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The Truth about Carbohydrates Supplements for Athletes

Many studies show that sportsmen and women burn a lot of calories, much more than the ordinary people. Michael Phelps, who did wonders in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, linked his success to taking 12,000 calories a day. ( how-many-calories-do-Olympics-athletes-need). The average person requires just 1,600 to 3,000 calories daily. In highly competitive sports such as the Superbowl, the Olympics and the World Series, participants need a lot of energy.

Athletes need stamina and perfect body fitness all the time. Carbohydrates supplements are an important part of an athletes’ diet because they are the primary source of the energy required during rehearsals and competitions. However, carbohydrates are classified into simple and complex carbs, and a person taking the supplements must know the carbs that help to maintain body fitness.

So what carbohydrates supplements can contribute to a healthy body if you are the type that spends many hours in the gym or track race? The trick lies in avoiding simple carbs (bad carbs) such as soda, candy, artificial syrups, sugar, desserts, potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread and cakes.

Complex carbohydrates give the athletes’ body a long- lasting energy supply. Upon taking helpful carbs such as legumes or whole grains, you can slow down the release of energy for your active body. Complex carbs help to sustain high energy levels, and nurture muscle tissues. If you don't get enough complex carbohydrates, your body will use protein from your muscles instead. The usage of proteins result in lost muscle mass, and no person in sports wants that!

Complex carbohydrates (good carbs) are much more helpful. The body takes a longer time to break down the sugars in complex carbs. Complex carbs also contain lesser glycemic load, so they do not give your body undesired sugars. Endurance athletes that take carbohydrate (CHO) supplements, immediately gain 6-8 % CHO concentration which improves track performance.

Ellen Coleman, RD, a sports nutritionist and body -building physiologist says carbohydrates supplements strengthen the muscles, and also create quick energy for powerful sporting activities. She has worked with Los Angeles Lakers and Olympics teams so she should know.

  • Mahmoud El-guindi

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