Carbohydrates are the fuels required by the body to sustain exercise performance. One form of classification of carbohydrates is through the Glycaemic Index. The Glycaemic Index classifies foods according to their rate of digestion and increase of blood glucose levels. Foods classified as high GI (70 or above) are digested rapidly and readily increase blood glucose levels. Low GI foods (0-55) are digested slowly, facilitating a gradual release of glucose into the blood stream.
So when should specific foods be consumed according to their ranking on the Glycaemic Index to maximise our athletic performance?
Approximately 3 hours - 1 day prior to exercise, low GI or complex carbohydrates should be consumed to maximise our muscle glycogen stores (stored energy in muscles) for energy supply during exercise. Simple carbohydrates or high GI foods can be consumed within an hour of competition and throughout sporting performance to help delay the depletion of stored muscle glycogen e.g. sports drinks and lollies.
Immediately following exercise, food containing high GI carbohydrates should be consumed to initially restore some muscle glycogen storage. Within 1 hour following exercise, a meal rich in low GI foods should be consumed to further restore muscle glycogen levels in conjunction with some protein rich food to promote muscle repair.
Daniel Anderson - B.Sc. (Sports Science, Exercise and Health), Hons
Accredited Exercise Physiologist / Absolute Balance Exercise Consultants
About the Author: Derek Knox is best known within the surfboat community as the bowman from the highly successful North Cottesloe "J" Crew.
Derek in his day job is a decisive, energetic and enthusiastic leader with a high level of health and fitness industry knowledge and concepts. He is a proven identity within the health and fitness industry with highly commendable areas of employment including a recent role with the Indian Men's Hockey Team.
He is experienced in areas of Exercise Rehabilitation, Corporate Health, Personal Development and Elite Training Methods.
Derek is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and has completed his MBA at the University of Western Australia.
Derek is the Owner/Director of Absolute Balance – Exercise Consultants in Western Australia and has very kindly agreed to provide some material to the ASRL for inclusion into our Coaching Section of the website