Today we’ll be looking at the do’s and don’ts of 2 types of carbs– fast-digesting, examples of which are sugars and white starches such as white rice, pasta and potatoes; and slow-digesting such as brown and wholemeal starches such as brown rice, pasta, bread and sweet potatoes.
Conventional wisdom tells us to stick to the brown stuff and avoid fast-digesting carbs at all cost. We’re told that slow-digesting carbs are ideal for sustained energy and that sugars and white starches will automatically convert to fat and we’ll simply muffin top like a mushroom cloud if we touch the stuff.
Although there are elements of this that are true, it is too simplistic a view on the matter – There are times in the day where fast-digesting carbs can not only boost your energy but also assist in building lean muscle!
I’m not going to delve into the science of it (there’re plenty of studies available online if you feel the need to research) however simply put, fast-digesting carbs – taken directly after workouts and in the morning directly after waking will assist in holding onto those gains you work so hard for!
You see, whilst you are working you burn energy by depleting your glycogen stores. Once these stores are depleted, the body will continue to seek energy by breaking down the muscle. Adding a fast-digesting carb such as sugar, you top up those glycogen levels and protect your muscle from your own worst enemy!
Likewise, when you go to bed at night you effectively enter a fasting period. Since you’re still alive your body requires energy to keep that heart pumping and that mind dreaming – This means that your body continues to burn energy and will again work through those glycogen stores through the night. So, having a fast-digesting carb in the morning will top up those stores and stop your body from breaking down the muscle to provide energy!
This is your body’s main fuel source! Complex carbs are ideal energy sources because they take a long time to digest and therefore provide your body with sustained energy for longer periods of time. They also don’t spike your insulin levels in the same way as simple carbs do so are less prone to convert into fat in the way that sugar or white pasta would for example.
Slow-digesting carbs should be taken with most meals to ensure that you are kept fully fueled throughout the day. This will keep your mind sharp and also keep those junk food cravings at bay.
So, there you have a brief overview on simple and complex carbs. Now you have some theory behind you, time to build a balanced and nutritious meal plan to suit your training and goals.
If you’re still unsure of what your ideal meal plan looks like, why not get a personalized nutrition plan from me directly for just $65?