All About Fitness

Exercise and Fitness: Questions & Answers

Gina Jackson - Fitness Trainer
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Gina Jackson, who is our resident exercise and fitness expert and who is available to answer all your questions about exercising and fitness. Gina has a private practice and is available for consultation.

Gina answers all your exercise and fitness questions below:

Q: Carbohydrates and sugars tend to make extremely tired after I eat them. Is there a reason and solution for this?


A: All carbohydrates get converted into glucose in the body, to be used by energy by every cell of the body. Once the carbohydrates are converted into glucose, they are released into the bloodstream.

Once the glucose is released into the blood, the pancreas then produces insulin to help the cells take in the glucose for energy. If there is too much glucose than is required, it gets stored in the liver and as fat around the body, to be broken down and used as required.

Foods that are simple carbohydrates or have a high glycemic index (GI) are broken down very quickly into glucose and this causes a big spike of glucose to be released into the blood very quickly, which the pancreas finds difficult to dissipate into the cells through the release of insulin, which is not enough to cope with the sudden and high influx of glucose in the blood.

This is the reason why you feel tired after a meal that has a high GI or if you eat a large meal that is carbohydrate based after not eating for many hours. Your body basically cannot cope with it and your pancreas may slowly stop working as efficiently if it is under such pressure all the time (this is how the condition insulin resistance occurs).

Basically most processed foods are made from processed flour, which has a high GI, so they are broken down into glucose very quickly and cause this to occur.

Foods that are considered to have a low glycemic index (low GI) get broken down into glucose slowly and they cause a very gradual release of glucose in the blood, which the pancreas is very well equipped to handle by release appropriate amounts of insulin.

Foods that are made from 100% wholegrains will cause a much better insulin response in the body and are also better for you.

Have a look at the article on glycemic index and also the food values of various foods, which lists the glycemic index of many natural foods.


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