Understanding carbohydrates can be tricky. In an earlier post “Fuel your body“, we talked about how important carbohydrates are for properly fueling our bodies. We mentioned that it is also important to know how to use them during the day to reap their rewards. During my research, I found the articles on carbohydrates is endless. LOL. With that being said, I am going to try and break it down as simple as I can. As we talked about previously, our bodies need to have glucose, or blood sugars, in our bodies to supply us with the energy needed to perform any exercise. That glucose comes form carbohydrates. Now, the speed in which that particular carbohydrate turns into glucose to enter our bodies, is measured by what is called the “glycemic index“. The glycemic index (or GI as we will call it) breaks these foods down into two main categories; low GI foods and high GI foods. Foods that are on the lower end of the glycemic index, are foods that take longer to enter the body as glucose. This is very helpful for those of us that are trying to manage our weight or even lose weight, because it sustains out energy level at a pace that allows our bodies to continue to use that food as fuel. This slower process also allows our bodies to maintain a state of feeling full for a longer period of time, so that we won’t eat as much or as often. This slower rate also allows our bodies to keep our blood sugars at a manageable level and keeps us from going into that “sugar high” mode. High GI foods are those that enter the blood stream very quickly as sugar. These foods are useful for right after we have exercised, because they will restore the depleted glucose we used during while we were exercising. They are not used for sustaining long term energy, which means we need to make sure they are not our primary source of carbohydrates during the day. They can potentially have a negative impact on any weight loss goal we have in place. Now that we have the background, we need to figure out when to eat them during the day and what foods fit into each category. This will be extensive, so I will open another BLOG specifically for that topic. I hope this helps understand carbs a little more. I look forward to hearing how this helps with your energy level!