Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Carbohydrates can be defined as organic molecules constituted from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (CH2O)n these are mainly produced by vegetables and are responsible for much of the energy obtained through food, is one of the main sources of human energy and provides each gram 4 calories, being this macro nutrient indispensable for the body. The classification of carbohydrates is complex, given its great functional and structural variability. Therefore, the most common categorization for carbohydrates from the diet is in: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, which concerns the amount of sugars in its structure.

What’s the carbide for?

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to cells, so daily intake recommendations range from 45 to 65% of total calories. In addition, they have structural cellular functions and are part of the composition of nucleic acids, in vegetables, cellulose integrates the cell wall and chitin composes the exoskeleton of arthropods.

How does carbohydrate work?

Along the gastrointestinal tract some carbohydrates are not digested such as cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin compounds that are called dietary fibers and that aid in the formation of food bolus. The other carbohydrate molecules suffer the digestion process, initiated by the mouth through enzymes such as (ptialin), arrive in the stomach and are partially digested, when they reach the small intestine occurs most of the digestion through enzymes secreted by the pancreas such as pancreatic α-amylose and when transformed into smaller molecules (monosaccharides) absorption and use for energy supply to metabolic reactions occurs.

When do you need to supplement?

In view of the energy function of carbohydrates, supplementation is indicated for high intensity exercises such as endurance exercises such as running, cycling and swimming from 60 minutes in order to reset glycogen stocks lost during training. Such supplementation should be done mainly by simple carbohydrates, prioritizing the relationship between fructose/glucose to maximize the absorption of specific intestinal transporters.


Update on Nutrition and Supplements for the Athlete:
Vitale, K., & Getzin, A. (2019). Nutrition and Supplement Update for the Endurance Athlete: Review and Recommendations. Nutrients

, 11

(6), 1289.

Reading suggestion:
Should I restrict carbohydrates to lose weight?

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