Post workout carbs: Dextrose and Pure Fine Oats
|Typical values per 100g||Dextrose||Pure Fine Oats|
The Glycemic IndexThe other thing to factor into this discussion is the Glycemic Index. Essentially this is a score from low to high, indicating how quickly the food is absorbed by the body. Dextrose is high on the Glycemic Index, indicating it is rapidly absorbed into your system, whereas Oats are low indicating they give much more of a sustained energy release as they are absorbed over time. This is one of the reasons why sugary food doesn't keep you feeling as full for as long as starchy food. Does all of this matter? Yes and no.
When can you ignore GI?As a general rule; if your next training session is more than 24 hours away you can safely ignore the Glycemic Index completely. It really doesn't matter. By the time you train next your glycogen stores in your muscles will be completely replenished no matter what source of post workout carbs you choose, (assuming adequate nutrition of course). It only starts to matter if your next training session is less than 24 hours away; later that same day for example. At this point you need to get the energy into your body quickly and at this point Dextrose becomes the clear choice. Ultimately if you don't train more than once a day it comes down to a personal choice – what do you prefer? As for me – I never, (or at least rarely), train more than once a day and the majority of my training sessions are in the evening, so I choose Oats as my source of post workout carbs.
Choose Oats?Why? The sustained release suits me, it tastes good and it has a superior nutritional profile that fits my macros nicely. Does this mean I never use Dextrose though? Not at all. I also have a session on a Sunday morning that is usually very intense. Depending on what I'm doing the rest of the day I sometimes prefer Dextrose to Oats after this session. The massive jolt of energy it gives after the session makes me feel energised and refreshed far quicker than anything else, and makes me feel more alive and awake to do whatever it is I have to do for the rest of the day, rather than just sitting in a near-comatose state after a particularly brutal session! Dextrose is also commonly uttered in the same sentence as "insulin spike". This is similar to the Glycemic Index in that it is something that, in the vast majority of people, can be completely ignored. Did you eat before your training session, (as you always should)? Then you'll still have the insulin from that meal in your system. For this and other reasons - just don't worry about it. The take-home message is to get your nutrition to work for you. Get the basics down and don't worry about more complex things like the Glycemic Index, as unless you're training more than once every 24 hours it doesn't really matter. Use these foods as a tool to benefit you, as fits your lifestyle, as fits your goals, or as personal preference dictates.