Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (e.g. fruit, vegetables, oats, brown rice, sweet potato), fats and carbs are your body’s energy source. Muscle is fuelled by glycogen, aka carbs.

Carbohydrates are the chief source of energy for all body functions and muscular exertion. Carbohydrates contain Fibre, which are important for the function and the movement of the bowel, and regulation of the body’s absorption of glucose. Gut health is often over looked, but is essential to get the best results from you diet. It also has major health implications.

Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source of the muscles, when exercise intensity is high the muscles use glucose (the building blocks of carbohydrate) to drive muscular contractions and replenish glycogen stores (glycogen is the storage form of glucose). More carbohydrate is required on training days and in meals directly post-workout. You should aim to reach your carb requirements through whole grains, oats, brown rice, sweet potato, and legumes while avoiding highly processed and refined sources.

1 gram of Carbohydrate contains four Calories. Recommended Carbohydrate intake should be between 45-65% of total Calories depending on the individual’s lifestyle and goals.

Definition

A carbohydrate is a biological molecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water); in other words, with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n (where m could be different from n).

The term is most common in biochemistry, where it is a synonym of saccharide, a group that includes sugars, starch, and cellulose.

The saccharides are divided into four chemical groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. In general, the monosaccharides and disaccharides, which are smaller (lower molecular weight) carbohydrates, are commonly referred to as sugars.

The word saccharide comes from the Greek word σάκχαρον (sákkharon), meaning "sugar." While the scientific nomenclature of carbohydrates is complex, the names of the monosaccharides and disaccharides very often end in the suffix -ose.

For example, grape sugar is the monosaccharide glucose, cane sugar is the disaccharide sucrose and milk sugar is the disaccharide lactose

Carbohydrates perform numerous roles in living organisms. Polysaccharides serve for the storage of energy (e.g., starch and glycogen) and as structural components (e.g. cellulose in plants and chitin in arthropods).

The 5-carbon monosaccharide ribose is an important component of coenzymes (e.g., ATP, FAD and NAD) and the backbone of the genetic molecule known as RNA.

In food science and in many informal contexts, the term carbohydrate often means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch (such as cereals, bread and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams, and desserts).

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