OK OK, before any of you get all excited and jump out of your seat, take a deep breath, hold on a second, and let me explain. I have told you all before that complex carbs are the way to go, which they are, but there is actually a time that it is important to take in some simple carbs.
First, let me refresh your minds about complex and simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs, like veggies, whole grain pastas and breads, oatmeal, and brown rice, are good for you because they are digested slower, making you feel fuller longer and giving you more energy throughout the day. They reduce the effect of insulin, which initiates hunger and fat storage. Interestingly enough, about 30% of the calories from the complex carbs are burned during digestion! OK, now on to simple carbs. Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugar, are digested fairly quickly, bombarding the blood stream with sugar, therefore bringing your energy levels up and down very quick as well. Also, there are barely any calories burned during digestion.
So why in the world would I take in simple carbs!? Believe it or not, there is a time when taking in simple carbs is very important! When is that time? Right after your workout. It is important to take in about 60-100 grams of simple carbs right after the workout to kick-start recovery. Your blood-sugar levels will still remain rather low because the carbs will either be burned or stored as glycogen. Some simple carb ideas for this time include sports drinks (Gatorade) or white bread with honey.
*A little note though. You need to make sure you also take in 40-60 grams of protein (preferably whey protein) right after the workout as well because the carbs and protein work hand-in-hand in the recovery process.
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