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Sports and nutrition: the importance of carbohydrates
Sports and nutrition: the importance of carbohydrates
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Sports and nutrition: the importance of carbohydrates

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Date: April 14, 2021

Carbohydrates: our main source of energy

They contribute to the recovery of normal muscle function (contraction) after intense and / or prolonged physical exercise that leads to muscle fatigue and the depletion of glycogen stores in skeletal muscles.

The other energy substrates are represented by fats and Protein responsible, in different percentages, for the production of energy and used according to the need with particular correlation to intensity when we talk about physical exercise.
Per certain types of sports and activities they certainly represent the energy fuel par excellence.
Usually the percentage of carbohydrates taken with the diet is about 60% of the daily caloric balance and remember that, in addition to the role illustrated above, carbohydrates also representla principale source of nourishment for the nervous system ; the reason why low-quantity diets can negatively affect not only sports performance but also mental performance.

Carbohydrates, through a first trivial subdivision, can be divided into:

  • simple with an immediate energy availability in the blood as simple molecules
  • complexes that must first be broken down into simple molecules to be available energetically

A correct balance between simple and complex avoids the occurrence of glycemic peaks that could be counterproductive in terms of performance for some sports disciplines.

In recent years, carbohydrates of the "first generation" have been added

  • highly branched cyclodextrins (Cluster Dextrin®)
  • isomaltulosio (Palatinose™)
  • patty starch, more and laughter (Karbolyn®)
  • maltodestrine (Glucidex®)

Simple carbohydrates to be taken before and during prolonged performance, as well as being an excellent support confirmed by athletes but also by science, have not been exempt from negative effects. These effects can also be quite frequent and annoying to the point of being able to compromise the performance itself, given that these are common gastrointestinal disorders (bloating, cramps, fermentation up to nausea, vomiting or osmotic diarrhea) or peaks with relative glycemic "crashes". The fact is that, although it is possible to have a well-structured and targeted diet, when we talk about intense and prolonged workouts, with a significant work volume load, with activities that exceed an hour, the support of blood sugar becomes important for the performance itself,

But on this front, modern sports food supplementation has brought a series of elements to support performance for aerobic and anaerobic sports which has been a real renewal and relaunch of the importance of carbohydrate supplementation in the "peri-workout", putting part simple sugars of old conception such as glucose or on the other hand maltodextrins, for glycemic supporters with a more "modulated" impact on the glycemic and insulin response with carbohydrates with high molecular weight and low osmolarity, which results in rapid availability of energy without gastrointestinal disorders with its more gradual release over time, factors that even in the field of endurance sports, where simple sugar mixtures were often used,have brought carbohydrate supplementation to a real evolution.

Primarily this happened thanks to the launch of highly branched Cyclodextrins (HBCD), which have "ousted" a space relegated to "old-fashioned" supplements based on glucose / dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize® or blends or mixtures that often do not they are revealed to be a "brake", due to the digestive "hitches". Cyclodextrins have brought carbohydrate supplementation to a new level in every sporting environment, both aerobic and anaerobic, where both the body builder, the crossfitter and the cyclist have been able to benefit from more intense and productive workouts, which are then followed by further new generation forms of carbohydrates, which have literally evolved the market for "intraworkout" or "performance" supplements.


Highly branched cyclodextrins (Cluster Dextrin®)

The cyclodextrins are a new class of supplements based on carbohydrates called "designer glucose polymers" highly branched (HBCD) and further development of various products on the market based on carbohydrates.
A new type of glucose polymers formulated by the reaction between waxy maize® with a particular enzyme to form a cyclic structure.
The result is a glucose polymer with ideal usage properties.
To be clear: an average molecular weight of 160,000 with very low osmolarity and therefore very fast gastric emptying.
This feature is essential for a fast assimilation that minimizes the passage in the gastrointestinal system.
The highly branched cyclodextrins (HBCD) are a further evolution of the already present vitargo®, waxy maize® and karbolyn®. Currently there are still few companies (of the highest quality level) that have focused on this particular source.

