June 26

What Carbs Should You Eat as a Runner?

Carbohydrate loading has long been a topic of interest and discussion within the running community. While the significance of consuming carbs before a big race is widely recognized, it's important to understand that not all carbs are created equal. Equally crucial is the timing of carbohydrate intake, as it can significantly impact an athlete's performance. In this blog post, we turn to our knowledgeable friends at Gnarly Nutrition to shed light on the subject, providing insights into high glycemic index (GI) and low GI foods, their effects on blood sugar levels, and when they should be consumed for optimal performance.

Low Glycemic Index Foods: Building the Foundation 

Low GI foods, on the other hand, are best consumed throughout the day and in the days leading up to more significant endurance efforts. These foods play a vital role in building the base of our bodies' glycogen storage. Moreover, they offer access to essential micronutrients and dietary fiber, which are beneficial for overall health and sustained energy release.

Some examples of low GI foods include basmati rice, vegetables, lentils, pasta, whole grain bread, oats, and oranges. Incorporating these foods into your daily diet ensures a steady and controlled release of glucose, providing sustained energy throughout the day.

High Glycemic Index Foods: Fueling Your Efforts

High GI foods have a rapid effect on elevating blood sugar levels and are best consumed before and during workouts to sustain energy levels. By consuming high GI foods before and during exercise, athletes can maintain elevated glucose levels, providing the body with readily available energy to utilize. Additionally, after a workout, high GI foods aid in the swift replenishment of spent glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose in our bodies.

Examples of high GI foods include dates, graham crackers, fig newtons, rice, potatoes, watermelon, white bread, and Gnarly Fuel2O, a product designed specifically to support athletic performance.

Finding the Right Balance

Carbohydrate timing is a crucial factor for endurance athletes seeking to optimize their performance, and when it comes to fueling your body for optimal performance, finding the right balance between high and low GI foods is key. Preparing for a race or intense training session requires a strategic approach to carbohydrate consumption. By understanding the timing and effects of different carbohydrates, athletes can maximize their energy levels and enhance their overall performance.

Recognizing the distinction between high and low GI foods and understanding when to consume them can make a significant difference in your training and race day experiences. By incorporating high GI foods before and during workouts and incorporating low GI foods into your daily diet, you can ensure a steady supply of energy, replenish glycogen stores efficiently, and support overall health and performance. Remember, fueling your body properly is a key component of achieving your athletic goals.

(Note: The information provided in this blog is based on general knowledge about carbohydrate timing and GI foods. It's always recommended to consult with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist for personalized advice and recommendations.)


Athletic Nutrition, Gnarly Nutrition, Nutrition, running, Training

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