Athletes and the Glycemic Index

As a life long runner, I would never have something to eat that was high on the glycemic index (GI) before I ran.  I want something low on the index for sustained energy.  On the site, Oztrack.com, it explains it this way:

There are times when low G.I. foods provide an advantage and times when high G.I. foods are better. For best performance a serious athlete needs to learn about which foods have high and low G.I. factors and when to eat them.

The carbohydrate we eat is stored in the body in the form of Glycogen in the muscles and in the liver.. A small amount circulates as glucose in the blood. When exercising at high intensities the main fuels are blood glucose and muscle glycogen. The body also can use fats at low intensities but loses this ability when high intensity is required. The bigger your stores of glucose and glycogen, the longer an athlete can exercise before fatigue sets in. Maintaining high glycogen stores is the key to maintaining quality training performance on a daily basis.

The beneficial effects of low G.I. foods for Athletes
Low G.I. foods are digested slowly and can remain in the small intestine for hours after consumption. The benefit of this is a slow and sustained release of glucose that occurs even during exercise.”

The only thing that I consume before my long runs is Shakeology and that is because it has a glycemic index of 24 and gives the energy that I need for my entire run.

To learn more about GI, read the article, “Everything You Need to Know About the Glycemic Index“. To read it, please click here.

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