It is the "ideal" carbohydrate for performance support for both aerobic and anaerobic sports, consisting of glucose polymers formulated from the reaction between amylopectin in corn starch, with a particular enzymatic process that forms a cyclic ring structure with a "hydrophobic" environment inside it, capable of favoring the transport of other elements (see the insertion of amino acids for example). The strength that makes cyclodextrins so special lies in being characterized by the high molecular weight of 160,000 Dalton, with a very low osmolarity that allows a very rapid gastric emptying, without requiring any digestive effort and risking to incur some unpleasant gastrointestinal disturbance. Cyclodextrins are indicated as the model par excellence of carbohydrates to be used during the training of a body builder who wants to support his powerful muscle contractions, supply glycogen to the muscles or additional nutritional elements such as amino acids that are transported more effectively through the particular conformation of this carbohydrate. The Crossfitter will maximize its WOD with more Energy and endurance, and equally the combat sports athlete will be favored, by quickly delivering precious energy ready to use, favoring the maintenance of lucidity due to a more constant blood sugar without peaks drops, without a "roller coaster" effect in blood sugar, compromising ongoing performance. training of a body builder who wants to support his powerful muscle contractions, supply glycogen to the muscles or additional nutritional elements such as amino acids that are transported more effectively through the particular conformation of this carbohydrate. The Crossfitter will maximize his WOD with more Energy and endurance, and equally the combat sports athlete will be favored, by quickly delivering precious energy ready to use, favoring the maintenance of lucidity due to a more constant blood sugar without peaks and drops, without a "roller coaster" effect in blood sugar, compromising ongoing performance. training of a body builder who wants to support his powerful muscle contractions, supply glycogen to the muscles or additional nutritional elements such as amino acids that are transported more effectively through the particular conformation of this carbohydrate. The Crossfitter will maximize his WOD with more Energy and endurance, and equally the combat sports athlete will be favored, by quickly delivering precious energy ready to use, favoring the maintenance of lucidity due to a more constant blood sugar without peaks and drops, without a "roller coaster" effect in blood sugar, compromising ongoing performance. supply glycogen to the muscles or additional nutritional elements such as amino acids that are transported more effectively through the particular conformation of this carbohydrate. The Crossfitter will maximize his WOD with more Energy and endurance, and equally the combat sports athlete will be favored, by quickly delivering precious energy ready to use, favoring the maintenance of lucidity due to a more constant blood sugar without peaks and drops, without a "roller coaster" effect in blood sugar, compromising ongoing performance. supply glycogen to the muscles or additional nutritional elements such as amino acids that are transported more effectively through the particular conformation of this carbohydrate. The Crossfitter will maximize his WOD with more Energy and endurance, and equally the combat sports athlete will be favored, by quickly delivering precious energy ready to use, favoring the maintenance of lucidity due to a more constant blood sugar without peaks and drops, without a "roller coaster" effect in blood sugar, compromising ongoing performance.

Since 2015, Yamamoto® Nutrition has launched Cyclodextrins as the first company on the Italian food supplement market, included in Glycobol® and in all its variants Glycobol® Performance, Glycobol® Ultra, Glycocharge, and Glycogen.

Isomaltulosio (Palatinose™)

Another great protagonist of this new generation of carbohydrates is isomaltulose, a disaccharide formed by glucose and fructose which is naturally present, albeit in rather low concentrations, in honey and cane sugar syrup and its production takes place through modern techniques of enzymatic conversion starting from sucrose. Isomaltulose is often compared (and substituted) to sucrose not only for its high sweetening Energy (45-50% of that of sucrose) and development linked to its flavor.
Like sucrose, this disaccharide is also totally digested in the intestine even if its digestion takes place more slowly.
The bonds of the molecules that form isomaltulose (alpha (a) -1,6-glycosidic) are more stable than those of the molecules present in sucrose, therefore, an interesting note and much appreciated for the athlete who wants to maintain optimal performance , blood sugar and insulin levels rise significantly less than other sugars .
This particular type of bond existing between its fructose and glucose components is such as to slow down the rate of absorption.
Subsequently, our intestinal disaccharidases, which are the enzymes capable of breaking the molecular bond existing between the two sugars forming the disaccharide, will favor their subsequent absorption and bioavailability proceeding much more slowly for isomaltulose than what happens with other disaccharide sugars. more known, such as, for example, sucrose.
As a result, your blood sugar and insulin levels will have a much smaller rise and will still be very gradual.
Moreover, despite having a glycemic index similar to fructose, isomaltulose has the advantage of "impacting" less on the hepatic production of triglycerides and is therefore more suitable than fructose or compared to "historical" mixtures used by fructose-based athletes. glucose or maltodextrin as a low glycemic index carbohydrate.

