Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for an athlete. Carbohydrates are found primarily in foods derived from plants like fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains. There are two kinds of carbohydrates:
simple carbohydrates: examples include sugar, soft drinks, cake, candy bars
complex carbohydrates: examples include cereals, bread, potatoes, legumes
All carbohydrates are converted into glucose for immediate energy and into glycogen* for energy reserves. In general, simple carbohydrates are broken down faster than complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates provide “fast” energy; complex carbohydrates provide more continuous and sustained energy. For this reason, it is preferable to eat mainly complex carbohydrates.
A carbohydrate rich diet is essential for athletes, but can be a voluminous diet. It may be difficult for an athlete to eat large amounts of foods to meet their energy need. Maxim Sports Nutrition products can be a solution to this problem. An easy way to enhance carbohydrates in your diet is to add Maxim Carbo Loader to your food and drinks. It contains a unique blend of carbohydrates (maltodextrin), vitamin C, and vitamin E; has a neutral taste; and is easily digestible.
Carbohydrates are stored in muscle as glycogen. An average person can store about 400 grams of glycogen (1/3 in liver, 2/3 in muscles). By eating a diet high in carbohydrates and a proper training build-up, trained athletes can achieve glycogen stores of up to 800 grams.
When glycogen stores are low, proteins and fat will also be used for energy supply. When glycogen stores are depleted completely, the body can only use fat and protein for energy. In this case, your performance may decrease up to 50% of your maximum level.