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What is a Carbohydrate?

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A carbohydrate is a complex chemical compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CH2O). Carbohydrates are the quick source of energy (fuel) in the human body. Carbohydrates contribute 4 kilocalories (kcal) per gram by weight. Carbohydrates can be converted in the body into either glucose (desirable) or fat (undesirable) depending on glucose store within the muscle cells.

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are basically sugar molecules. Along with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of three main nutrients found in foods and drinks of today. As said before your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main desired source of energy for your body's cells, tissues, and organs.

Your body requires carbohydrates to burn fat. You typically store about 200 grams of carbohydrates within your skeletal muscles and another 90 grams in the liver. Your liver stores are used as fuel for the brain and typically remain untouched during times of muscular distress.

Carbohydrates are generally categorized as simple or complex and are more specifically classified as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, or polysaccharides.

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. The related deoxyribose is a component of DNA. Saccharides and their derivatives include many other important biomolecules that play key roles in the immune system, fertilization, preventing pathogenesis, blood clotting, and development.

Where does Carbohydrates come from?

Carbohydrates are central to nutrition and are found in a wide variety of natural and processed foods. Starch is a polysaccharide. It is abundant in cereals (wheat, maize, rice), potatoes, and processed food based on cereal flour, such as bread, pizza or pasta. Sugars appear in human diet mainly as table sugar (sucrose, extracted from sugarcane or sugar beets), lactose (abundant in milk), glucose and fructose, both of which occur naturally in honey, many fruits, and some vegetables. Table sugar, milk, or honey are often added to drinks and many prepared foods such as jam, biscuits and cakes.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Although carbohydrate are not essential to human life like it brother marco nutrient, are needs to help with ordinaryu daily funtion and more so if your an training bodybuilder or athlete. Carbohydrate offer you a muscle sparing nutrient that help protect the body amino acid pools which would be used for energy if they were not present. This muscel sparing effect let athlete train harder and longere without eating away at their own muscle tissue! Since it is not essential to life their use is not manditory to survival but with oiuut them life becomes harder. Your energy levels will flucuated, strength levels decreased, clarity become more difficult, and fatigue can become cronich.

How much should be taken? Are there side effects?

As a general thumb fro thew average person you should consume no more than .75 - 1.00 grams of carbohydrate per pound of lean body mass. That means if your weight is 220 Lbs. with 15% fat level, your lean body mass = 187 Lbs.. Using the scale before you should be consuming between 140.25 to 187 grams of carbohydrate per day. Sound like a little but most persons lead a very seditary life style. The amount increase as your activity increases. Use our Carbohydrate Calculator to find your correct amount.

Carbohydrate Calculator

There are very dangerous side effect to consuming to many carbohydrates over the long period of time, the two most are diabetes, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain, poor metabolic health and an increased risk of heart disease. Keeping a eye on refined food product and high fructose, & corn syrup flavor drinks and other refined sugars will help ease these concerns. Beware of food manufactures because they put sugar everywhere, and under many different names!

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Realted Pages:

Carbohydrates Energy Supplements Weight Gainers



"DID You Know"
Carbohydrates are NOT an essentials nutrient to your survival as with Protein and Fats. You body can covert the other two into energy to fuel your bodies function.

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