A thought about Carbohydrates ….

A little summary about carbohydrates, what they do and why you need them in your body….

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide the body with a source of energy. The body will break the carbohydrate down into glucose which it can then use as energy for mental and physical performance. Carbohydrates are particularly important for functioning of the brain.


Simple carbohydrates are predominately made up of sugar which comes from fruits, some vegetables and table sugar. Sucrose is added to foods such as chocolates and ice cream, and most carbonated drinks. Simple carbohydrates can be broken down by the body quickly and provide a quick release of energy. These foods are classified as high glycaemic index. Fruits are the only simple carbohydrates recommended on a nutritional value.


These consist of starches and dietary fibre. They have a more complicated structure than simple carbohydrates and take longer to break down, giving a more sustained level of energy. Refined complex carbohydrates such as white breads, pastas and rice tend to have a high glycaemic index and increase insulin levels. Positive complex carbohydrates, with a low glycaemic index include brown breads, wild rice, vegetables and pulses. Dietary fibre is classified as a carbohydrate, and comes from the structural part of the plant. The body cannot digest it but it enables the passage of digestible foods through the small and large intestine, thus avoiding problems with constipation and other digestive complications.

Dieticians recommend 55-70% of carbohydrates in your diet.

Carbohydrate Needs For Exercise

3-5hrs/week 4-5g/kg/d
5-7hrs/week 5-6g/kg/d
1-2hrs/day 6-7g/kg/d
2-4hrs/day 7-8g/kg/d
4+hrs/day 8-10g/kg/d

eg. If you weigh 60kg and exercise for 1 hour a day your daily carbohydrate requirement is: 60 x 6 = 360g per day

The body has 90-120 minutes of glycogen stores available – depending on the intensity of exercise – after this the body starts to break down fat and performance will start to slow. This is why energy gels and bars are useful for athletes.

Recommended bars and drinks:

SIS (Sweatshop Next Generation sells)

Torq Fitness (Google Torq) very good natural energy bars and drinks High 5

Try them before you race on then to avoid any problems

For more information about nutrition for sports performance, and weight loss please contact Kim on 07720 845849 or email kim@energisedperformance.com