Timing Complex & Simple Carbs

If you're getting ready to race in a 10K or Triathlon, here are some carbohydrate timing strategies from a couple of different scientific studies. Before training or competing, research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport suggests that complex low-GI carbs worked better than simple high-GI carbs when consumed 45 minutes before a 40 KM bike race. The slower-burning complex energy source sustained those cyclists more effectively than rapidly assimilated simple carbs.

The opposite is true for recovery. Consider a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine that found simple (fast) carbs consumed immediately after exercise promoted more complete recovery. Compared to a group that got complex carbohydrates, subjects who consumed fast carbohydrates immediately after a 90 minute run performed better in a trial to exhaustion 4 hours later.

True Strength Moment: Even if you don't plan on doing any extreme endurance racing or even training, these same rules might apply to weight lifting. The only way to find out if this advice can enhance your performance and recovery is to try the suggestions out for a couple of weeks. Good sources of complex carbs include asparagus, oatmeal and brown rice. ON's 2:1:1 Recovery is formulated with 4 different types of fast carbs.
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