Right, let's begin and break down CHO
C - Carbon
H - Hydrogen
O - Oxygen
We can split carbohydrates into two groups
- Sugars - which are the most simple form of carbohydrates
There has been much debate about the relevance of carbohydrates especially when it comes to the diet. What is the purpose???
- Starches - An abundance of joint sugars
Well CHO is classed as an energy food and it comes in the complex variety which is usually very nutritious and has a longer sustainability level.
Now the simply variety of CHO causes fast momentary energy which does not last for a sustainable time. The energy will drop quite quickly after consumed.
When looking at different foods we can now see that some carbohydrates provide long lasting energy where as some do not provide the same response. This is were Gi comes into play:)
Gi - this stands for Glycaemic index - Gi refers to how quickly or slowly the body digests different forms of carbohydrates. The body has a different insulin response to different foods. So when a simple CHO is ingested the insulin in your body will rise and fall quickly. If a complex carbohydrate is ingested the insulin will maintain a lower level, a more sustainable level for the body to sustain itself. So the Gi of a food is basically low, medium or high. Let's break them down further.
Low Gi - low Gi occurs when you consume a carbohydrate that has long lasting energy complex source of carbohydrate.
Medium Gi - this is the mid point of energy sustainability
High Gi - at this end of the scale you can probably guess that high Gi is the opposite to low Gi - were the hi Gi foods cause fast non-lasting energy short term
Being aware of what carbohydrates you consume can assist in maintaining a sustainable energy for you and your body.
Carbohydrates and exercise
We need amounts of carbohydrate to have a good workout. But what kind do you consume if you want to optimise your energy levels before and after a workout?????
This is dependant on activity so we will use endurance training or prolonged exercise
BEFORE: you should be aiming to consume a low Gi meal so that your body has sufficient energy/carbohydrates to fuel your activity
AFTER: When the hard work is done you can allow yourself to eat a little amount of hi Gi foods so that your body can can absorb fast energy to replenish your carbohydrate stores. This is especially true when training twice or more a day.
IN THE DIET
When referring to the diet people often get so scared of carbs as they have gained a bad rep over time. Carbs are a fuel source and should not be absent from the diet. There are many diets systems etc., but you should aim to consume healthy low Gi carbs throughout the day to sustain your energy levels. You can purchase books that tell you the Gi of certain foods and labels are being placed on certain foods indicating the Gi of the foods.
Carbs may be complex but don't ignore them, as usual do your research
Keep pushing forward, all the best