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What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy the body requires daily (Daries, 2012). Without this energy source, the body will find other sources that are not as efficient and more difficult to use as energy. To sustain the desired level of energy during training and competition, carbohydrates are essential.

Carbohydrates are commonly mistaken with sugar alone. This is a misunderstanding that needs to be rectified. Carbohydrates encompass a variety of foods; wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, starches, sugars, cereals, and legumes, to name a few (Daries, 2012). The variety of carbohydrates, range due to the chemical chain within its structure. The longer the chain, the longer it takes to break down into glucose, or the simplest form used for energy. The longer it takes to be used, the better it is for the body’s homeostasis or chemical balance.

During exercise this balance is interrupted by either the use of fat or glucose for fuel. As carbohydrates are the most easily accessible fuel for energy, the body starts to transport it to where it is needed, either for immediate use or for storage. Therefore, preparing for exercise longer chained carbohydrates are recommended. On the other hand, shorter chained carbohydrates are recommended during and shortly after (Daries, 2012).

How are Carbohydrates used for performance?

Comparing energy sources

Oxygen is required to use fat for fuel. This is described as fat oxidation and is known as aerobic training. During low intensity exercise (<63% HRmax) for example, walking or light jogging, the body will be able to use oxygen easily (Riebe, 2018). Therefore, fat oxidation, or the use of fat takes priority. As intensity increases (>77% HRmax) the need for oxygen increases but the rate at which this occurs is limited (Riebe, 2018). Therefore, glucose is required for energy instead of fat.

Energy is derived of the breakdown of nutrients. As the energy used from glucose is used, there is an immediate need to replenish it or the body will easily fatigue (Jeukendrup, 2010). Specific types of carbohydrates can be taken in prior to training or competition as well as during training or competition to combat these effects.

Fatigue will stop you from getting the results you want. It is highly recommended to find the most rapid and resourceful supply of energy to take in as fatigue sets during exercise (Daries, 2012). That’s where VOOM plays an important role. Our Beta-Blaster will prepare your muscles for the stress which comes from exercise. Our Caffeine Kick delivers fast-acting energy to your muscles during your bout of exercise.

Daries, H 2012, Nutrition for Sport and Exercise : A Practical Guide, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, Hoboken. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [15 May 2019].

Jeukendrup, A.E. & Gleeson, Michael, 2010. Sport nutrition : an introduction to energy production and performance 2nd ed., Leeds: Human Kinetics.
Riebe, D. et al., 2018. ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription Tenth., Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]: Wolters Kluwer.