Understanding The Glycemic Index To Accelerate Fat Loss & Kick-Start Muscle Growth
There have been a ton of articles on how high GI (Glycemic Index) carbs will affect your weight loss or muscle building progress, but does that mean that that high GI Foods cannot be an integral part of your meals? Well, not if you time them correctly in your dietary regime.
What Is The Glycemic Index?
In simple words, the Glycemic Index measures how carbohydrate based foods affect blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are categorised into two basic categories which are high GI carbs and low GI carbs.
High GI Carbs
These carbs are digested by the body rapidly and enter into the bloodstream swiftly where they drive up the blood glucose level. This results in insulin spikes so that body can utilise this spike.
Examples of High GI Food
- White Rice
- Regular Pasta
- Table Sugar
- White Bread
- Sugary Drinks
- Low GI
Digested slowly and gradually enter the blood stream, these carbs keep insulin level more consistent.
Examples of Low GI Food
- Brown Rice
- Whole wheat Pasta
- Sweet Potatoes
- Whole Grain Bread
How To Time Carbohydrates?
Now, how should you time your carbohydrates without hurting your insulin sensitivity, gain muscle and reduce the chances fat storage? If you want to add carbs in most of your meals, you should always choose low GI carbs so that you maintain good energy levels throughout the day which also helps you in burning more fat. Generally, what people tend to do is that they have high GI carbs right before a workout with the notion that they need fast energy. Yes, it will give you fast energy which will drain out as fast as it will kick in, not giving you the same level of energy throughout your workout. If you want to consume carbs before your workout, go for 20-30 gm of low GI carbs along with at least 10gms of protein. This will give you a sustained supply of energy during your workouts and will help you recover better.
Timing high GI food is a little tricky. There are two main ways of looking at it. First, is when you wake up and have your first meal. This will be especially helpful for people who want to gain muscle mass. When you have the first meal of the day, you are breaking your fast of around 6-8hrs, your muscle and liver glycogen levels are down which may also lead to muscle catabolism if you do not restore your glycogen levels quickly. Another good time to consume high GI food is after your workout, irrespective of the fact if you are trying lose weight or you are gaining muscle. Around 50gm of carbs and 30gm of protein, makes an ideal combo. An insulin spike after your workouts will kick-start muscle growth by restocking the glycogen stores used during your workout.
Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer , Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
Note- The article just lays down the properties of sprouts. For successful fat loss or muscle, you will need to align your calorie intake with your goal. Sprouts are one of the healthiest food items out there.
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