CarbPrint - Carbohydrates are the most common source of...

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Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy and require less water to digest than proteins or fats. Proteins and fat are vital building components for the body. The best nutritional plan incorporates carbohydrates as an energy source so as not to deplete the protein and fat resources by forcing your body to use them in energy production. However, carbohydrates are not essential nutrients. The body can obtain all of its energy from protein and fats. Although the brain needs glucose for energy and cannot burn fat, the body can make glucose from protein. Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 kilocalories of energy per gram while fats contain 9 kilocalories of energy per gram. Animals store excess glucose from carbohydrates by polymerizing it to form glycogen. Glycogen is broken back down into glucose when energy is needed by a process called glycogenolysis. The liver and skeletal muscle are major depots of glycogen. The amount of lipids stored as an energy reserve far exceeds the energy stored as glycogen since the human body is simply not capable of storing as much glycogen compared to lipids. In a 154 lb male, the free glucose in the blood provides only a 40 kcal energy reserve, only enough to maintain body functions for a few minutes. Glycogen remaining stored in the liver and muscles after an overnight fast amounts to about 600 kcal energy reserves. Glycogen reserves can maintain body functions for about one
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day without new inputs of food. There is some evidence that intense exercise and a high-carbohydrate diet (“carbo-loading”) can increase the reserves of glycogen in the muscles and thus may help marathoner work their muscles somewhat longer and harder than others. But for most of us, carbo-loading leads to increased deposits of
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course BIOL 100 taught by Professor Lee during the Winter '07 term at San Diego State.

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CarbPrint - Carbohydrates are the most common source of...

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