First and foremost, what are high GI carbs? What does GI even stand for, you may be asking. GI stands for glycemic index which is the rate of absorption of glucose into the cells in your blood stream. Every food has a GI rating based on glucose being 100. To keep it super simple, a GI lower than 50 is ideal. So, why is this whole GI thing so important? I mean, aren't all carbs created equal? Don't you need carbs for your brain and muscle repair? And, if you Spin(R) don't you think you can afford to eat whatever carbs you want? Nope-Sorry!
In my book Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools, I clearly outline all the carbs that you CAN have in tool #68. For optimal health and performance, you must stay away from bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sweets, candy, muffins, juice (unless it's green!), cereal and for many oatmeal! High GI carbs not only push sugar into the blood quickly promoting the insulin response, but it slows you down, makes you fat, gives you cravings, and ages your arteries. Well, that's not what you signed up for when you eat that stuff. I know. But don't kill the messenger. Understand that as Spin(R) enthusiasts, as long as you eat small frequent meals (tool #31) throughout the day, you will always have energy and cravings will dissipate for the foods you've known most of your life. That is, if you stay clear of the stuff above and fuel your body with the right energy, you will quickly realize that your body feels stronger since you are not experiencing those chaotic sugar spikes and drops.
So yes, you need carbs. But you need slow dumping carbs. The best types of carbs to own in your nutritional plan include veggies, some fruits and even a sweet potato. The other stuff, you do not need. If you cycle competitively, then perhaps a little bit of quinoa, brown rice and oatmeal might make your list, but be sure to couple those items with a lean protein (from tool #58 in my book). As always, drink plenty of water and get your sleep in. Recovery is just as important as training.
So bottom line; ditch the high GI carbs. You don't need them. I know that they just taste so good, but at the end of the day, low performance and suboptimal health leaves a bad taste in your mouth anyway so why do it? Food for thought!
xo Jenn Zerling, MS, CPT