Alright, Let’s talk Sport Nutrition. It has been said that strength athletes require more carbohydrate (CHO) intake than endurance athletes and I support this idea.
Why do we need more CHO than other athletes?
Strength training primarily uses the ATP-PC and Glycolysis (CHO use as fuel) system instead of the Cellular respiration system because we usually exercise no longer than 5 min at the time.Alright, let’s quickly talk about those two systems:The ATP-PC system (really efficient energy factory, 36 calories/minutes)ATP and phosphocreatine (PC) compose the ATP-PC system, also sometimes called the Phosphogen system. It is immediate and functions without oxygen. It allows for up to approximately 15 seconds of maximum effort.
During the first few seconds of any activity, stored ATP supplies the energy. For a few more seconds beyond that, PC cushions the decline of ATP until there is a shift to another energy system, Glycolysis.Anaerobic Glycolytic System ( efficiency is so so, 16 calories/minutes)Now it becomes more complicated as energy demands shift to this system.
The glycolytic system is the “next in line” tool after the ATP-PC system runs its course.
CHO is the leading nutrient fuel for your body by supplying glucose which circulates in the blood ( known as blood sugar) or is stored as glycogen in the muscles and the liver. Blood glucose and/or or stored glycogen is broken down to create ATP through the process of glycolysis. This is why CHO’s are important for strength athletes.
It is no surprise that pastas, cereals, grains, fruits, vegetables, sport drinks, energy bars, and other types of CHO are the food of choice for us. The glycogen provided by CHO is the major source of fuel for working muscles. When CHO is in short supply, your muscles get tired and heavy. CHO, particularly in combination with protein and fat, is a vital nutrient that keeps yout brain and muscles powered for hard training and muscle building. CHO spares protein from being used as energy, and leaves protein free to do its main job: BUILD and REPAIR MUSCLES.