Slow Carbs Pre, Fast Carbs Post

A couple of different studies suggest that the type of carbohydrates you consume for endurance training might significantly impact your performance. Before hitting the gym or the bike trail, research published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport suggests sticking with low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates. GI refers to the rate that carbs are broken down to release glucose into your bloodstream. Low GI carbs digest slowly to provide a more sustained rate of glucose, and athletes who went with low GI bran flakes over high GI corn flakes performed better during a 40 km cycling race.

After training it's a totally different story according to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Consuming simple high GI carbohydrates promoted recovery better than the slower digesting carbs after endurance exercise. Endurance capacity was 15% better during subsequent running events for those who took the quicker path to glycogen replenishment.

True Strength Moment: Glycogen is the carbohydrate-based fuel used by cyclists, runners and also bodybuilders, who've been known to engage in intense effort during exercise. If this carbohydrate topping and replenishment strategy works for runners and cyclists, it's worth trying during your weight training. Just don't forget to add protein for muscle-building support.
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