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What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that provides the body with energy, allowing cells to function and the full performance of all daily activities. For every gram of carbohydrate eaten, 4 calories are obtained.
Carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of glucose and, later, muscle glycogen and liver glycogen. The first type is found in the muscles and is consumed after exercise, it is also responsible for the strength and energy necessary to perform it. The second is found in the liver and ensures the supply of glucose to all parts of the body.
To classify carbohydrates, their chemical composition, molecular structure, and time required to digest and absorb them are taken into account. Those with a high glycemic index provide glucose to the body instantly.
What are carbohydrates good for?
- Carbohydrates provide energy to muscles, brain and all tissues; making them an essential source for all daily activities, from simple to more intense workouts.
- They are the main source people turn to for energy.
What is glycemic index and glycemic load?
Glycemic index: This measure is responsible for evaluating the capacity and speed with which a carbohydrate supplies glucose. If this index is high, it means that it is quickly absorbed and transported to the bloodstream. In these hydrates are starches and simple sugars. GI values greater than 70.
For athletes, it means that carbohydrates with a high glycemic index offer the body a quick energy supply, which is useful when you want to maintain performance during training and improve subsequent recovery
When to eat carbohydrates?
It is advisable to eat carbohydrates in the following situations:
- Before exercises to provide energy to the muscles
- During exercises to avoid fatigue in endurance activities
- After training to recover empty glycogen stores
- During meals for energy. Those with a low glycemic index contribute to the feeling of satiety.