Brown rice is nutritious and a recommended food to improve eating habits and overall health. However, athletes often follow different nutritional guidelines under sports nutrition.
This includes eating white rice as a primary carbohydrate source for quick energy and glycogen replenishment. Athletes typically are not trying to lose weight and require lots of carbohydrates to fuel their bodies.
Even though eating white rice is considered less healthy than its brown counterpart, athletes and weightlifters disregard any negative claims. They regularly consume white rice as an important part of their nutrition plans.
The goal of the athlete and lifter is supplying adequate amounts of macronutrients to fuel extreme training and replenish severely depleted glycogen stores. White rice plays a major part of this process and is considered excellent sports nutrition for these athletes.
It can feel like a full-time job for athletes and lifters to beef up athletic performance with nutrition. Carbohydrates like white rice are essential to fuel physical training. Carbs also replenish muscle glycogen stores after extreme workouts.
One of the most popular meals for lifters is a large bowl of white rice combined with grilled chicken breast. Endurance runners often carbo load with white rice before their events.
It has become a known fact that white rice is acceptable and preferred nutrition for many athletes. Research shows that carbohydrate-rich foods ranking high on the glycemic index provide a readily available source of carbohydrate for muscle glycogen synthesis.
White rice ranks high on the glycemic index. This is a score given to how foods affect blood sugar and insulin levels. For athletes, knowing how to improve carbohydrate availability during prolonged exercise is essential.3 This is why carbohydrate consumption research to benefit athletes has dominated the field of sports nutrition.
Phytic acid is located in the bran of the grain. The milling process used to change brown rice to white rice removes the phytate. This is probably one of the only times where refining a food potentially has a positive value.
Continuing research is ongoing for degrading phytic acid in brown rice and whole grains. Some studies are also finding antioxidant benefits in phytate. This could potentially increase the number of safe carbohydrates for competitive athletes.
White Rice is a Safe Carbohydrate
Athletes don’t have time to worry about gastrointestinal (GI) issues or allergies that may accompany consuming brown rice. Brown rice has more fiber and those lifters suffering from food sensitivity may have an issue with eating whole grain.
Extreme exercise requires eating lots of carbs. Its recommended athletes consume 60g/h of carbohydrates for prolonged exercise lasting more than two hours.
White Rice for Workouts
According to USA Rice Information, rice contains more carbohydrates than potatoes for the same serving size. Parboiled, converted, and instant white rice is suggested for pre and post-workout meals. Consuming white rice ensures the body is properly fueled for the competitive athlete.
Also, those training less than 4-days per week or suffering from a metabolic disease, brown rice is considered a better choice. Brown rice is still a healthy nutrient dense food. It’s recommended for the general populous and everyday fitness person tolerating whole grains. Brown rice is a rich source of fiber and nutrients essential to a well-balanced healthy diet.