Calorific Value of Carbohydrates

About 50-55% of the daily energy should come from the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the key components in the diet and comprise of starchy carbohydrates, sugars, and dietary fiber. Carbohydrates in the body break down to sugars to yield energy.

Calculating the Intake Needs

Four calories of energy are provided by one gram of the carbohydrates. The maximum storage of glycogen is 15 g per kg of the body weight. In large muscles, more amount of glycogen is stored but the demand for energy is also increased. While, every person is unique, so the average storage capacity for the carbohydrates breaks down as the following.

  • 360 calories (90 g) of crabs are stored in the liver.
  • 5 g of the crabs are broken and are circulated in the blood in the form of glucose.
  • 14,00 calories (350 g) of the crabs are converted to glycogen and are stored in the muscle.

Sources Contributing the Significant Calorific Value of Carbohydrates

Simple Carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are absorbed and are quickly converted to produce a rapid source of energy. Some of the simple carbohydrates are found in the milk and fruits. Sweetened fruit juices and the sports drinks are the quick sources of the simple carbohydrates.

Complex Carbohydrates: For the digestion, absorption, and metabolization of these carbohydrates longer time is required. Often, they are stored as glycogen and provide the energy at a slower rate. Ideal sources for the complex carbohydrates are the foods, which are rich in the starch contents such as the cereals, grains, pasta, and the whole grain bread.

The complex carbohydrates have a more calorific value than the simple carbohydrates. They are rich sources of fiber, and are digested much slower and are less likely to produce the spikes in the blood sugar. Carbohydrates provide the energy for intensive workouts. Generally saying, 50% of the energy for our body should come from carbohydrates. For the athletes, the proportion should be increased by up to 60%, whereas, with the increase in the carbohydrate contents the level of fats should be reduced by 30%.

Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates

This index is much important to represent how quickly the blood sugar levels are increased by the consumption of carbohydrates.  Its values range from 1-100 indicating the slowest and the fastest index of the glucose. However, the increase in the glucose level is also dependent on various other factors. For the complex carbohydrates, the glycemic index is lower, while its values are high for the simple carbohydrates.

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