Carbohydrates – A comparison

Carbohydrates (carbs) provide the body with energy and are divided into two groups – Simple & Complex carbs. Simple carbs usually come in sugary forms such as fruits, cane sugars, white rice etc and are responsible for quick absorption within the body or ‘High Glycemic Index’ (HGI). High GI foods are best consumed after a workout, this helps to replenish the body’s glycogen stores. 15 minutes is roughly the window time you have to sufficiently replenish glycogen stores and things like fruit, chocolate milk, eggs, orange juice, sandwiches etc will all help this process.

Complex carbs with a low glycemic index (LGI) are preferred throughout the day and usually come in forms or wholegrain foods such as brown pasta, bread and rice and beans. Let’s take Brown rice for example – White rice once was brown rice before it was stripped of all its nutrients. The nutrients is mainly stored in the brown husk (the casing), once stripped, the rice loses most of its health benefits and becomes a higher GI food.

Benefits of LGI foods or brown sources of carbs (specifically brown rice) are – slower/steadier release of energy throughout the day, fewer spikes in blood sugar levels, lowing the risk of common disease such as diabetes, cancers, heart disease and arthritis, promotes weight loss…the list goes on.


So the myth about ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’ in not necessarily true when considering training and timing. Yes if you’re consuming HGI foods all day everyday then you run the risk of putting on weight and developing the above diseases, whereas if you stick to consuming them after a workout it can be more advantageous with regards to your training recover process.


Enjoy. Benny C