The Benefits of Rice for Sportsmen
Workouts require stamina and power. Food is a source of energy which beginning or professional sportsmen are in a need for. It provides one with energy before workout and helps to make up for losses afterwards. It also helps to gain the muscle mass. To speed up this process, one should favor healthy eating. Nutrition should include the foods which contain the following substances:
- Well-balanced amounts of proteins, carbs and fats;
- Vitamins and minerals;
- Amino acids.
White and «wild» (unprocessed) rice is a great source of energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Rice is a favorite food of strength training and fitness lovers. In Asian countries, rice is a main source of nutrition. Nutritionists recommend Europeans to include rice to their daily menu.
Properties of Rice
This product has been already long used to make a porridge, bran, drinks and sweets to be consumed during tea ceremony in Eastern countries. Straw has been used to make rice paper and cardboard. People, who follow gluten-free diet and watch their weight, especially appreciate this product. Rice removes toxic substances and water from human body.
Let’s consider what is a rice composed from in order to understand its health benefits:
- Rice is a source of B vitamins. It contains thiamine, which transforms energy into nutritional substances. Rice also contains niacin, which ensures proper fats metabolism and aerobic respiration, and riboflavin, which keeps skin and hair in good condition and synthesizes hemoglobin.
- Rice contains amino acids, which form new cells. Grains of white rice contain from 6 up to 8% of protein, which ensures proper formation of skeleton and muscles.
- Rice contains lecithin which favorably affects brain cells.
- It also contains potassium which neutralizes sodium salts and removes excessive water from human body. Magnesium favorably affects central excitatory system. Zinc synthesizes protein and activates immune processes. Calcium strengthens bony skeleton, nails and teeth.
- Rice grains contain 50% of starch which serves as a source of energy. It enters intestines in unchanged form. It promotes growth of healthy microflora in intestines and fights diarrhea and IBS softly coating cells.
- Wild brown rice contains dietary fibers.
Rice is considered to be a slow source of energy. It does not elevate glucose levels and its GI is 50 units only. This property makes rice an appropriate food to consume before and after workouts. 100 grams of rice contain 312 – 400 kcal. Meals with rice represent a good fit when it comes to dieting and fasting days.
Nutritionists point out small sodium content in rice and recommend people with high blood pressure to consume meals with rice. In addition, rice grains contain potassium, which promotes removal of excessive amounts of sodium from human body. Sports coaches also note that 100 grams of unprocessed rice contain up to 8 grams of protein. People with gluten intolerance can safely consume rice as it is completely gluten-free. This is because their immune system recognizes gluten as a foreign protein. As a result, intestinal tract, joints and heart are the first ones to suffer.
Types of Rice
There are 20 rice varieties in the world. In Russia, people most commonly use white or processed rice. Sportsmen favor unprocessed or brown rice. Let us consider features of different rice types.
- White rice is popular worldwide. Japanese people really like white rice as they think that rice processing does not affect structure of rice grains. It also has sufficient amount of nutritional substances. Processed rice takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook. White rice helps to restore energy levels after workouts.
- Brown rice preserves initial nutritional value, microelements and vitamins. Unprocessed rice grains contain fats. This is the only disadvantage of this product. Rice gets spoiled when stored for a long time, it loses nice taste. Brown rice takes longer time to cook and it is chewier than the white one.
- Steamed rice combines advantages of white and brown rice. Steam processing technology helps rice grain to absorb nutritional substances and vitamins from its shell. This is how rice grains become yellowish. Once boiled, grains become white and soft as well as completely fat- free. Dry rice can be stored for a long time. This kind of rice can be used to make risotto.
- Red rice is rarely consumed by Russian people. Raw unprocessed grain has a very high energy value: 100 grams of dry grains contain 400 kcal. Its GI is less than 45%. Compared to brown rice, red rice has a greater amount of copper, iodine, molybdenum and calcium. Nutritionists recommend to consume meals with red rice one or two hours before workout. «Slow» carbs will improve energy levels of a bodybuilder. Red rice shell is rich in potassium and magnesium which are good for joints and help people to fight stress.
- Long-grain rice has grains with a size of 8 mm and up. These grains have white or brown color. This group includes several kinds of rice. Basmati rice has been widely used in China, India, Pakistan and USA before it came to Russia. Long yellowish grains with nutty flavor become hard one year after their harvesting. When boiled, rice increase once or twice in size. It has lower GI than the white one. Sportsmen try to balance their energy levels before competition by consuming this type of rice. They also consume basmati rice before workouts. General doctors do not recommend to consume basmati rice often as it increases amylase levels in blood. Jasmine rice has a very delicate spicy flavor. Real foodies love this kind of rice. It is cooked in the same way as steamed rice. Wild rice has an intense brown or black color and has a very high energy value and is rich in minerals and vitamins. Wild rice takes about 40-50 minutes to cook and it requires additional presoaking. Its energy value is 312 kcal per 100 grams.
- Round-grain rice has lost about 15-20% of useful properties during its processing. However, it has preserved vitamins В, Е, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and phosphorus. It has a high energy value: 100 grams of round-grain rice contain 350 kcal. It is very popular among home cooks as this kind of rice takes very short time to cook and can be used to make milk porridges, puddings and casseroles.
Clever Ways to Use Rice
Meals made using white or brown rice are liked by both children and adults. Sportsmen can also benefit from this product. Here are few advices on how and when to use rice:
- One should consume rice when trying to gain some weight or muscle mass;
- Rice should be consumed in the mornings. Brown rice is best to consume an hour and a half before workout while white rice should be consumed after workout;
- Rice is good to combine with carrots, green peas, beans and asparagus;
- Seafood is increasing nutritional value of rice so one should have some sushi or rolls couple times per week;
- Bell peppers are good to stuff brown with rice;
- Rice is good to consume to remove salts from body, improve state of joints or urinary tract;
- You can buy readily packed rice as it doesn’t take long time to cook;
- Don’t add salt into rice. You can enrich it with seaweed or dry spices.
Rice a very healthy product which does not have any contraindications. It is a great source of energy and has a great energy value. Rice prevents rough fluctuations of blood sugar levels and helps to maintain proper energy levels during workouts. This is why sportsmen favor this product so much.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of rice you consume. Nutritionists came to conclusion that different types of rice have equal health benefits. They only have different energy values and contain different amounts of fibers and minerals.
If you didn’t find brown rice in store, then feel free to buy processed rice. You will only benefit from its consumption. Sportsmen should consume rice on a daily basis in order to manage physical loading and stay healthy and fit.