What is fast carbohydrates?

fast carbohydrates

Last Updated on

Classical dietology for most people implies certain rules, based on which are built, both useful and harmful diets. One such rule is the exclusion from the food of a group of products, such as fast carbohydrates. Does such a serious limitation have a basis? And do you really need to abandon your favorite baking to preserve the ideal figure?

Does baking negatively affect the body when losing weight?
Does baking negatively affect the body when losing weight?

General information

First, you need to understand what fast carbohydrates are, and they differ in some way from carbohydrates at all? For this, you need to return to biochemistry and human physiology a little. In the process of evolution, the body learned to receive most of the energy from slow carbohydrates, which it could find and grow. In fact, these were plants that had to be dissolved to the level of the simplest sugars, for which special digestive enzymes were used. However, in the process of development, a person learned to give these products processing: thermal and mechanical. All this simplified the digestion of the products obtained. As a result – with a simpler digestion, a person could consume more and quickly saturate.

All this  is an evolutionary mechanism that determines what kind of food we can eat. So – the original products – it’s slow carbohydrates, for which our body is tuned. Under them, all systems are arranged. In particular, our liver is able to assimilate once a day not more than 100 grams of pure sugar without harmful consequences. And, if the speed of digestion of the product is relatively low, then the amount of sugar that enters the blood will be small.

In the case of fast carbohydrates, the following reactions occur in the body:

  1. Rapid cleavage leads to a rapid accumulation of sugar in the blood.
  2. Excess sugar starts to thicken the blood.
  3. Reduces the conductivity of the blood vessels of oxygen, due to the fact that the sugar molecules replace the place for oxygen.
  4. The body begins to experience hypoxia.

All this triggers an adaptation reaction, in particular – an insulin release. Insulin is a hormone that is optimal for the body by combating the effects of blood sugar over-saturation. Depending on the amount of sugar, it can do this in two basic ways:

  1. To release liver cells from excess glucose by binding them to glycogen (a simple chain of carbohydrate molecules that does not bind water), locking it into a glycogen depot.
  2. With the isolation of special alkaloids, form complex chains of triglycerides from carbohydrates, which are added to the fat depot.

The more sugar is stored in the blood, the greater the likelihood that it will turn into a fatty layer, rather than into glycogen . Than simple carbohydrates differ from complex carbohydrates – in fact only one parameter – the glycemic index.

Glycemic Index
Glycemic Index

Glycemic index determines the rate of digestion of carbohydrates, and, accordingly, the rate of sugar jump in the blood.

The Importance of Fast Carbohydrates

Knowing the features of biochemistry, we can conclude that the simple carbohydrates themselves are not something bad. All that they cause is a faster saturation of the blood with sugar, and a greater release of insulin. This, in turn, leads to:

  1. Dopamine release. The body receives supersaturation, which triggers mechanisms to stimulate the central nervous system with pleasure hormones.
  2. A faster and more intense glycemic reaction. Which leads not only to a more rapid saturation, but also to a faster arrival of feelings of hunger.

It is to these factors that we will draw further. For any athlete it is important to observe:

  1. The correct balance of BJU.
  2. Caloric content of food.

With fast carbohydrates it becomes more difficult to do, because. you will be hampered by a feeling of constant hunger. This will either force the body to consume more food, which will fundamentally disrupt the nutrition plan, which is especially critical when following a complex diet, or launch catabolic reactions . Catabolic reactions will be expressed in the fact that the body will start using its own glycogen reserves, and in order to reduce energy consumption, in parallel it will begin to break down muscle tissue.

Slow and Fast Carbs
Slow and Fast Carbs

That’s why fast carbohydrates are a big problem in professional sports. On the one hand, they need to be completely eliminated for easier control of weight and characteristics. On the other hand, they are able to induce a dopamine response, which helps to deal with stressful situations, incl. accelerate recovery after training.

Myths about fast carbohydrates

Despite the fact that fast carbohydrates negatively affect the training process, supporters of their use have formed a number of myths that allow them to violate their food plan and constantly break away on sweets.

Myth true
Rapid carbohydrates help to better close the carbohydrate window The time to close the carbohydrate window varies from 25 to 60 minutes, during which time the body is able to independently split the necessary amount of glucose even from the slowest sources of carbohydrates, so it’s useless to use the gayers on the malt.
Fast carbohydrates help transport creatine It’s true. The more intensive the insulin reaction, the easier it is for creatine to enter muscle groups, which results in a more intense saturation with a given amino acid.
If you eat fast carbohydrates with fiber, then they will not cause harm In fact, the use of cellulose in the use of fast carbohydrates is not justified; because of the different digestion speed, the body will produce more gastric acid, which will reduce the effectiveness of cellulose.
If you eat them a little – then there will be no harm. Even a small amount of fast carbohydrates can cause a powerful insulin reaction, which will lead to a rapid appearance of hunger.


In order to understand what products contain simple carbohydrates, you should consider only the glycemic index and glycemic load. If we sorted out the glycemic index earlier, the glycemic load is the ratio of simple sugars to the total mass of the product.

From this we can draw a simple conclusion: not always a product saturated with fast carbohydrates is harm. If its glycemic load is lower than that of a similar product with slow carbohydrates, it can cause a slower insulin response. So it is completely permissible for use in a diet of a professional athlete.

Products | Glycemic Index per 100 g of product Glycemic load per serving
Milk chocolate 60 6th
Bread from white wheat flour 68 38
Toast of white bread 100 1
Crumbled bread crumbs for breading 65 25
Rice cakes 83 3
Rice flour 85 26th
Rice porridge on milk 65 35
Instant rice porridge 80 8
Millet porridge 61 61
Donuts 66 66
Pearl barley 60 6th
Oatmeal 68 68
Wheat flour 68 68
Honey 100 1
Marmalade 60 6th
Semolina 60 6th
Cuscus 60 6th
crackers 80 8
Corn starch 60 6th
Potato starch 60 6th
Instant mashed potatoes 86 86
Baked potato 111 111
Fried potatoes 85 85
Jam 81 81
Air Wheat 80 8
Waffles not sweet 66 66
Vanilla wafers 66 66
Buns French 85 85
Bagel wheat 63 63
White rice, boiled 63 63
White potatoes, boiled 83 83
Bars of Mars, Snickers 60 6th
Baguette, white, plain 85 85

If you do not find any food on the list, just remember which foods are related to fast carbohydrates:

  1. Sweet.
  2. Bakery products.
  3. Soft wheat varieties.
  4. Semi-finished products.
  5. Bakery products.

Or consider the glycemic index of each individual product.

The result

Quick carbohydrates what is it really? Scourge of any athlete, or a way to quickly fill the calorie deficit after training? In fact, the answer is very simple. With proper use, complex and fast carbohydrates will be in balance. Based on the use of fast carbohydrates, there are such techniques as:

  1. Chitmil.
  2. Closure of the carbohydrate window.
  3. Diets based on nutrition from fast food.

In any case, the consumption of foods that are related to fast carbohydrates should be minimized. However, if the body requires dopamine stimulation, this fact can not be ignored.

Most importantly – remember that even if your food has a lot of fast carbohydrates, you need to follow the following principles:

  1. Keep caloric content;
  2. Dispersal metabolism, by crushing the diet.
  3. Exercise with sufficient intensity.
  4. Observe the sleep mode.

And then you will not be bothered by the question, in which foods contain fast carbohydrates, because. you can combine them, organically weaving into individual food planning and training process.