There is a general judgment about carbohydrates. “Carbohydrate intake causes fat.” But that’s not true! Too much fat intake causes fat.
In our article about proteins, we mentioned the importance of carbohydrate in protein intake. If you have not read that document, I recommend that you read it first. There is a general judgment about carbohydrates. “Carbohydrate intake causes fat.” But that’s not true! Too much fat intake causes fat. A teaspoon of oil has an average of 36 calories. But there are only 16 calories in a teaspoon of carbohydrates. It is very difficult to convert these 16 calories of energy into fat. Because the energy we spend during any activity (sports, walking, cleaning, watching television and even sleeping) is primarily derived from carbohydrates.
For 1 gram of carbohydrate to be stored as fat, it must not be burned. If you have too much carbohydrate and cannot spend it as energy, these carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen. If your glycogen stores are full and you do not need energy, then you have the possibility to store the energy you get from carbohydrates as body fat. The amount of energy to be stored as fat depends on basal metabolism and whether carbohydrates are burned. A person who eats a healthy diet and has an average metabolism does not store carbohydrates as fat. Fats are ready to be stored as body fat. There are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate, 4 calories in 1 gram of protein, 9 calories in 1 gram of fat, and 7 calories in 1 gram of alcohol.
When And What We Burn ?
There are different sources of energy that our bodies use. When a person is doing low-level exercise (whether walking or working at work), he first burns fat. If he is doing a moderate exercise (long distance walking, horse riding, for example), 10-30% of the energy expended is obtained from fat. If you’re doing a high-level workout (eg cycling, sprints, swimming, or your gym workout), most of the energy you spend will come from glycogen stores. Just remember, these are proportions, not quantities. So actively training burns more fat than walking.
Working and non-working bodies store glycogen in different ways. Bodies that train at certain intervals for a long time differ biochemically from others. Well-exercised muscle groups retain 20% to 50% more glycogen than non-exercised muscle groups. For example, a 100-gram muscle that has not been trained can maintain 13 grams of glycogen, while a trained muscle of the same weight can hold 35-40 grams of glycogen. When you load a lot of carbohydrates (such as the day before a powerlifting competition), your muscles hold an average of 40 grams of glycogen. This is a much better figure considering that a normal person weighs 13 grams. So don’t be afraid to get carbs! When your body runs out of glycogen, you are frustrated. You cannot complete your workout well. When your carbohydrate stores are depleted, you become mentally and physically weak. Because it uses glycogen in your brain. Moreover, there is no glycogen store in your brain. At any given moment, your body contains 1800 calories of glycogen ready to be used as energy.
However, the body does not use glycogen directly as energy. It first breaks down and turns into glucose. Glucose is the form in which energy is used. Glycogen is a polysaccharide storage molecule made up of glucose where only energy is available for storage. These natural energy stores are the main factor that determines how long you can train tirelessly. The glycogen in the liver, on the other hand, mixes with the blood when necessary and keeps the blood sugar (glucose) at a certain level and ensures that the necessary glycogen reaches the brain at all times.
Well, if all these complex carbohydrates we take are turning into sugar (glucose), why not take sugar directly instead of carbohydrates ? Although it sounds logical, there is a problem. Sugar provides “quick energy”. In other words, sugar is already the simplest form of carbohydrates broken down. In other words, they cannot be kept as sugar in the body. They are either used or converted into a more complex carbohydrate for storage. But the body will try to use it as the first option. That’s why when our sugar level increases, insulin comes into play and excess sugar is stored in the muscles ready to be used. That’s why kids who eat candy in the evening have trouble going to bed. However, if we did not take carbohydrates before training, because insulin plays a role in sugar degradation, the energy given by the sugar we take ends in a short time and fatigue begins.
I think we started to understand how the system works. Glycogen in the liver is released into the blood during training to stabilize blood sugar. The presence of excess sugar also signals the pancreas to secrete insulin, and excess sugar attacks the muscles. Accordingly, glycogen is “stored energy”. As a complex carbohydrate, glycogen is used as energy in the body after it is broken down into sugars. But it does not trigger insulin secretion. Because complex carbohydrates are broken down slowly and do not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar.
There’s no harm in taking a little sugar during your workout. Because the insulin working process is not very fast. As the body is in the transition (osmosis) process during training, you don’t get too much sugar. Water in the body moves from low concentration to high concentration places. In other words, points with high sugar concentrations in your digestive tract draw the required water from the muscles, rip off a hydrogen electron from the oxygen molecule and use it to form ATP in the electron transport chain (this is the subject of another article), and the digestive system continues.