Fast digesting carbs, also referred to as simple carbs, are digested easily and broken down into sugar and provide you lots of energy quite quickly. They consist of monosaccharide and disaccharide, which are the smallest unit of sugar. They are usually present in fruits, dairy and refined grains and their products. They are super beneficial for high intensity workouts and before a workout session. While performing high-intensity exercise, the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver are used up for energy. If these glycogen stores are not replenished by fast digesting carbs soon post a high-intensity workout, your future exercise sessions may suffer. A quick rise is the levels of blood sugar is important for replenishing glycogen in the liver and muscles within 2 hours of high-intensity exercise.
They are the high glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates and are available in many forms such as whole foods, natural and packaged or processed foods. The glycemic index indicates how fast a food increases the level of blood sugar once you consume it. Foods having a high GI tend to cause a spike in your level of blood sugar or glucose very fast, which is the reason behind the quick energy boost. Here is a list of few fast digesting carbs with tips for consumption:
Fruits are rich in multiple minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. A single fruit does not provide ample carbs per servings; hence, the best choices are raisins, bananas, grapes, dates, peaches, blueberries and watermelon. One banana contains 30 g of carbs and ¼ cup of raisins has 33 g of carbs. 1-1/2 cup of grapes, one cup of blueberries and two cups of watermelon have around 22 g of carbs each. Fruits help fulfill your need for water post-exercise and also digest easily. You may require several pieces of a fruit to fulfill your post-exercise requirements.
Both white and sweet potatoes are good source of carbs. One cup of baked potato (white) has 50 g of carbs and one cup of baked potato (sweet) has 48 g of carbs. Apart from being rich in carbs, both are a good source of vitamin C and B vitamins. Sweet potato also contains large amount of vitamin A.
White rice, white bread and white pasta are all excellent sources of high GI carbs. ½ cup of cooked white rice contains 105 calories and 25 g of carbs. One white bread slice contains 75 calories and 15 g of carbs. 1 cup of cooked white pasta contains 45 g of carbs. You can prepare white rice or white pasta and pack them to have as a quick post-workout meal. You can also prepare a sandwich of white bread and pack for an easy post-workout snack.
Multiple cereals have fast digesting carbs and they form a quick and convenient source of food. Some of these cereals include corn flakes, rice flakes, bran flakes, puffed rice and instant oatmeal. All of these will provide you with a quick boost of energy. You can increase the quantity of carbs in your meal by adding milk or fruit juice to the cereal or drinking them along with the cereal. Other high glycemic index (GI) foods that you can have as a post-workout snack are rice cakes, saltine crackers and bagels. Plain bagels are excellent post workouts. 1 medium bagel has 56 g of carbs.
It may become difficult to consume solid food post an exercise session. In such cases you can take liquids including smoothies and sports drinks.
Some other liquids that you can take post-workout as fast digesting carbs are:
You should eat snacks sparingly as they are quite rich in fast digesting carbs. Due to this they contribute to large waistlines. Even though such foods are an easy, quick source of high glycemic index carbohydrates, they lack in other nutrients and fiber. Some examples include chocolate, candy, potato and corn chips, cakes and biscuits, desserts such as frozen yogurt and ice cream, energy bars, and rice puddings or tapioca.