Understanding the role of
Carbohydrates come in three different types, simple, complex and dietary fiber. The last of these, dietary fiber releases very little energy to the body when digested so for this article we will limit the discussion to simple and complex carbs.
Simple carbs are made up of either one or two units of sugar. These are found in fruits, milk and table sugar. They can also be found in may processed foods like cakes and candy. Of course the carbs found in most processed foods come along with a lot of calories.
Complex carbs have more than 2 units of sugar. These are found in vegetables and starches like pasta, potatoes and rice.
How the body uses carbs.
Carbohydrates are converted to energy for the body. This is done in the mitochondria. Simple carbs convert faster and can give you a quick burst of energy for exercise while the complex carbs take longer to digest and turn to energy.
Following this line of thought it would stand to reason that eating plain table sugar or candy right before working out would be beneficial to physical performance . While it would boost your energy level candy and sugar also pulls water from body tissues into the intestines thus speeding dehydration which can lead to nausea. That’s where the sports drinks can play a big role in your workouts. Many of them are sweetened to give you the needed sugars and also contain sodium chloride to replace the salt your body loses while sweating.
Admittedly consuming too many carbs and not working them off will be stored as fat. A proper diet that gets 45 – 65 percent of it’s calorie from carbohydrates should work well for people that have a regular workout routine.
- Carbs: Simple vs. Complex (fitsugar.com)