Isomaltulose is still little known compared to other more "famous" forms of carbohydrate, but thanks to its excellent and confirmed characteristics, it is certainly destined to play a very important role in the athlete's arsenal of endurance sports. Isomaltulose is a disaccharide formed by glucose and fructose which is totally well digested and absorbed in the intestine, in a slow and gradual way, thanks to the very resistant chemical bonds that characterize it. A first choice carbohydrate if we are looking for a "long range" performance, proving to be an ideal fuel for very prolonged endurance work. The athlete of "endurance" sports, thanks to isomaltulose, will supply energy very quickly,

Yamamoto® Nutrition could not fail to have this element for the support of the athlete who needs very prolonged performance and who have an important energy demand, and presents it inserted in Yamamoto® Nutrition Charge or in the "Alessio Sakara Special Edition" Legionarivs line, and above all it is a very frequent element clearly in the new Alphazer® line created specifically for the world of endurance and extreme sports, with the whole range of Alphagel, Alphalyte Energy, Enerfuel and Enerfuel Nitroracing gels.

With isomaltulose, in fact, the risks of gastrointestinal disorders following its intake are further reduced and, various scientific studies have shown that it is able to supply energy for a longer time without the risk of incurring the so-called "crashes" (drops ) glycemic.
Therefore, once ingested by the athlete, it is gradually absorbed and follows the same metabolic processes as sucrose being the sugars released by its hydrolysis the same as those resulting from the hydrolysis of sucrose (glucose and fructose).
The digestion process is particularly "easy" for the gastrointestinal tract, bringing out a sensibly very good tolerability without presenting particular gastrointestinal problems typical of other forms of carbohydrate used in sports (eg swelling, fermentation, even cramp-like, nausea, diarrhea ) nor allergic reactions.
A characteristic worthy of being presented in its favor compared to the more noble "relatives" and, particularly appreciated also by the food industry, is that, although it provides an energy intake of 4 Kcal / g, unlike sucrose it does not favor the onset of caries because it cannot be used by the microorganisms responsible for its appearance.
From a "metabolic" point of view it emerges, through studies, that by using palatinose instead of disaccharides with a higher glycemic index, the body oxidizes fewer carbohydrates and more fatty acids, thus saving carbohydrates.


Paw starch, more and laughter (Karbolyn®)

Another interesting new generation carbohydrate is Karbolyn®, which derives from various sources of raw material given by potatoes, corn and rice that have undergone a patented processing method, "Enzymatic Milling Process", an enzymatic process obtained that reaches a high molecular weight with excellent solubility. Karbolyn® is a "homopolysaccharide" which, representing another innovative carbohydrate with a high molecular weight, thanks to its osmolarity characteristics, is able to cross the gastrointestinal tract very quickly and be absorbed into the bloodstream as if it were a simple sugar, without however creating no subsequent spike or sudden drop in blood sugar,

In the range of Yamamoto® Nutrition supplements, Karbolyn® has been included in the Alphatech Recharge, as a carbohydrate component to be combined with the hydrolyzed Protein of Alphatech salmon.


Maltodestrine (Glucidex®)

Among the various carbohydrate sources that the Alphazer® line presents in its catalog, there is also Glucidex® as Alphalyte Energy.

If the old generation maltodextrins can be defined as outdated, there is a technical evolution of them, in the form of "Glucidex®, which represents the new generation of highly purified and highly soluble maltodextrins produced from waxy maize, potatoes or wheat, characterized by a digestibility and a much better tolerability than past maltodextrins.

These maltodextrins owe their peculiarities to the fact that they are polymers deriving from the hydrolysis process of these starches made through modern processing processes, very well soluble in water, easily assimilated and, thanks to a much lower osmotic pressure than simple low weight carbohydrates molecular (such as glucose), have a more rapid gastric emptying but with a greater speed of absorption and a gradual energy release, without particular glycemic imbalances, making it another important carbohydrate of choice for those who practice endurance sports.

 

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