Sunday, April 10, 2011

Carbohydrates, Sugars, Energy and YOU

This is meant to be a short explanation of how the body uses carbohydrates and sugars to make and to store energy. This is information that is very important to know if you suffer from hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood) or hypoglycemia (low levels of glucose in the blood). Even if you don't suffer from ether of these this is important information for you to know because its how our bodies create the energy that we need to live, work and play.


Carbohydrates are one of the three macro nutrients. The other two are fats and proteins. The main purpose of carbohydrates in the body is the production of energy. Our bodies turn carbohydrates into energy by first breaking them down to glucose. The cells are then able to absorb the glucose from the blood with the help of the hormone insulin. Insulin can also cause certain cells to store glucose internally in the form of glycogen.

What happens when we eat lots of carbohydrates? After we eat a meal rich in carbohydrates our body will break down the carbs into glucose. This will then cause the glucose levels in our blood to be elevated. This elevated level of glucose in the blood is what causes the secretion of the hormone insulin which causes the cells to absorb the glucose from the blood. The effect of this process on the way we fell is as follows. When the glucose is being absorbed by the cells we feel a rush of energy. But then when the glucose in the blood is all used up we feel a drop in our energy levels, which is known as a crash.

What happen when we don't eat anything? When our sugar levels drop because of fasting or the like our bodies release a hormone called glucagon. This glucagon causes glycogen which is stored in certain cells such as those in the liver to be released. This can then cause glucose levels to shoot up and then crash as when you eat a meal rich in carbohydrates.

The conclusion is that if you would like to keep good balanced energy levels all day long, eat three balanced meals a day. A balanced meal has in it not only carbohydrates but healthy fats, lean proteins and fiber which help the body to release glucose into the blood at a more regulated speed. This helps us to keep our energy levels balanced to do what we need to do in our everyday lives.

Eat well, stay balanced and feel good.


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