Carbohydrates definition

Carbohydrates definition
what are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates definition in medical term, any group of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

I have heard the word carbohydrates used many times by many different people.

I never quite understood the benefits of carbohydrates, how the body uses carbohydrates, and the overall function of carbohydrates for our everyday health.

So what are carbohydrates really used for?

Carbohydrates are our MAIN source for energy, or fuel for our bodies.

Basic building block of carbohydrates is a sugar molecule, a simple union of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Carbohydrates are used for more instant energy, and when not needed, our bodies have the ability to convert carbohydrates into Glycogen, storing that quick energy in our muscles and liver for later use.

The most common form of carbohydrates comes in sugar, fiber and starches.

Starches and fibers are essentially chains of sugar molecules. Some contain hundreds of sugars, some chains are straight, while others branch wildly.

I have heard the word carbohydrates used many times by many different people.

I never quite understood the benefits of carbohydrates, how the body uses carbohydrates and the overall function of carbohydrates for our everyday health.

So what are carbohydrates really used for?

Carbohydrates are our MAIN source for energy, or fuel for our bodies.

Basic building block of carbohydrates is a sugar molecule, a simple union of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Carbohydrates are used for more instant energy, and when not needed, our bodies have the ability to convert carbohydrates into Glycogen, storing that quick energy in our muscles and liver for later use.

The most common form of carbohydrates comes in sugar, fiber and starches.

Starches and fibers are essentially chains of sugar molecules. Some contain hundreds of sugars, some chains are straight, while others branch wildly.

carbohydrates definition
simple and complex carbohydrates

By definition of carbohydrates, there are 2 groups of Carbohydrates, Complex Carbohydrates and Simple Carbohydrates.

Complex Carbohydrates are made from three or more linked sugars, while Simple Carbohydrates are made from up to 2 different sugar molecules.

Our digestive system handles all carbohydrates the same way, breaking them down into single sugar molecules that cross into our bloodstream.

Although our digestive system handles all carbohydrates the same way, some carbohydrates take longer to digest than others.

Fiber is the only exception to being broken down by our digestive system.

Fiber is put together in such a way, that it cannot be broken down, but instead passes through our body undigested to help regulate the body's use of sugars, while keeping hunger and blood sugar in check.

Fiber also helps push food through the intestinal tract, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation.

carbohydrates definition
list of carbohydrates - simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down by our digestive system for instant energy, or fuel to our bodies.

Simple Carbohydrates are known as sugars, and they exist in Natural or Refined form.

Fruits and Vegetables offer natural form of simple carbohydrates.

Refined simple carbohydrates can be found in biscuits, cakes and pastries, chocolate, honey and jams, jellies, brown and white cane sugar, pizzas, prepared foods and sauces, soft drinks, sweets etc...

carbohydrates definition
list of carbohydrates - complex carbohydrates

Complex Carbohydrates are often referred to as starchy foods, and can be found in natural foods, or refined in processed foods.

Complex Carbohydrates as natural starches are found in bananas, barley, beans, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, oats, parsnips, potatoes, root vegetables, sweet corn, wholegrain cereals, wholegrain breads, wholegrain flour, wholegrain pasta, yams etc...

Complex Carbohydrates as refined starches can be found in biscuits, pastries and cakes, pizzas, sugary processed breakfast cereals, white bread, white flour, white pasta, white rice etc.

carbohydrates definition
importance of glucose

Glucose is the most basic and simple sugar that is made from carbohydrates, and is very important part of proper nutrition.

Glucose is used as a universal energy source for our body.

Both, Simple and Complex Carbohydrates, help create Glucose, fueling our body with instant energy.

Glucose helps with storing Glycogen into our muscles and liver, to provide fuel or energy for later use, which is especially important for athletes and soccer players.

Carbohydrates burn a lot quicker than fat, so the reserves stored in our liver and muscles can also be depleted rather quickly through fast paced sport such is soccer.

As I mentioned above, function of carbohydrates is to provide instant energy, or to store energy in our muscles and liver in the form of Glycogen, which is then used as fuel for our body when needed.

Glycogen burns more quickly than fat, providing us with energy and fuel for physically demanding sports such is soccer, where running up and down the field for 90 min is very physically demanding.

Due to high intensity and fast paced tempo of soccer, players will deplete their glycogen levels much faster than many other sports athletes.

Once Glycogen reserves are depleted, our body starts to burn fat for energy, and with fat not being a very good source of energy because of burning slow, players performance on the field will suffer. Legs start to feel rather heavy and finding the energy to make the runs on the field is a struggle.

Simple answer to "What are Carbohydrates?" and "the benefits of carbohydrates" is to compare Carbohydrates to instant fuel for our body, and food in the form of oxygen for our brain.

Not eating plenty of carbohydrates, soccer players will experience fatigue much quicker. 

This is due to muscles getting depleted of fast burning fuel and energy required to perform on the field.

Once our instant energy, or Glycogen, is depleted, our concentration on the field will be effected greatly due to lack of oxygen getting to our brain as our bodies struggle to keep performing at high intensity through slow burning fat.

basic carbohydrates defitnition

What are carbohydrates in basic terms?

Carbohydrates are our main source for energy and performance.

Whenever our bodies don't feel the need to use that energy right away, energy is stored in the form of Glycogen through our muscles and liver, for later use.

Once liver and muscles are at capacity for storing glycogen, carbohydrates are than stored as fat.

Whenever our body needs a quick boost of energy, it starts to convert Glycogen stored in our liver and muscles into the needed energy.

definition of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates contain carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, hence the word CARBOHYDRATE.

I hope you have a better understanding on what are carbohydrates, importance of carbohydrates and how the body uses carbohydrates to keep us energized and healthy.

For more information on Carbohydrates for athletes please visit Why Athletes Need Carbohydrates.


CARBOHYDRATES DEFINITION

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Carbohydrates Definition in basic terms is carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, hence the word CARBOHYDRATE.