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Glycemic Index & Picking the Right Carbs


Don’t be afraid to eat carbs!! Carbs/Carbohydrates (more specifically, the glucose found in carbohydrates) are your brain’s primary source of fuel and your body’s energy supply during high intensity exercise. If you are trying to lower your body’s fat composition, focus on eating carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index, rather than severely cutting or completely eliminating carbohydrates from your diet.

What is glycemic index?

Glycemic index measures a carbohydrate food’s ability to raise blood glucose levels. When we consume carbohydrates, they get digested and influence our blood sugar levels. Some carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels a lot, while other carbohydrates affect blood glucose minimally.

How may the glycemic index help you lose fat?

By keeping blood glucose levels low, you can better manage your insulin response to food. Insulin is a powerful hormone that can deposit fat. Therefore if you are trying to lower your body’s fat composition, you want to keep it under control!

How can you lower the glycemic index of a food?

You can’t actually lower the glycemic index of a food, but there are other foods that can be paired with high glycemic index foods that will slow the release of glucose into the blood and help keep insulin levels under control. By pairing fat and/or fiber with a high glycemic index food, the glycemic index may be lowered. The addition of fat and/or fiber slows the speed at which food leaves your stomach. This therefore slows the release of glucose into the blood stream, keeping insulin levels under control.

What are some foods that have a low glycemic index?

– 100% stone ground whole wheat bread

– oatmeal, oat bran, barley

– sweet potato, yam

– corn, carrots, peas

– legumes, lentils

– most fruit (except bananas, pineapple, & melons just to name a few)

Bottom line…

Don’t completely eliminate carbohydrates from you diet! They are an important component to a healthy diet, proper brain function, and your performance during exercise.

Kassie’s Training Tip

“No Pain, No Gain”

This old saying is far from the truth! If you are continuously exercising to extremes, you may be damaging your body. Current research has proved that too much anaerobic or aerobic exercise may cause impaired immune function, inadequate energy levels, muscle cramps, reduced resistance training, and/or over-training syndrome.

What is over-training syndrome you may ask?

Some common symptoms of over-training syndrome may include the following:

-elevated resting heart rate

-chronic fatigue, workouts are draining

-an increase in sickness

-inadequate/poor sleep

-a decrease in performance or inability to reach training goals

-a lack of enthusiasm or motivation to train

-psychological staleness (chronic bad mood)

Over-training occurs when your body doesn’t have enough time to recover (i.e. daily high intensity exercise). Inadequate rest and recovery may lead to compensation and injury. If you have multiple symptoms of over-training listed above, you may need to adjust your training program and include appropriate rest and recovery time for your body!

Stop by the Rec. Sports Office today to set up an appointment if you have any questions or concerns about over-training or other training tips or issues!

Boot Camp

Join us for boot camp on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7am. Click on the link below for more information!

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