Currently, athletes have a variety of supplements to choose from which help achieve their goals related to training in fitness clubs or gyms faster. Carbohydrate supplements are an increasingly popular product. But what exactly are carbohydrates? What are they responsible for in our bodies? Which products are good sources? Where does the popularity of carbohydrate supplements come from? What are the benefits? All these issues are addressed in the following article.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are chemicals formed by combining oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. These are mainly elements of plant origin. Carbohydrates can be divided in several ways. In terms of their structure, they are divided into simple and complex sugars. However, in terms of the degree of absorption or digestion, carbohydrates can be classified as absorbable or non-absorbable.
What are the important functions of carbohydrates in the body?
Carbohydrates are an important part of the workout period. Above all, they are a natural source of quickly absorbed energy. That is why we need them every day to do various activities in our daily lives. An insufficiency of carbohydrates is easy to notice. When you lose your strength, problems with concentration tend to appear and you get hungry faster. In addition, carbohydrates regulate fat metabolism. Without carbohydrates, it is more difficult to burn unwanted fatty tissue. They also support the proper absorption of calcium, bind water in the body, and are responsible for regulating insulin levels.
What kind of food contains carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates can be found mainly in cereal products. There are also abundant in dry seeds of legumes. They are also found in fruit and vegetables, although in smaller quantities than in the above-mentioned products. Carbohydrates can be delivered to the body through sweets or cakes, which of course have a large amount of empty and unhealthy calories. Wholesome and healthy sources of carbohydrates include groats, rice, pasta, dried fruit, bread (wholegrain) and honey.
Why is it worth using carbohydrate supplements?
Carbohydrate supplements can be used in endurance sports, speed and strength sports, combat sports, and even team games. Therefore, the properties and applications of these products are universal. What other reasons are there for using carbohydrate supplements? They give a boost of energy, which makes it easier to perform scheduled workouts. They also accelerate regeneration. The body simply recovers faster. During carbohydrate supplementation, you will reduce fatigue and will have more strength for the gym. Good carbohydrate preparations also prevent painful cramps.
In the first stage of working out, the energy for exercising is drawn directly from muscle glycogen. Then the reserves of glucose from the liver glycogen are activated. Remember that the lack of glycogen in the muscles contributes to a much weaker ability to exercise. The range of movement is also significantly reduced. What is worse, the body starts to absorb energy from adipose tissue. The lack of carbohydrates leads to the use of muscle proteins as a source of proper functioning. This, in turn, will result in a gradual decrease in the mass of your muscles, and in the end, no progress at all. Good quality carbohydrate supplements effectively replenish muscle glycogen reserves, which are consumed during training. Thanks to this, you can exercise longer and without the unnecessary risk of completely losing strength.
What do carbohydrate supplements consist of? They are a mixture of slow-, medium- and fast-release carbohydrates. Different fractions of these ingredients, as well as the different time of their assimilation, will ensure a continuous supply of energy during exercise. In addition to carbohydrates, the supplements have a series of additives enhancing the effect of the supplement and enriching your daily diet. Manufacturers most often decide to use minerals and vitamins, although there are also products containing arginine or amino acids.
What to keep in mind when using carbohydrate supplements
Have carbohydrate supplements sparked your interest? Very rightly so. However, remember to contact your doctor first. This is especially important when you have health problems and you take any medication. You should also check the composition of the supplement to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Supplements are primarily intended for physically active adults. They are not recommended for children, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers.