causes our boy to overreact and create too much insulin, which ultimately causes fatigue.
- they are “fast carbs” so should only be consumed immediately after exercise to aid in the recovery process by replenishing glycogen OR midway through a longer competition/ training session for a quick burst of energy
- Found in foods such as: white bread, croissants, donuts, taco shells, pasta, white rice, soft drinks, fruit juice, lollies
MEDIUM-LOW GI CARBS:
- causes slow, steady rise in blood sugar
- should be consumed with each meal throughout the day (although super important at breakfast time to replace blood glucose levels depleted through sleep!)
- Found in foods such as: brown rice, oatmeal, bran, whole grains whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, brown rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, strawberries etc