While the title focuses explicitly on athletes, the general public and population can also benefit from white rice. There has been much debate over white rice versus brown rice, and while you really can’t go wrong with either source, this article will focus exclusively on white rice and the benefits that can be produced through implementing it into your nutrition plan.
White Rice vs. Brown Rice
Rice is one of the most important parts of a diet for many people all around the world. The two primary types of rice are white rice and brown rice. Both of them technically come from the same grain, but white rice goes through a different processing procedure when compared to brown rice.
Brown rice can be considered as more nutritional and a recommended food that may improve eating habits as well as overall health. However, many athletes follow a different nutrition plan when compared to the general population, and that’s where white rice can be very advantageous.
Consuming white rice as a main carbohydrate source for athletes comes down to a matter of replenishing glycogen levels and helping to provide quick bursts of energy. This is helpful for those who are resistance training as well as endurance athletes as well. Athletes generally do not try to lose weight – most are looking to enhance their lean muscle mass. Therefore, athletes require a lot of carbs to fuel the requirements put on their bodies.
When you are engaging in intense workouts, the glycogen stores in your body can quickly become depleted. Hence, eating the right carbohydrates is extremely important to recharge and restore your body’s fuel storage with more glycogen.
The Significance of White Rice
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts know the high glycemic value present in white rice that provides them the quick surge of energy necessary for intense workout sessions as well as the ability to help improve muscle recovery.
It is also imperative to understand one of the main drawbacks to consuming something like brown rice. Brown rice and various whole grains contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that binds to essential minerals our body needs such as zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium, and can prevent our body from adequately absorbing them.
Phytic acid is located in the bran of the grain. The processing of white rice removes the bran. It is probably the only time where refining food potentially has a benefit.
Some Additional Benefits of White Rice:
- The macronutrient ratio in white rice and brown rice are quite similar. The only difference between the two types of rice lies in their micronutrient values.
- White rice does provide large doses of selenium, iron, B-complex vitamins, and manganese.
- It is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and other minerals.
- White rice is easier to digest than brown rice as it contains less fiber. It is true that fiber is good for digestive health and glycemic control, but it has a negligible impact on workouts. In addition, brown rice may cause digestive issues and bloating.
- White rice is a low FODMAP food. A low FODMAP diet helps the gut to heal, which is incredibly beneficial if you have GI problems such as IBS. People with GI issues should lean more towards white rice as a part of their nutritional and carbohydrate needs.