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Carbohydrates or often known in the fitness world as ‘carbs’ have a vital role to play, and different goals require a different approach. Ranging from the lean/cutting end of the spectrum (often requiring a low carb diet) to the ‘massing’ or ‘bulking’ goal (requiring a high carb diet).

Put simply carbohydrates are made up of sugar, starches and cellulose- and their basic role is to provide energy. Some carbs provide a source of energy faster than others and this depends on how quickly your body can digest them and turn them into glucose (energy).

A term that often confuses people is that of GI (or glycemic index). To make matters simple a food type (carbohydrate) which is broken down (and therefore produces energy) slowly is said to have a ‘low GI’, and a food/carbohydrate which the body digests quickly, and releases energy rapidly is said to have a ‘high GI’.

So what is the relevance of Low GI Carbs and High GI carbs?

The rate at which the carbs release energy into your body determines when it is beneficial to eat either. Low GI carbs are often better consumed early in the day (say breakfast time) because it gives the body a slow, steady and sustained release of energy to fuel your body throughout the day. Pre-bed low GI carbs are therefore not such a good idea (especially if your are trying to remain lean or cut up) as it supplies your body with excessive energy which simply isn’t needed and in turn may be stored by your body-potentially resulting in increase in weight.

High GI carbs have a slightly different role to play, they can supply the body with a rapid source of short term energy, which may well be beneficial pre-workout (if you haven’t had a sufficient carbohydrates earlier in the day/ or require a burst of energy-for whatever reason (tired/long day at the office/hung-over etc). Post workout High GI carbs also have an effective role to play. During exercise blood sugar is used up supplying energy to your muscles, this means after exercise a moderate serving of a high GI food is key, it quickly replenishes blood sugar levels, this in turn enables glycogen levels in your muscles to be restored, and it is this glycogen which prevents muscle protein from being broken down and increases the rate of muscle protein production.

To help you guys out I have included examples of both Low GI foods and High GI foods below.

Low G.I. High G.I.
Oatmeal White bread
Oatbran Dates
Peanuts Cornflakes
Oranges/apples Watermelon
Brown rice Potatoes
Lentils Honey

 

Know your carbs guys and make sure you are taking them at the right time!

Remember our LDNM Cutting, Bulking and Bikini Guides come with fully comprehensive diet and training plans. Detailing  specifically what to eat, when and how much, specific to your body type, body weight and training time.