There’s a reason pasta has always been a go-to fuel for athletes: It’s low in fat and delivers quick energy in the form of easy-to-digest carbohydrates. The production of energy from carbs is also affected by the type of carbs you’re taking in. You can control the rate at which your energy supply flows by eating certain types of carbohydrate.
Energy-containing foods are now classed by their position on the glycaemic index (GI). This is a rating of food types that gives each one a score according to its effect on the body’s glucose levels as it’s digested over a two-hour time span. The carbs that are rapidly digested so that their glucose is quickly fed into the blood stream have the highest glycaemic index (high GI foods score over 70).
Pasta is a high-GI option when it comes to carbohydrate, so the next question, as its National Pasta Day, whole grain or refined?
Whole grains are rich in fibre, protein, and other nutrients (including B vitamins and iron) that reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
But refined pasta still has a place in the cyclist’s diet. It’s a better choice pre-ride, says D. Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD, CSSD, director of nutrition and exercise at the University of Wyoming. Too much fibre before exercise can upset your stomach, she says. As for whole-grain pastas? They’re best for refilling your tank post ride and repairing sore muscles.
We asked our pasta expert what he would recommend. Dani would recommend Amatriciana, it’s full of proteins so really good to aid recovery after a long ride!
Here’s a link to the recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11704/amatriciana/