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Fast or Slow carbs

When you are choosing between taking Fast or Slow carbs there are a few things to consider.




What is the difference between Fast and Slow Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates are classified as complex or simple but this doesn’t necessarily refer to whether they are fast of slow. Some simple carbohydrates are fast and some slow. The fast and slow label is determined by the carbohydrate’s ability to change blood glucose concentrations. 

Fast carbs is digested, absorbed and releases energy at a much higher pace and is used quickly. Higher the GI level, quicker is the delivery of sugar and energy in the body.

Slow carbs, as the name suggests, releases energy slowly into the body. It is normally digested and absorbed at a slower rate. The conversion rate into glucose slows down the delivery of energy. Some of these are sugars whilst others are more starch based. 

Slow carbs neither cause spikes in glucose nor insulin. We would also point out that fast carbs also do not result in spikes in insulin during physical effort. 





The aim of slow carbs is to deliver energy over a longer period of time and this is something they do. In order to do so, the slow carbs are held in the intestine whilst releasing energy slower for a longer period. 


How & where do you want to carry your carbs?  

Opportunity to eat or drink and the length of exercise time would determine whether to go for slow carbs or not. A fast carb begins to release itself about 5 minutes after ingestion and you will receive a release of energy for at least 1 hour. Would you have an opportunity to drink or eat something within this time scale? 

Like most things, you have a choice. Do you wish to store your carbs in your intestine, or in a bottle/pouch? Some athletes find it uncomfortable to carry volumes of slow carbs in their intestines or stomach and most suffer from gastro-intestinal problems which would hinder performance.     

The advantages of fast carbs over slow carbs makes it the better product unless you cannot satisfactorily refuel. 

We recommend trying different strategies whilst on your next training camp or even during your longer sessions at home. Take note of the results and see what works best for you.


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