The Power of Insulin Spikes.
This is all about timing your carbohydrates and why your progress could be suffering, just because of something that needs a super easy tweak.
So let’s quickly touch on what an insulin spike is, when we consume carbs our body breaks these down by converting them into sugars which are absorbed into the blood. The greater amount of carbs, the bigger the insulin spike.
This spike can last a long time (which is good) or rise super fast and drop after 89 minutes (bad). You gain the longer lasting insulin spikes by eating Lower GI carbs that are broken down slower and your body uses these over the next 3 hours after consumption. The Higher GI carbs (higher sugar) give the body a huge spike and once it drops can be deadly for your fat loss progress (mainly because it makes you super hungry again).
So what are the Low GI Carbs, deep down you know, these are the foods like brown rice, wholegrain bread, your weetabix, porridge and sweet potatoes. These take time to break down, meaning your body has access to these as fuel for longer, very ideal for before training for consistent energy. Other examples are legumes and pulses which a perfect as they contain great amounts of protein.
What should you keep away from? Well no, that’s not the attitude, but they should be limited to 10% of your diet. Things like white rice, pasta, white bread and white potatoes, albeit they are great. The attitude to view them with is purely to accept, that there are always better choices, but not detrimental if made. In fact, consuming white rice directly after a workout is more effective than brown rice. This is because during training our bodies breakdown and use up all our glycogen stores, meaning we need sugar to restore those to help the bodies muscles recover. If the High GI carbs allow sugar to get to the blood the fastest then hey presto, science is great.
(So your post leg day can happily be a bowl of pasta, just saying.)
What about alcohol? Don’t cover your ears.
Some alcoholic drinks contain sugar, often dependent on the mixer or if you’re drinking beers, white wine, or straight up vodka shots. (Blueghh)
Spirits: Distilled drinks like Gin, Vodka and white rum are free of carbohydrates.
Beers: Contain carbohydrates, being made with yeast & barley
White wine: Contains the highest amount of sugars, due to being pressed white grapes
Ever get hungry after a night out? But noticed it’s not as bad when you’re on the Gin & Tonics?
All sugars create an isulin spike, drinks containing high amounts of sugar create the huge spike, followed by a huge plummit, probably just the right time as you’re in the cab driving past the drive through. The saying, “stay strong” is probably at it’s most important time here.
Be wise with your drink choices, and be even wiser after.
Your insulin spikes play a big role in the storing of energy. If there is a spike and no energy is being used, this will be stored as fat and it takes a lot more than one evening to burn it off!