Carbing Up

I am about to come off a low carb diet of several weeks and want to carb up. Does anyone know if eating Quaker Instant Oatmeal is a good source of carbs to carb up. I love the maple and brown sugar flavor and in general I believe oatmeal is good for carbing up. However, not sure if the instant variety, and flavored maple and brown sugar is OK. This stuff is so good, that probably means it is not good for good quality carbs (i.e. life is that fair), but I am hoping. Per serving, it has 2g fat, 4g protein, and 32g carbs, with 13g of those being from sugar. Anyway, let me know what you think?

Both Instant Oatmeal and traditional Oatmeal contain complex carbohydrates, yet the latter will contain more and the former will contain less. Also the instant oatmeal will contain more simple carbohydrates because of the flavoring. Per serving you’ll obviously get 19g of complex carbohydrates, which is decent for a processed food. Yet is this good for carbing up? First one must look at the reasons for carbing up. Traditionally there are two purposes for doing it. In the first case one would eat anywhere from 20g-200g of carbs before some sort of physical exercise. The idea is that you would raise blood glucose, so that when ones glycogen runs out there would be an expendable source of energy. Since blood glucose is much more efficiently used rather than fat, muscular failure/exhaustion would be delayed. In your case you would want the second use for carbing up. In this case the goal is to raise insulin so that macromolecules can be shuffled in to for example muscle cells. What kind of carbs you would need depends on how long the carbing process will take place. For example after a workout one would want to take many (40g~80g) simple carbohydrates. This would spike insulin quickly and would then shuffle in protein and amino acids. In your case it seems like you are doing one or two days worth of carbing after a ketogenic cycle. During a ketogenic cycle the body can not efficiently shuffle nutrients and macromolecules into cells, because of the lack of insulin. Frequently ones blood will have a greater blood plasma (which contains nutrients and macromolecules) to blood cells ratio. When carbing up one would want to keep insulin high throughout the process so that all those nutrients and macromolecules can be absorbed. Therefore because complex carbohydrates will give a slower but continual raise in insulin and simple carbohydrates give a shorter but higher raise; it would be wise to use both. So finally instant Oatmeal would be perfect for carbing up. I would suggest that you should check the archives for the “Forbidden fruit” article, it gives an excellent explanation of the role of fructose.