Published: 07/16/2006 - Updated: 05/23/2017
Brown rice, no white rice, potatoes and vegetables can be perfect substitutes for pasta on the menu of sport people.
In the world of sport, there are many doubts and myths about what food is best for each discipline, what are the foods recommended for a better athletic performance, which supplements are most successful in delaying the fatigue or to increase muscle mass, and so on. One of the clearer ideas that not only athletes, but also those who have passion for the sport, is that the pasta-macaroni, spaghetti and the like, is excellent to be taken on the day of sporting event, and even previous days, because it contains abundant complex carbohydrates and it is known that these nutrients are converted into energy gradually, little by little, just what the body needs when there is more physical effort.
Not only pasta in the diet of the athlete
Pasta, prepared in its many versions and different foods, is combined with a fast and healthy way to consume a good amount of carbohydrates. Though, if the power of athlete is limited to pasta dishes at moments of peak performance, you may end the diet because of monotonous and boring. The key to food is varied and suited to the nutritional and energy needs in each case is to know what foods and how much we should take to have enough amount of nutrients and energy.
Pasta cooked "al dente" is a low glycemic index, so to vary the diet can be substituted for other foods rich in carbohydrates with glycemic index.
However, when one eats food rich in carbohydrates is an increase and a subsequent decrease in the level of glucose in the blood. This is known as the glycemic response, which depends on the glycemic index of foods. The glycemic index is a measure that is used to classify the food we eat according to the response that occur in our blood glucose (blood sugar).
Thus, the pasta cooked "al dente" is a low glycemic index, so to vary the diet can be substituted for other foods rich in carbohydrates with similar glycemic index, such as brown rice, potatoes, vegetables and whole meal bread or bread cereals. By contrast, white rice, white bread, pasta and too cooked or reheated mashed potatoes have a high glycemic index, so they are easier to digest food. This latter type of food is highly recommended for when you go to a sporting event of short duration, as if the exercise continues, the athlete may notice hypoglycemia-low levels of sugar or glucose in the blood and causing a more rapid increase in production of insulin, the hormone that causes the glucose enters the cells to be used as an energy source, leading to decreased levels of blood glucose, and this is reflected in a lower performance.
Therefore, for sports that require long times, as a race, a marathon, a bike race, and so on., it is advisable to include in the menu foods with low glycemic index and maintain more stable levels blood glucose.
Food equivalent in low glycemic index carbohydrate
- Pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, ribbons, feathers, etc.), better with whole grains: 30 grams raw, corresponding to 90 -100 grams of cooked pasta.
- Brown rice: 30 grams raw, equivalent to 90-100 grams of cooked rice.
- Vegetables: 40 grams raw, equivalent to 80-100 grams of cooked vegetable.
- Potatoes: one small potato, about 100-120 grams.
- Bread or cereal a slice of bread bar: about 40-50 grams (4 fingers thick).