Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tips for exercise - Watch the Glycemic Index

Fitness freeks once --- turned trainers, have their story of excellent fitness and physique. Added to it, have a sobbing story of their current situation of weekness in the knees and their journey becoming a loser.
“This common occurrence, could be in competitive sports, or in the midst of a simple work out. Active guys are mostly simple machines. For them, an active lifestyle is merely a number game like distance covered, total repetitions, amount of weight lifted, kilometers per hour and sticking to quantities of performance supplements. One set of numbers every fit guy should be familiar with, however, is the Glycemic Index (GmI), a system that rates the speed at which glucose from carbohydrate sources enters your blood stream. Why is this important to your game, no matter what it is? Because glucose, the primary fuel for your muscle and brain, is derived from carbohydrates (carbs) you ingest. Yet not all carbs are created equal, and eating the right kind before, during and especially after a workout can play a major role in how you feel and perform.

Starting your Engines:
What you eat before a race, a cricket match or a workout, will depend upon the nature and the duration of the activity. For long endurance events like one-day cricket match for example, foods that are low on the glycemic scale (more slowly absorbed) which produce a constant flow of energy long after consumption are recommended. For events of 90 minutes or more, one gram of low-glycemic carbohydrate per Kg. of body weight two hours before hand is recommended.

On the Run:
For shorter sprint-type races or fat-burning cardio workouts, high to moderate glycemic choices preferably in liquid from may be answer. You want that stuff getting into your blood stream constantly so you can maintain blood glucose levels. The whole concept of any drink is to start sipping as soon as you begin exercising, and every 10 minutes or so after. That’s even if you are in the gym pounding weights hard for an hour. Weightlifting is somewhat neuro-muscular, so the whole idea is that your nervous system and your brain functions best on glucose. 30 – 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during exercise is recommended. Even if you had a glucose drink, which is high glycemic, sipping it slowly will create the same effect as low glycemic choices. Blood glucose and insulin levels will remain level throughout. You don’t want a quick surge and then a downfall during an event.

Keep’em coming:
When your activity ceases, high glycemic carbs are highly necessary and, the sooner the better. Primarily within the first hour, you want one gram of high glycemic carbs per pound of body weight. As soon as you’re done with your workout is when you should start eating and rehydrating. Insulin is also crucial for putting on muscle, as it helps blunt the muscle breakdown that comes with intense exercise. Lifting weights produces stress hormone cortisol, which impedes the entry of amino acids into the muscle cells for growth. Insulin, on the other hand, moves these growth-promoting nutrients into your hungry muscles more smoothly than Huge Hrfner greets guests at a Vigra Cocktail party. Now, before you install the Glycemic Index as martial law in your kitchen, pay heed to this table.

Food Rating: Glucose-100, Baked potato-91, Water melon-72, white bread-70, Banana-62
Moderate: Orange juice 57, White rice 56, Popcorn 51, Oatmeal 49, Orange 43.
Low: Apple 36, Yogurts (Sweetened) 33, Skim milk 32.
Courtesy: Indian Express, Health Supplement

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