Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred source of energy. It comes in two forms, simple and complex.
The simple ones are absorbed really quickly, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar.
The complex ones gives a slow release, giving you stable blood sugar level.
You’ve probably heard about the GI index (Glycemic Index): simple carbohydrates have a high GI, and complex ones have a low GI.
Okay – so why’s all this important?
The body converts carbohydrates in to glucose for instant energy, or glycogen to store in the liver or muscles.
But when your glycogen stores are full, your body just converts it to fat.
So if you don’t eat for 2 hours or so, then hit the cross trainer, what’s your body going to do? Use its readily available energy, or burn some fat?
In this case, it would burn fat.
When your glycogen store start to run a bit low, your body likes to save the ready available stuff in case you’re chased by a sabre tooth tiger or something (your body is still in the dark ages when it comes to evolution).
So that’s great news if you’re trying to lose fat, and get ripped. But it’s bad news if you’re trying to put weight.
So timing when you eat it really important. It’s not just about the gym.
If you’re skinny, never go to the gym on ‘empty’. If you’re doing weights or cardio, don’t rob your body of anything except glucose and glycogen.