Carbohydrate is one of the nutrients found in food and it is a major fuel or energy provider in everyday diets. It also

plays an important role in exercise - it is the major fuel toallow the muscles to work hard.

Carbohydrates are chains of glucose or sugar units.

Some carbohydrate in food is made up of shorts chains of sugar units, and are recognised as sugary foods such

as jams, sweets, chocolate and soft drinks.

Other carbohydrates are made up of long complicated chains of sugars and are called starches eg bread, potatoes, cereals and pasta.

All carbohydrates are broken down by digestion into sugar and are then absorbed into the blood.

Carbohydrate is then stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen.

Muscle glycogen is a major fuel provider for that muscle to work during exercise, especially when training or playing hard. The body has a limited amount of space to store glycogen, and it can be used up quickly during long

training sessions.

Running out of glycogen during training can mean that you will feel tired, and that will affect your

performance. So it is very important to refill your stores regularly, to make sure you have enough fuel to allow you

to work hard in the next session.

The way you do this is to include carbohydrate-rich foods at each meal, and to pay particular attention to recovery

there are 3 different subgroups of the food type Carbohydrates, they are Fibre, Starch and Sugar.

Fibre does not provide any energy to the body.


Used in the body

To provide energy for all our cells to do all the functions that they must do. However Starch provides this energy slowly and therefore can be seen as a store of energy in the body.

Found in the following foods

Starchy foods include, Pasta, Rice, Potatoes, Breads and Cereals (this is the collective names of grain like crops, not just breakfast in a box). Starch is formed by plants as a food for very young plantlets that have just germinated, thus seeds we eat usually are mainly starch.


Starch is a part of the group of foods called Carbohydrates.

Starch is very important in the paper making industry and for paper glues. It was traditionally used in Laundry to make collars stick up. The tiles they use in office ceilings are also usually made from starch.

The reason brown bread is better bread than white with regards to your health, is because there is a much higher fibre content in brown bread. This is replaced by starch in the white bread, this will turn to sugar and can be stored under the skin. This fibre does not get added to the bodies mass as it passes through the intenstine, cleaning it as it goes.

Sugar (Glucose)

(..... -ose) Lactose, Fructose,

Used in the body for

To provide energy for all our cells to do all the functions that they must do, sugars are easily or readily burned as energy and so they are know as being a quick supply of energy. However due to the fact they burn off quickly they supply all the energy quickly and so can leave you feeling tired after a short while

Found in the following foods

Sugars can be found in most foods that are sweet, can you name 5 sweet foods? Try to name naturally sweet foods.

The sugars in foods have different names, Glucose, Fructose and lactose, do you notice anything about these 3 words ?

If the glucose is not used quickly in the body it turns to Glycogen, this is a form of storage of the glucose, however it can combine with fat and be very hard to get rid of if we over indulge in sweet things.


is a part of the group of foods called Carbohydrates

To improve your game !

How to make sure you have a good carbohydrate intake:

• Focus your meals on starchy carbohydrate foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, noodles and breakfast cereals

• Take a high carbohydrate snack between meals

• Use thick slices of bread

• Include potatoes - boiled, mashed or baked - more regularly than chips

• Add fruit to your breakfast cereal

• Make up your own high carb smoothie - add fresh, tinned or frozen fruit to some yogurt, and add some honey

Get the timing right...

One of the aims when you go to training or a match is to be well fuelled up.

This means you should eat something about 1 to 3 hours before your session and this should contain carbohydrate to top up your glycogen stores.


Dietary fiber (fibre), sometimes called roughage, is the indigestible portion of plant foods that pushes food through the digestive system, absorbing water and easing defecation

Used in the body for

Fibre aids digestion, or rather ejestation, the removal of waste food from the lower intenstine. The fibre doesn't get digested as the other types of food do. So there is very little goodness that fibre provides the body but it allows the waste products to be removed efficiently.

Found in the following foods

Fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals are good sources.


Diets with a sufficient fibre can help prevent cancer of the colon. Fibre is a part of the group of foods called Carbohydrates

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