Glycemic Index – Are White or Brown Carbs Best?

There is the main thought process that brown or complex carbohydrates are good and white is bad. But ultimately, it’s all about context, and isn’t as black and white as that. Both white and brown or simple and complex carbohydrates have their place in the diet. What is more important is the timing in which we have them and the foods we have them in conjunction with.


Glycaemic index (GI)

GI is measured on a scale of 1-100 where 100 is glucose and fastest releasing – with complex typically being lower.

  • 1-50 Low
  • 51- 70 Medium
  • 71-100 High


Low to Moderate:

Low to moderate Gi carbohydrate is ideal to have most of the time in particular that 2-4-hour period before training – this is for the steady rise in blood sugar – as well as tending to be higher in fibre and micronutrients. This means you will feel fuller for longer and potentially solve any energy fluxes you might have been getting through the day.

It’s not the most ideal food to have on the bike though, for the above reasons and when looking at performance, the higher Gi, simpler carbohydrates are much more effective



The whiter, more simple carbohydrates increase blood sugar a lot quicker, tend to be low in fibre and depending on the source micronutrients.

Where this type of carbohydrate excels is in the period directly before, during and after a workout or ride. This is due to the speed of the release making the energy viable for use straight away, aiding in immediate performance or recovery.

Knowing more about these allows you to know when you can have some of those sweeter foods and when you should cut back on them in relation to energy levels and best utilisation.


RECIPE: Mediterranean flaked sea bream pasta

Ideal to have 2-4 hours before a session providing 80g of steady releasing carbohydrate and 20-30g protein.

Ingredients per 1 person;

  • 1 fillet sea bream
  • 100g Spaghetti
  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Small handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1tbsp of olives
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh Basil to garnish

BOIL your spaghetti with some salt till just before it’s done (al dente)

FRY minced garlic in your pan with olive oil first then adding fillet, salt and pepper

ADD halved cherry tomatoes and olives after 3 or so minutes

DRAIN cooked pasta

ADD pasta to frying pan and stir in once fillet is crispy

SERVE with a garnish of basil, and remaining oil from the pan.



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