Is HIGH GI Better?

It is common practice for athletes to reach for high GI foods before training sessions to boost performance. The GI index refers to how quickly a food, particularly a carbohydrate rich food, raises blood sugar; high GI foods result in a faster blood sugar spike than lower GI foods. This fast sugar is what athletes are after.

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However, this science(1,2) has showed this is flawed and that lower GI foods can be as effective at providing energy for performance. So if you don’t like energy gels, skip them and grab a handful of raisins instead. If oatmeal isn’t your thing, choose sweet potatoes or rice. What you need to consider is how well you digest lower GI foods. A large component of what makes food lower in glycemic index is the addition of fiber. Higher fiber foods can be troublesome for guts about to take on serious physical stress. In the end, your fuel needs to fuel you, so whether it’s raisins or gels, milk or dates, just be sure your system is trained to handle it.


Resources:

Studies

1) https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-8-15GI food list for reference HERE

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076252/

General GI Info

Food List

Basics

More Basics