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Carbohydrates Defined


BodybuildingPro.com Nutrition Database Nutrition Dictionary: A Comprehensive Source of Nutritional Terms Carbohydrates Database Carbohydrates Defined

Remember, there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate! Along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates are an important souce of fuel for your body. In terms of firt - line availability, carbohydrates supply the most accessible and utilized energy source. Though the major player in terms of hourly provision of energy substrates, carbohydrates supply at best two percent of the total available human fuel reserves. Fats contain the vast majority of the body's reserve energy platform at 80 percent, with skeletal muscle filling in the 18 percent gap.

You store far less carbohydrate energy than fat, but fats are second place when it comes to stoking the furnace within. The explanation for so little cabohydrate being stored involves the manner with which the body holds carbs. A single gram of stored carbohydrate muscle glycogen is maintained along with perhaps four grams of water. In terms of evolution, it is better to carry your fuel reserves in as dense a form as possible. Fats provide just this needed form of compact energy reserve. Each gram of fat yields nine calories, while carbs and protein provide four calories per gram.

So for every gram of carbohydrate, you have to drag around five grams of material. In the case of fats, they have a one - to - one ratio, with no excess water associated with the scenario. Additionally, carbs burn at four calories per gram and fats at a little over nine calories per gram, so it becomes clear which storage strategy will allow greater range of functional mobility for the evolving human. It is a matter of evolution that our bodies use fats over carbs for survival. Non dietary carbohydrate sources of energy include skeletal muscle stores in the form of glycogen and blood glucose derived from the liver (more exactly, synthesized from amino acids in the liver).

Description of Carbohydrates

In human nutrition, carbohydrates are any of a group of organic compounds, the most important being saccharides, starch, cellulose, and gym. Digestable carbohydrates are classified as dietary carbohydrates and indigestible are classified as dietary fiber or fibrous carbs. You will often here the terms starchy and fibrous carbs. Dietary carbohydrates fall under one of two categories: sugar or complex.

Simple Sugars The two principal categories of sugars are monosaccharides and disaccharides. A monosaccharide is a simple sugar, such as glucose, fructose, or galactose. A disaccharide is a double sugar, such as sucrose (table sugar) or lactose.

Complex Carbs Complex carbs, or polysaccharides, are carbohydrates that contain three or more molecules of simple carbohydrates. Some examples of polysaccharides are dextrins, starches, glycogens, celluloses, gums, inulin, and pentose. Common souces for polysaccharides are grain products, legumes, potatoes, and other vegetables.

Carbohydrate Metabolism

Your carbohydrate metabolism is the sum of the anabolic and catabolic processes of the body involved in the synthesis and breakdown of carbohydrates. These metabolic carb processes are: glycogenesis - the synthesis of glycogen from glucose, glyconeogenesis - the formation of glycogen from fatty acids and proteins rather than carbohydrates, and glycolysis - the breakdown of glucose and other sugars.

The status of your carbohydrate metabolism is based largely on the level of blood glucose or circulating carbohydrates. This is, in turn, dictated by the timing and frequency, along with the nutrient composition, of your last meal. The time of day that finds most of our blood sugars at their lowest level is early morning. Generally, upon awakenening, you have undergone essentially a seven - to - nine hour fast without any new supply of ingested substrate for the needed maintenance of your blood glucose levels. (A blood sugar range of 40 or more than 400 milligrams / deciliter is acceptable).

The source of the fuel in this potabsorbtive or fasting state is 75 percent glycogenolysis and 25 percent gluconeogenesis. The process of blood sugar balance is dynamic one, with the brain and functioning of the red blood cells (or erythrocytes), for example, using glucose as a preferred fuel source. The metabolites of imcomplete utilization of fatty acids, ketones are able to serve as substitute fuels in the absense of sufficient glucose, but only after a period of great metabolic adjustment.

Note: Understanding the subtle differences between medical terms that begin with the same set of letters is very important for an effective bodybuilding mind. Another very confusing aspect of this is refined terminology is the different word forms that, though spelled differently, apply equally to the same concept. An example is the gluco and glyco which are equally correct forms for words such as the following

(1) Glycogenesis is the synthesis of glycogen from glucose.

Glycolysis is the process whereby glucose and other sugars are broken down to produce fuel for energy.

(3) Glyconeogenesis is the formation of glucose from non carbohydrate sources such as amino acids and fatty acids.

Muscle and Insulin - Moving Carbohydrates Where You Need Them Most

To understand insulin, we'll start with the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that secretes various substances, such as digestive enzymes, insulin, and glucagon. It is a compound gland composed of exocrine and endocrine tissue. About 1 million endocrine cellular islets of islands of Langerhans are embedded between the exocrine units of the pancreas. Beta cells of the islands secrete insulin, which helps control carbohydrate metabolism.

There are two aspects to defining insuling. First is the interanlly synthesized or naturally occurring hormone secreted by the beta cells of the islands of Langerhans in the pancreas. The release of insulin is mandated by increased levels of glucose and amino acids in the blood. Insulin serves to maintain the metabolism of glucose along with intermediary metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels and promotes transport and entry of glucose and amino acids into the muscle cells and other tissues. Too little secretion of insulin results in hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar levels), hyperlipemia (elevated blood lipids or fats), and ketonemia (elevated blood ketones). Left uncorrected, severe insulin deficiency is fatal.

Second is the commercially prepared pharmacologic product used in diabetes. Several preparations of insulin are available, varying in rapidity of onset, intensity, and duration of action. They are termed rapid acting, intermediate acting, and long acting. Insulin is largely given by subcutaneous injection.

The alpha cells of the islets secrete glucagon that balances the action of insulin, and the acinar units of the pancreas secrete digestive enzymes. The beta cells of the pancreas are insulin - producing cells. The insulin - producing function of the beta cells accelerates the movement of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids out of the blood and into the cellular arena, countering the glucagon function of alpha cells.

Glucagon is the countermeasure opposing insulin. Produced in the pancrease by alpha cells, glucagona functions to stimulate the conversion of glycogen to glucose in the liver. This system of energy conversion is built upon stored glycogen within the liver. Secreation of glucagon is stimulated by hypoglycemia and by GH. A pharmaceutical preparation of purified, crystallized glucagon is used in the treatment of certain hypoglycemic states.


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