Quick Digesting Carbs Versus Slow Digesting Carbs

by Jerry Teixeira of Precision Nutrition Plus

ImageOne of the most heavily debated topics in the diet industry today is that of carbohydrate consumption. With low carb diets popping up all over the place, more and more people are proceeding to cut all the carbs they typically consume out of their diet in hopes that this will lead them to the lean body they’re after.

But, the key to note here is that if you’re an athlete in training, you don’t necessarily have to go low carb – in fact, going low carb could very well hinder performance since you need that glucose as a fuel source.

What you will have to know however is the main difference between quick digesting carbohydrates and slow digesting carbohydrates and how to apply these to your diet plan.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

ImageQuick Digesting Carbohydrates
Quick digesting carbohydrates are going to be those carbohydrates that are made up primarily of simple sugar molecules and consist of foods such as white bread, white rice, cakes, cookies, sugary cereal, and so on.

Basically, when these enter into the body, they will produce a rapid blood sugar spike, bring about a high amount of insulin release, and encourage the uptake of those carbohydrate molecules into the muscle or fat cells.

Due to this process, you want to time all quick digesting carbohydrates to come right after the workout session. By doing so, you’ll experience rapid muscle glycogen replenishment as the carbohydrates move directly to the muscle cells, therefore enhancing your recovery.

You also won’t run the risk of having these carbohydrates move into the body fat cells as you would if you had eaten them later on in the day.

ImageSlow Digesting Carbohydrates
Then on the other hand you have your slow digesting carbohydrates. These are the carbohydrates that are going to break down much more slowly by the body and because of this won’t produce nearly the blood sugar spike or insulin release as the fast digesting carbohydrates.

This form of carbohydrate is found in complex food sources such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice, quinoa, other whole grains, and vegetables.

These foods are going to supply a more long-lasting form of energy since they will break down slowly, thus releasing just a small amount at a time. In addition to this, since not as much insulin will be secreted when you eat these, they won’t run the risk of getting shuttled into the fat stores nearly as much either.

For this reason, time these carbohydrates so that you eat them at a time in the day away from the workout period.

Eat the higher calorie varieties (oats, barley, brown rice, etc) earlier on when you are more likely to burn off those calories through your daily activity and then switch over to lower calorie vegetables later on in the evening hours.

If you can be sure that you understand the key differences between these two types of carbohydrates and eat them at the right times when they will benefit the body, you will be able to see rapid rates of recovery from your workouts, enhanced muscle growth, and higher levels of body fat loss.

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