Role of Carbohydrates in Exercise and Physical Performance

Role of Carbohydrates in Exercise and Physical Performance

A carbohydrate is a biological molecule consisting of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, usually with a hydrogen-oxygen atom ratio of 2:1, as in water. The four classes of biomolecules are carbohydrates, proteins, nucleotides, and lipids. Carbohydrates are the most abundant of the four. Also known as “carbs” or saccharides carbohydrates play many roles in living organisms, including energy transportation. They are also structural components of plants and insects. The derivatives of carbohydrates are involved in reproduction, the immune system, the development of disease, and blood clotting. Carbohydrates are sugars or starches. They are a significant food source and an essential form of energy for most organisms. Carbohydrate is an important energy source during exercise and physical performance.

Role of Carbohydrates in Exercise and Physical Performance

Carbohydrates are an essential part of the diet:

During heavy exercise, it may be the only energy source for the working muscle and is derived exclusively from the glycogen within the muscle fibres themselves. During prolonged exercise, the magnitude of the contribution that carbohydrate makes to the total fuel consumed depends upon some factors, including the intensity of the exercise, the duration of the exercise, the state or type of training that the individual has indulged in, and the diet previously consumed. Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains like corn and whole wheat, bread, spelt, quinoa, brown rice, beans, whole oats, or 100% whole grain cereal, fresh fruits, frozen fruits or canned juices, milk, yoghurt and vegetables.

Carbohydrates are vital during physical activity:

Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients needed in a person’s diet. Carbohydrates are vital to reaching peak performance during physical activity because they provide energy. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our brains and bodies to function correctly. When carbohydrates are taken in, they are digested and broken down into smaller sugar molecules called glucose. These glucose molecules are stored in the liver and muscles to be used for fuel for energy, especially during physical activity. Carbohydrates improve physical performance by delaying fatigue and allowing an athlete to compete at higher levels for longer.

Carbohydrates are essential for energy and muscle gain.

Carbohydrates also help to gain muscle. Without an adequate amount of stored glucose in the body, other nutrients, such as fat or muscle protein, are utilised to generate energy. If the correct amount of carbohydrates are available to muscles, proteins will do their primary job of repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, which maximises muscle gain. As exercise increases, muscle glycogen, where we store carbohydrates, becomes used up, which causes a higher need for carbohydrates. For children and teens involved in high-intensity athletic activities, eating the right amount of carbohydrates before, during, and after exercise is very important. Often teenagers are fooled into thinking low-carb, and high protein diets will help them gain significant muscle mass. A diet low in carbohydrates will decrease muscle potential, and worsen overall physical performance and body health.