Sunday, March 9, 2014


Let's keep it real -- pros & cons from a performance fueling perspective

White vs Brown?

More than half of the world depends on rice as a carbohydrate supply but there are so many mixed perceptions in the fitness, paleo, zone, crossfit world so a lot of people will stay away from rice because they don't have any answers. I don't have 'answers' but I do have a viewpoint.. and here it is.. simple and sweet. 

Athletes need carbohydrates to generate energy, feed their muscles, promote recovery and ultimately - fuel their workouts. Therefore, rice is a good option for meeting these needs. It is a whole food with the following benefits:
  • plenty of essential nutrients and minerals 
  • non-allergenic, gluten-free
  • easily digested
From a zone perspective, rice is calorically dense (3TBSP = 1 Carb Block) so it helps to make those 3, 4 or 5 block meals seem 'smaller' so you don't feel like you have to eat a MILLION vegetables. Also, it's easy to make a TON at once, so you can make one batch and you are set for the week. 

*Keep in mind, this is just my perspective. I do not claim to be a Dr. or nutritionist but can only speak from my experience. As an athlete who trains ~15-20 hours a week, I found that I could not get enough carbs from vegetables alone. I need the dense carbs to help give my body the calories and energy it needs to keep up with the demands that I put on it.*

I will have my rice in my lunch that way my body has time to digest it before my evening training and session but my body has plenty of time to fully digest it before I go to sleep for the night. This is the time that I have found works best for me, every body responds differently.

White vs Brown

So you have decided to try rice.. now which one? white? brown? There are a lot of conflicting views out there about which is better. They are essentially the same thing with minimal nutritional differences so choose whichever tastes best to you! I eat white based on the 'nitty gritty details' note below and the fact that I think it tastes better.

Nitty gritty details: Brown rice is a less processed version of white rice. Brown rice possesses an outer hull that has been removed from white rice. It takes slightly longer for the body to break down and process the brown rice, resulting in decreased insulin response.  White rice is absorbed into the bloodstream faster which may actually be beneficial to athletes to who are looking to feed their hungry muscles. However, the difference between the digestion/absorption rates are fairly insignificant, hence all of the conflict on the issue. 

Click here for a link to my simple but yummy COCONUT WHITE RICE RECIPE

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