Athlete’s guide to understanding types of carbohydrates

Posted on July 18, 2019 by

Carbohydrates can be classified in different ways to describe a similar thing, complex and simple sugars, processed/refined carbs, wholegrain or low and high Glycemic Index (GI).

Low GI carbs take time to break down in the gut, gradually releasing glucose into the blood and are generally less processed with more wholegrains or high in fibre which means there will be a higher nutrient level.

High GI carbs are generally more processed and are rapidly digested and absorbed quickly into the blood stream causing a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. High GI foods can be beneficial directly before, during or after exercise to rapidly replace carbohydrate used and to limit volume of food in the gut.

Day to day carbohydrate consumption should be low GI choices.




The glycemic index is just one way to consider the best type of carbohydrate to choose to fuel your day and your training. Remember that protein, fats, extra fibre, fermented foods and vinaigrette all also lower the GI of a meal which again shows the importance of a balanced meal.

Combine a high and low option and you will probably end up somewhere in the middle. Overall, carbohydrates should be wholegrain or higher fibre choices at mealtimes. Around training a low fibre or high GI carbohydrate may be suitable so energy is available as the body is using it and there is less bulk in the gut.

 

  LOW GI SUSTAINING
SLOW RELEASE
MEDIUM GI HIGH GI
QUICK RELEASE
Breads
  • Soy and linseed
  • Wholegrain
  • Multigrain
  • Sourdough
  • Pumpernickel
  • Wonder White Low GI
  • Baker’s Delight White Low GI
  • Tip Top UP
  • Tip Top Multigrain Wonder White Low GI
  • Burgen grain bread
  • Pita (wholemeal, white)/ wrap
  • Rye
  • Fruit toast
  • Crumpet
  • Chapatti
  • Croissant
  • Turkish
  • Bagel
  • Wholemeal
  • White
  • Baguette
  • Lebanese
  • Most gluten-free breads e.g Country life
  • Pikelets
  • English muffin
  • Scone
Cereals
  • All Bran
  • Porridge (rolled oats)
  • Guardian
  • Special K
  • Komplete
  • Up & Go (all)
  • Muesli
  • Just Right
  • Weet-bix/Vitabrix
  • Sustain
  • Nutrigrain
  • Sultana Bran
  • Light N Tasty
  • Rice Bubbles
  • Coco pops
  • Corn Flakes
  • Bran flakes
  • Puffed wheat
  • Crispix
  • Quick Oats
Grains
  • Barley
  • Pasta
  • Noodles – soba/ brown rice
  • Semolina
  • Quinoa, Buckwheat
  • Pumpernickel
  • Mahatma Brown Rice – long grain
  • Basmati
  • Wild rice
  • Doongara rice
  • Couscous
  • Tapioca
  • Brown rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Calrose Rice
  • Arborio Rice
Legumes
  • Beans = kidney, soy, baked
  • All lentils
  • Peas – split peas
  • Chickpeas
 

 

  • Broad beans
Starchy vegetables
  • Sweet potato
  • Taro
  • Charisma Potatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Pumpkin

 

  • Potato chips
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnip
Fruit
  • Grapefruit / Orange
  • Peach / Plum
  • Dried Apricot
  • Apple
  • Pear (raw & canned)
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Sultanas / Raisins
  • Apricot (raw & canned)
  • Mango
  • Pawpaw
  • Cherries
  • Rockmelon
  • Pineapple
  • Lychees
  • Honey Dew Melon
  • Watermelon = 2 slices
  • Dates – 2 dates = 1 serve

 

Dairy
  • Cow/ Soy Milk
  • Low fat fruit yoghurt
  • Custard
  • Low fat ice cream
  • Milo
  • Full cream ice cream
  • Rice milk
  • Condensed milk
Biscuits & snack foods
  • Oatmeal biscuits
  • Snack Right biscuits
  • Ryvita
  • Vita-Weats

 

  • Digestives
  • Milk Arrowroot
  • Muesli bar containing fruit
  • Popcorn
  • Pancake mixes
  • Water crackers /Sakatas
  • Pretzels
  • Morning coffee
  • Lamington
  • Cruskits/Corn Thins
Other
  • Honey
  • 100% fruit jam
  • Sugar
  • Lollies / jelly beans

 

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1 Comment

GUY CANTREL

Thank you Have posted on my LinkedIn stream as very simple guide to follow.

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