Q&A: What kind of carbs can I eat for mountain biking?

“Thanks James,

I’ve been reading through the DB Combos Program manual and listening to the mp3 files while I’m getting ready to start the program on monday.

One question that has come up while I’ve been reading relates to the nutrition part of the manual – you say that we should mostly get carbs from fruit and vegetable sources and avoid refined starches such as pastries, bread, pasta etc. I’d just like your thoughts on what actually counts as refined carbs – would you include oats, rice and other relatively whole grains in this? Or do you think that the less processed grains are ok to eat?





Refined carbs are those that pre-industrial revolution man did not have access to. If it has been milled then it is “processed” so rice, oats and other grains like quinoa and bulgar wheat are fine.

If you are going to use whole grain breads and pastas make sure that the fiber content is at least 3-5 grams per serving. They can label stuff “whole grain” that has been refined too much and looking at the fiber content is the best way to tell.

There are far more unrefined carb sources than refined carb sources once you start to recognize them. Making that change alone to your diet will work wonders for your body composition and energy levels.

Let me know if you have any more questions…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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  1. Dan McCormack says:

    Thanks. I always wondered about that as well. Guess its time to cut down on the bagels and wimpy pancakes. Sounds like my favorite brown rice is ok. Does the same 3-5 grams general rule apply to my cereal consumption as well?

    Reply • March 13 at 10:08 am
    • bikejames says:

      @ Dan

      Yeah, 3-5 grams of fiber per serving is what you want from any carb source if you are trying to stabilize blood sugar levels.


      Reply • March 14 at 7:22 am
  2. Jay says:

    Hey James,

    Are you aware of any scientific literature that substantiates the claim of unprocessed carbs being better than processed carbs? I know the paleo diet crowd makes a great anecdote. I’m also aware processing grains removes a significant amount of nutrients (by removing the germ and the bran from the grain) and fortification does not bring the mush back up to par. Here’s a diagram I found that makes your point stronger (heh, I may have answered my own question)
    Anyways, have a good day and keep on posting the best mtb training info on the net!

    Reply • March 14 at 7:14 am
    • bikejames says:

      You kind of did answer your own question. It is hard to test something like that since there are so many other variables that go into the long term health of an individual but simply using what we do know and logic you can conclude that unprocessed carbs are probably better than unprocessed.

      Don’t forget the radical insulin spike you get from ingesting a lot of unrefined carbs. Along with the points you made I think that arguement is pretty strong.


      Reply • March 14 at 7:20 am
  3. Greg says:

    This might be of interest too.


    Reply • March 14 at 6:40 pm
  4. Rod Fencil says:

    I think the best Paleo diet tips and techniques are here A lot of people are benefiting from it.

    Reply • May 3 at 7:00 am

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