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Carbohydrates affect human health in both, a positive as well as negative manner. Carbohydrates or carbs are nothing but saccharides or sugars that are present in various foods that we consume on a daily basis. Carbs perform an important role of providing energy that is needed by the human body, and hence they are one of the most indispensable fuels for the body. Although they are divided into various groups on chemical grounds, there are basically two types of carbs. These two types are, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are the fast-acting carbs, which should be avoided by those who want to control their weight for certain health conditions like diabetes and obesity. However, people who are interested in bodybuilding and muscle building are recommended to consume fast acting foods because they are a quick source of energy.

Continue reading the following sections of this Buzzle article to learn more about the fast acting carbs list, in order to plan a healthier diet.

What are Fast-acting Carbs?

Carbohydrates are made up of sugar, starch, and cellulose and all types of carbs increase the blood glucose levels upon consumption. However, amongst these various types, there is one group of carbs that elevate the blood glucose levels much faster. Foods that are included in this group are known as fast acting carbs. The instant elevation in blood glucose levels which is caused by such foods is brought to normal by the body with the help of insulin, which also gets elevated with the consumption of high carb foods. This process sometimes causes the blood glucose levels to drop below the average level; which causes health problems like hypoglycemia and various other symptoms like headache, extreme hunger, and fatigue.

Also known as simple carbohydrates, these should be avoided by people suffering from diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and other health conditions. Since simple carbohydrates get rapidly digested, they keep on creating the need for more nutrients and more carbohydrates, which is harmful in case of people who don't perform physical exercises and those who live a sedentary lifestyle.

Benefits of Fast-acting Carbs

Often cited as the least healthy types of carbohydrates, fast acting carbohydrates or simple carbs are beneficial for a certain group of people who undertake rigorous workout routines for bodybuilding and muscle building. Such people are advised to consume foods that contain high levels of simple carbohydrates. However, such foods should be consumed only after a heavy exercise routine, when the body feels the utmost need for fast energy. When a person performs heavy physical activities, his blood cortisol levels increase. These elevated cortisol levels form glycogen by breaking down the muscle protein. But, when a person consumes simple carbohydrate food sources, cortisol uses carbs as a source of energy, instead of the muscle protein. This entire procedure helps the person in muscle building and weight loss. Hence, fast-acting carbs can only be consumed as post workout foods.

The most beneficial carbs are dextrose and maltodextrin. Dextrose is present in various post workout supplements, while maltodextrin is a common food additive. Many experts suggest that a person can consume equal combinations of dextrose and maltodextrin for the desired effect. Some simple carbohydrate food sources include, condensed milk, bagels, pudding, desserts, food sweeteners like corn syrup, sugar syrup, soft drinks, etc.

Fast-acting Carbs List

Apart from the foods mentioned above, here is a list of fast carbs that you can include in your post workout diet.
  • Apple
  • White bread
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries
  • Cakes
  • Candy bars
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Cranberries
  • Fruit juices
  • Grapefruit
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lychee
  • Melon
  • Oranges
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pear
  • White pasta
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Soda
  • Strawberries
All the foods that are mentioned in the fast acting carbs list should be avoided by people with health conditions mentioned in the beginning of the article. Remember to plan the diet according to the above food list only after prior consultation with your dietitian or nutritionist.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.