Did you know that glucose-containing foods are very important for athletes? Especially for those who compete in the most demanding sports specialities. The truth is that glucose is a great source of energy, but you have to be careful with it to avoid peaks. It is therefore interesting to know what the glycaemic index is and how it affects our health. In this article we tell you all about it.
What is glucose?
Glucose is a simple carbohydrate and the main source of energy for people. The body needs glucose to carry out some vital functions. For example, the contraction of muscles to move the body or to maintain brain activity.
However, it is so important that our body has mechanisms in place to balance blood glucose levels and avoid putting our health at risk; whether we are too high or too low in glucose.
What is the glycaemic index?
The glycaemic index helps us measure how quickly carbohydrates – such as glucose-containing foods – pass into the blood. The faster the speed, the more sugar spikes and the worse the health consequences.
Thus, the glycaemic index is a measure of how fast a food can raise the level of sugar – glucose – in the blood. The only foods that have a glycaemic index – GI – are carbohydrates. However, not all carbohydrates work the same way in the body. While some cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, others work more slowly, preventing blood sugar levels from spiking.
Ideally, choose more glucose-rich foods with a low or medium GI than those with a high GI. Glucose spikes can be corrected by insulin – the hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood levels – so we should not demonise high GI foods such as ripe fruit. However, we must ensure that the liver works moderately or it will not be able to produce all the insulin it needs.
Why are glucose-containing foods necessary if you play sport?
It is important to eat foods with glucose to ensure you have enough energy to carry out your physical activity.
People are able to store glucose – in the form of muscle and liver glycogen – in our bodies. Thus, when we exert ourselves physically, the stores are depleted and it is very important that we replenish them for the next time we need them.
Did you know that endurance athletes have larger stores of glucose? This is why they need more glucose, especially when they are preparing for a competition.
It is important to note that we need to watch the balance between energy intake and expenditure. Carbohydrates that are not “spent” as glucose are deposited as fat and can lead to problems such as overweight.
Glucose-containing foods to avoid
Although they contain large amounts of glucose, you may want to avoid all the foods on this list:
- Sugary soft drinks and diet drinks.
- Industrial juices as well as homemade juices.
- Sweets, candies, sweets and chewing gum.
- Pastries, biscuits and breakfast cereals.
- Yoghurts and sweetened dairy products.
- Ice cream.
- Sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise…
- Pre-cooked foods.
Keep in mind that, in addition to foods high in glucose – and with a very high glycaemic index – there are other factors that cause glucose spikes:
- Eating too much, especially dishes rich in carbohydrates.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Side effects of certain medicines.
- Some diseases.
- Being dehydrated.
Foods with glucose that are good for you
- Whole grains, rice, oats, millet, sorghum, maize, wheat…
- Pasta and sourdough breads; traditional recipes.
- Whole fresh fruit and also dried.
- Pseudocereals such as quinoa and buckwheat.
- Tubers: sweet potato, cassava, potato, carrot.
These foods help to control blood glucose levels as they are rich in fibre and most have a low glycaemic index.
Improve your sports performance with supplements
In addition to taking care of your diet to control your glycaemic index, but still have adequate energy intake, you can use interesting supplements such as these:
- Orgono Articomplex, with which you compensate for the loss of essential minerals that you lose during physical activity.
- Orgono Sport Recovery Supplement, highly recommended for stress and joint wear and tear.
As you can see, foods containing glucose are necessary for the proper functioning of the body. They are also very necessary for sportsmen and women. It is not a good idea to banish them from the diet, but it is a good idea to be very careful when choosing them in order to avoid frequent blood sugar peaks that can cause health problems. As with almost everything else, moderation is best.