In general, we can safely say that about 60% of the world population and about 90% of the US population don’t react properly to carbohydrates and that is mostly related to the lack of insulin sensitivity. In this group of people, carbohydrates not only will raise the wrong neurotransmitters before a training session, but will also create the wrong metabolic environment inside the body, that won’t allow them to perform at their best.
On the other hand, we have people around the world, mostly in Eastern Europe and Russia, that have a super high insulin sensitivity, and their bodies perform much better using carbs as a source of energy.
And of course, we have some people in between that a small amount of carbs, will make them feel better.
If you belong to the first group, you should stay away from carbohydrates in your pre-workout meal, as you want to raise dopamine and acetylcholine to have more drive and focus, and have high levels of energy for your workout.
If you belong to the second group, carbohydrates should be an important part of that pre-workout meal. I always prefer non-processed food like rice, sweet potatoes, yuca (cassava), green plantains, etc., as they will enter slowly into the bloodstream and provide a more stable source of energy.
One thing I don’t recommend to anybody is the universal pre-training meal consisting of cereal/granola, milk, banana, and orange juice. The fructose content of such meal is so high, that it creates a lot of stress in your liver and can lead to fatty liver disease. It also has a very high glycemic and insulin load, which in general is not healthy, and the amount of complete protein is virtually negligible.
How do you know which group you belong to? The best and easiest step is to find a Metabolic Balance practitioner and after getting your measurements, he or she can quickly tell you the group you belong to. Another option is to have a large carbohydrate breakfast as your first meal of the day. If after 60 minutes you feel lethargic, tired, and sleepy, you belong to the first group. If on the contrary, you feel energetic and ready to lift a house, then carbs should be part of your pre-workout meal.
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