Carboidratos simples vs. complexos

Simple Carbohydrates vs. complexes

Simple Carbohydrates vs. complexes

I will repeat this phrase that every reader of our blog should already know: carbohydrates are an important macronutrient and one of the body's main sources of energy. The media and social networks constantly discourage eating them or argue that it is necessary to follow a “low carb” diet to lose weight (this is still one of several strategies, ok?). The truth is that all macro and micronutrients are essential. The key is to find the right carbohydrates and consume them at the right time – not avoid them completely.

In nutrition, there are no hard and fast rules to follow and a lot of it revolves around trial and error to find out what works best for you and your goals. However, there are fundamental concepts that can guide you. In today's post, we'll discuss some different types of carbohydrates and how the body uses them during training, so you can start implementing and of course testing what works best for you. Let's go!

One important thing to know about carbohydrates is that they are the brain's main source of fuel. This is why, after a long period of time without eating, your body asks for foods that are easy to digest and generally have a high sugar content. That's why it's essential to maintain a consistent eating routine: it helps keep blood glucose levels stable. A common symptom of lack of energy is sugar cravings. This is due to a variety of physiological reasons, one of which is the fact that the body is simply not receiving an adequate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day or during training. The body is trying to tell us what it needs!

Some carbohydrates are digested more slowly due to their complex structure and fiber content, and are known as complex carbohydrates . Simple carbohydrates are easy to digest, causing a quick rise in blood glucose and energy, while complex carbohydrates take a little longer to break down, slowing the digestion process and having a more gradual effect on raising blood sugar. Have you ever heard that “you can’t eat just one apple, you need to have two chestnuts”? It's because when we consume a carbohydrate “alone”, it doesn't keep you as satiated for long periods of time compared to proteins and/or fats. They are digested quickly to provide the body with the energy it needs.

Examples of simple carbohydrates include candy, soda, fruit juice, table sugar and honey.

Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as brown rice and oats.

If we eat the fruit in its natural state, it is a complex carbohydrate thanks to the fiber content it contains. However, when we extract the juice from this fruit and remove the fiber content, it becomes a simple carbohydrate that will be even faster to digest. And I will emphasize: both simple and complex carbohydrates occupy a fundamental place in the active athlete's diet!

Gabi, when to use simple carbohydrates instead of complex carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates should be used when you need quick energy, to increase energy stores just before and/or during a training session. And when you don't have much time between eating and training.

We follow the same line of recovery immediately after training - that's why we use dextrose and d-ribose in Ampli, our post-workout supplement. Simple and quickly absorbed carbohydrates! The objective of consuming these simple carbohydrates is to replace some of the energy that your working muscles are using and not to deplete the supply.

As events begin to turn into long-duration efforts of more than approximately 2 hours, it is more favorable to incorporate complex carbohydrates to provide a constant source of energy. Intra-workout carbohydrate supplementation is necessary! Without energy replenishment, the body becomes a time bomb until your carbohydrate storage runs out and you “break down”. Products such as gels and Power Powder have been specifically formulated to provide adequate energy intake during short and long-term events, because they contain a mix of both simple carbohydrates, maltodextrin and fructose, as well as complex carbohydrates such as palatinose - which together provide a constant release of energy.

Thinking about meals throughout the day, combining fiber, proteins and/or fats with carbohydrates is ideal, as the body takes longer to digest - thus providing a more stable source of energy and without insulin spikes, energy drops or hunger. . This also applies to when you have more than an hour between eating and training.

As always, the world of nutrition is very individualized. Some people easily tolerate any type of carbohydrate, simple or complex, during higher intensity efforts, or even fiber. Just as you train your cardiovascular and muscular systems, you can and should train your gut to tolerate certain types of foods and supplements. It’s the famous “train the gut” - a topic that I can talk a little more about in the next posts!

Nurture tip: if you are physically active, you may even function much better with more carbohydrates in your diet! Think of them as energy and not villains!

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.


Nurture from Z2.