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Ways To Increase Metabolism - The Carbohydrate Connection

Jun 3, 2008
To know more about metabolism one needs to know how the way in which the body utilizes and preserves energy. Energy is derived from the various food sources we consume. Foods have proteins, carbohydrates and fats in different levels and these are used by the body cells to create and store energy to perform various functions of the body. So, different food substances are required to maintain the metabolism at a healthy rate, but the proportion in which each one is consumed is still a matter of controversy.

However, carbohydrates are very important to keep the energy levels at a high rate. Carbohydrates are reduced to other forms of sugar like glucose, fructose and galactose that are taken up by the body cells and stored to be utilized as energy. Whatever glucose is not used up on an immediate basis is stored in the muscles as well as the liver as glycogen. If body has already stocked up the necessary glycogen, the excess gets converted to fat.

Glycogen helps in providing the required energy to carry out exercise of any form. So, whatever exercise program you are into you need glycogen to enable you to carry out these activities.

Carbohydrates are to be in the right proportions in your diet so that proteins in the body are not used up as energy source. If a person does not consume enough carbohydrates, protein reserves are utilized by the body to provide energy. Proteins are essential for improving muscle mass, skin, bones, hair, etc and utilizing proteins as energy source will have an effect on these tissues. Also, waste byproducts from proteins are tougher for the kidneys to eliminate. So, ensure that the carbohydrate intake in your diet is good to prevent problems to other organs of your body.

One has to keep in mind that for every gram of carbohydrate amounts to 4 calories. As told before, carbohydrates are converted into glycogen to be stored in the muscles and the excess gets converted to fat. There is a total amount of carbohydrate that can be stored in the muscles beyond which the levels get saturated.

This level is about 2000 carbohydrate calories for an average person but these figures can be changed by reduction and supplementing the reduced levels. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down and quickly burnt as energy. Complex carbohydrates take more time to be broken down and stored.

A few examples of sources of simple carbohydrates are energy drinks and fruits. Complex carbohydrates can be found in foods like bread, rice and pasta. Foods rich in starch and fiber also are a source of complex carbohydrates although humans cannot digest fiber and make use of it to provide energy. A few examples of foods rich in starch are cereals, whole grains and pasta. A few diseases that can crop up if there are any problems with the metabolism of carbohydrates are Diabetes Mellitus, Fructose intolerance, glycogen storage disease, lactose intolerance, etc.
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