Demystifying Sports Nutrition

Glycemic Index: The Quick & Dirty

“Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the carbs get out into the bloodstream: Something with a high GI is out there fast and ready to use; low GI means a longer, slower release,” says Applegate.

According to Applegate, what people neglect to realize is that foods have their GI tested alone, but we don’t usually eat foods in isolation. “If I top yogurt with nuts—when you add protein, fat or fiber to another food—it slows up the mix. You lower the GI.”

Austin purports that part of optimizing energy is to drip glucose steadily into the body and doing so requires eating certain foods in combination with others. Eating a mix of carbs, fat and protein, such as a banana with nut butter or hummus on rice cakes, helps stabilize blood sugar.

“Here’s the deal: Your body is well equipped to deal with rapid rises in insulin,” says Applegate. “There’s evidence to show that out-of-shape, overweight people who eat a lot of high GI foods may suffer detrimental effects. But, it all circles back to eating more fruits, veggies and whole grains, and that ultimately pans out to a lower GI diet.”

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