A good, well-balanced nutritional intake is essential for maintaining healthy bodily functions, and carbohydrates are one of the vital nutrients we need on a day-to-day basis. They are a major source of energy for your body; after ingesting those delicious carbs, our bodies turn them into glucose, which is then used by our cells for supporting our energy levels.
Now, you may have heard terms such as High GI or Low GI before, but what do they mean? Why are they different, and why do they matter?
GI stands for Glycaemic Index, and is essentially a ranking system for different carbohydrates and how immediate their impact is on our blood glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar) levels. If the GI of a carbohydrate is high, it means that it will increase your blood sugar more rapidly, as opposed to low GI carbs, which have a slower impact on our blood sugar.
Examples of low GI foods:
- Grains such as pasta, rice, quinoa or barley
- Starchy veggies like corn and sweet potato
- Most fruits
- Unsweetened or low fat dairy
- Legumes such as lentils, split peas and chickpeas
Examples of high GI foods:
- Instant noodles
- Rice cakes
- Corn flakes
- White bread
- Fruit juice
When training and before a game, Paris Creek Farms Brand Ambassador and Women’s Cricket Fast Bowler Darcie Brown takes the impact of low vs. high GI foods into consideration.
“Protein and good nutrition are good to me because it enables my muscles to repair and become stronger, which allows me to play for longer and better without sustaining an injury”, says Darcie.
“I prefer to have my high protein snacks and meals after a gym or training session to help my muscles recover and repair quickly. These foods might include a frozen berry smoothie with some vanilla Greek-style yogurt and some full cream milk, or even just vanilla Greek-style yogurt and berries in a bowl. I like to have a high GI option 1 hour to 30 minutes before training or a game, which means that the carbohydrates in the food break down quicker and increase my blood sugar level ready to be used in a training or game. This could include some toast with salted butter and jam, or even a cheddar cheese and tomato toastie. This quick release of energy during the game or session makes me feel up and about as well as ready to perform at my best.”
Both high and low GI foods play their role in a healthy diet, and having a well-balanced combination of the two will help you to have the energy and nutrition you need to thrive.
Looking for more health and wellness tips? You may find these articles helpful:
If you’re on the hunt for delicious, high-protein products to include in your day-to-day meals, our range of 100% organic dairy goodies will be right up your alley. Explore our range here, or find your nearest retailer here.
- Health Direct, June 2022, Glycaemic index, https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/glycaemic-index-gi
- NHS, 17 June 2022, What is the glycaemic index (GI)?, https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi/