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Carbohydrates and running

Carbohydrates are broken down by digestion into glucose, after which it can be burned. This combustion is very fast and is the fastest available energy. If more glucose is available than is needed the glucose is stored in the form of glycogen. However, this storage capacity is limited, the rest is stored as fat. There is a glycogen stock in the muscles that is sufficient for about an hour of intensive exercise. There are different types of carbohydrates that are classified according to rate at which they are absorbed by the body and burned. The fastest are the sugars, they contain a lot of calories and they fall under the simple and dual carbohydrates (c. mono- and disaccharides). For everyday life there are enough sugars in the food available. However, with a lot of effort, the body uses extra a lot of glucose. It may then be necessary to add extra sugars in the form of a banana, raisins or a sports drink.

Carbohydrate percentages of some products
Mono- and disaccharides Sugar 100%
Honey 80%
Candy 70%
Cakes and pastries 40-75%
Polysaccharides Brown bread 45%
Pasta (not cooked) 70%
Rice (not cooked) 78%
Banana 23%
Potato (not crazy.) 20%
Apple 10%
Dried fruits 60%
Gingerbread 70%

Glycogen stock

Untrained men can store a maximum of 300 to 400 grams of glycogen (about 1200 up to 1600 kcal). For trained men, that can go up to the double. This glycogen store stored in the muscles and liver is enough 90 minutes of intensive exercise. Untrained people usually have a stock of 1.5 grams per hundred grams of muscle. This stock is owned by a special diet to 4.5 grams per muscle tissue (see: Race preparation). With prolonged efforts, the glycogen stores during exercise must be supported by carbohydrate-rich foods: sports drinks and energy bars.

Glycogen supply and fat storage

Carbohydrates are converted to during digestion glucose, after which it can be burned. Glucose that not directly consumed can be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. However, this stock is limited (see back). Around the glucose is not lost, it is stored as fat.

Glycogen stock and lactic acid

The brain and nervous system depend for their energy supply on the supply of glucose from the liver glycogen supply. During very intensive efforts, the body will also obtain energy from the liver glycogen stock. This is at the expense of the energy supply to the brain and the nervous system, what must be prevented: the body starts to produce lactic acid, which slows down the speed and energy supply to the brain and nervous system is guaranteed again.

Do not use sweets for 45 minutes before an intensive effort

The blood sugar level rises sharply after eating sweets. In response to this, the body produces insulin the glucose level falls again. The level of insulin in the blood is highest about three quarters of an hour/half an hour after using the sweetness. If intensive sports are now also going to be taken the muscles readily absorb glucose, due to the presence of many insulin. There is a chance that there will be too little glucose left over for the brain and nerves. Not really the intention. This The phenomenon has also been given a name: hypoglycemia.

Carbohydrates after a competition or intensive training

Carbohydrate-rich food (at least 60%) should be taken as soon as possible after the end of use an intense effort. If that doesn't work, try it than light food and fluids. For example in the form of energy drink. When you consume a carbohydrate-rich diet shortly after an intensive effort, meal, the recovery of glycogen stores in the muscles can already be done within eight hours to take place. If you eat a regular meal, recovery takes 36 to 48 hours.

Nutrition tables

Lowcarbohydrate nutritional charts and Highcarbohydrate nutritional charts