Carbohydrate Grants / high-energy products
Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple or more complex carbohydrates.
The simple carbohydrates are those who have a fast but very short-term effect on our blood sugar. When we would rather not experience these big blood sugar swings, which is unhealthy for our body and also makes us sluggish and somnolent, the intake of simple carbohydrates should be limited (the exception is under severe and prolonged training – cycling, marathon etc).
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The simple carbohydrates are found especially in the form of sugar in cakes and sweets but to a lesser degree in fruits, white rice and pasta and white bread.
Complex Carbohydrates – Ideal As Your Energy Source
The complex carbohydrates on the other hand takes longer for our bodies to break down and absorb, so they make sure to give us a smooth and stable blood sugar. The complex carbohydrates are found in grain products such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and vegetables.
It is generally said that about 55-60% of one’s daily energy intake should come from carbohydrates – that is the most complex ones and in addition, sugar max of 10% thereof. In addition, it is recommended that approximately 600 g of carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables – of which min. 300 grams of vegetables.
Carbohydrate is the body, brain and muscles’ preferred fuel so it is important that you are before a long workout make sure to get filled up when it comes to your carbohydrate depots. Since it is never preferable to train on a full stomach, it will be optimal to eat any carbohydrate rich food around 1½-2 hours before training. Here, for example, a bowl of oatmeal, rye bread, whole wheat pasta with tuna or similar be quite optimal.
But it is not only immediately before the training that you need to think about filling depots with the right fuel. Do you know for example that you are going to do many hours of march, you need the day before thinking about getting plenty of carbohydrate – again the complex ones. A good idea would be that eating plenty of whole grain pasta or brown rice for dinner the previous day but remember to get some protein.
When Should You Use Supplements?
At extremely hard and long training sessions (over 2-3 hours), it will be necessary to take a carbohydrate supplement (simple carbohydrates) during the training to feed the body something quick and much needed energy and to maintain a stable blood sugar. Blood sugar drops too much, you will experience a decrease in performance and ultimately can result in discomfort, dizziness or even fainting. In connection with these lengthy workout is recommended to take an energy drink, energy bar or High Energy. Note that we are talking about products with high carbohydrate and energy content and not on protein supplements.
High-energy products contain large amounts of the more simple carbohydrates, which the body quickly responds to and can transform into energy. It is only by exercise of endurance character over 2-3 hours, it may be necessary with this kind of subsidy. The extra carbohydrate supplementation may advantageously be from ordinary food rather than bars, drinking and so on. For example, you eat bananas, white bread with honey, granola bars, fresh / dried fruit or similar and combined with clean drinking water, it will be exactly as beneficial as grants you can buy – and on top of that you get vitamins into the bargain. However, bars, gels and drinks durable and easy to transport, so it will be a good idea to always have them in your equipment on a march.
To get the maximum out of your training – strength training as well as cardio and long distance training – it is essential that you during the day will have enough energy. This means that you must make sure to get enough to eat, and that applies here to get a sufficient amount of carbohydrate from the diet. Often there is a tendency to focus on protein supplement in training, but here it is important to emphasize that hard training and protein supplements is useless if you do not supply the body with adequate amount of food and carbohydrate in the right quantities.
What happens if you do not get enough to eat, or your body is deficient in carbohydrates is that the body will automatically begin using other sources to produce energy including protein. This is highly inappropriate, since the muscles need protein for muscle building.