Carbohydrates - Carbs

Carbs In The World Of Bodybuilding

There is always a misconception associated with the carbohydrates about its effects in the human body. Usually carbohydrate is perceived to be a nutrient which produces fat in the body and might cause obesity in the human body. This misconception can be removed by recognizing the fact that it is the '€˜fat'€™ which makes the human body fat not the carbohydrates which are burnt as energy during the course of a physical activity. To further substantiate this fact, it is important to know that one teaspoon of fat constitutes of 36 calories whereas one teaspoon of carbohydrates constitutes of 16 calories. The carbohydrates are converted in to fat only in the condition when amount of glycogen is complete in the body. The excessive carbohydrates in the body are stored as glycogen in the case when carbohydrates are not properly burnt as energy. These excessive carbohydrates convert into fat only when they are not being utilized as energy and are not stored as glycogen because of the presence of requisite amount of glycogen in the human body. Hence, in order to convert one gram of carbohydrate to fat, it is necessary for that amount of carbohydrate not to be utilized or burnt as energy in the physical activity and then not to be stored as glycogen in the body. However, the amount of carbohydrates converted into fat is very less because most of the carbohydrates are utilized or burnt as energy in various day to day activities of a normal human being.

The amount of carbohydrates utilized as energy or converted into fat depends upon the individual’s metabolism which is one’s biological process to convert or diffuse carbohydrates in the body. The chances of diffusion of carbohydrates into fat for a normal healthy person having normal metabolism and healthy diet are very less. In fact it is quite possible that carbohydrates in a healthy person with healthy diet are not converted to fat at all and fully utilized as energy. However fats, in contrast to carbohydrates directly accumulate as body fat regardless of energy burnt in the body. To further substantiate the fact that fats cause more fatness, it should be taken into consideration that one gram of carbohydrate constitutes of four calories; one gram of protein constitutes of four calories; one gram of fat constitutes of nine calories and one gram of alcohol comprises of seven calories. Hence one gram of fat surpasses one gram of alcohol in calories consumed by the human body.

The amount of calories burnt during the course of some activity depends upon the type of physical activity carried out by the individual. When an individual carries out a physical activity requiring lesser exercise such as walking or daily routine tasks which require the person to do something more than sitting on the chair, he/she is able to burn fats which are accumulated in his/her body. Similarly a person doing moderate level of exercise such as jogging or swift walking can burn his 10-30% of the body fat as energy. In the case of hard physical activity such as swimming, running, cycling etc., the body uses glycogens for utilizing the energy. Hence more the exercise an individual does, more the ability he has to burn his body fats.

When an individual carries out some specific physical activity for the longer duration, his/her muscles experience a biochemical change which affect one’s ability to store glycogens. Glycogens store energy in the human body in the same way as plant stores starch in themselves. The bodies which are more exposed to physical exercise have the ability to accumulate 20-50% more glycogens as compared to the bodies which are not accustomed to the regular physical exercise. This fact can be more simplified by considering the example of a trained individual whose 100 grams of muscle accumulates 35 grams of glycogens whereas an individual who is not accustomed to a regular physical activity can accumulate just 13 grams of glycogens in his 100 grams of muscles.

A muscle can store 35-40 grams of glycogens in his body when an individual eats carbo-loaded (food comprising of high carbohydrate nutrients) in order to gain energy for carrying out a heavy physical activity such as weight lifting or some other kind of activity, which is quite higher as compared to the normal glycogens level i.e.13 grams. If an individual does not has essential amount of glycogens in his body or does not has excessive amount of glycogen to be further used in some future activity, he will not be able to perform that physical exercise in case of glycogen diminution in the human body.

It is necessary to have requisite level of glycogens in the body because glycogens diminution can cause physical and mental weaknesses owing to the fact that glycogens are also utilized by the brain. The glycogen is stored in human body in different forms such as muscle glycogen which comprises of 1,400 calories, liver glycogen which comprises of 320 calories and blood glycogen which comprises of 80 calories. This means that a person can have total calories of 1,800 at any point of time as glycogen in his body. These 1,800 calories stored as glycogens are readily converted or utilized as energy when a person indulges into an exercise or any activity. Glycogen stores basically consist of glucose molecules which determine how much energy will be utilized in work or any activity before making the person exhausted or for how much duration a person can withstand with the physical work with the required amount of glucose level in the body. Even the glycogen itself is not directly utilized by the body; it is further decomposed into glucose which provides the actual source of energy to be utilized by the human body. To further simplify the fact, it is concluded that glycogen is a storage molecule which stores glucose in it and glucose serves as an energy provider to the human body for carrying out all kinds of activities. The muscles and brain do not have their own glycogen stores therefore enough of the foods should be consumed to ensure continuous supply of energy (glucose) to the brain and other parts of the body. Liver glycogen helps to maintain requisite level of glucose (sugar) level to be utilized by the brain by diffusing glucose into the human blood stream.

The distinction should be made between the effects of consuming complex carbohydrates and direct sugar consumption in the body. This distinction will help explaining the fact why the direct sugar consumption is not recommended as compared to the consumption of carbohydrates in the other forms. The sugar is a source of carbohydrate which is already decomposed in its simplest form and serves as a quick source of energy in the human body. When a person consumes sugar, he will get quick energy because of the fact that human body utilizes sugar as energy more speedily rather than preserving it in the human body. This creates a ‘sugar rush’ which explains the fact why children are so unwilling to go to sleep until they get a sweet candy. The insulin creates an effect of exhaustion in the whole process of dissolving sugar in the body.
The energy from the glycogen is transferred in the body after its decomposition into sugars which does not let pancreas to release insulin in the body. The glycogens in the liver discharge sugars throughout the course of activities. Glycogens are considered as complex carbohydrates which take time to decompose into sugars as a result of which no sugar rush is created in the human body. Hence, the transfusion of glycogens is a gradual process as compared to the transfusion of sugar which affects the working of insulin in the body.

Insulin itself is a gradual process therefore there is nothing wrong in consuming some sugar during a course of activity, however over consumption is not recommended. Osmosis provides another reason for not consuming excessive sugar in the body. The over consumption of sugar might affect digestive system owing to the fact that high concentrations of sugars can reduce the water levels in the muscles. The flow of water is usually from the less concentrated solutes to the higher concentrated solutes therefore excessive sugar levels in human body can extract water from the muscles. In this whole process oxygen molecule extracts hydrogen electron to make ATP (mentioned in detail in the later part of the book) which is later repositioned into one'€™s digestive system.

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