Many biological terms are used and may be difficult to understand. I have written this article in the best way possible for all to understand. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions regarding this article and I’d be more than happy to assist you with answers.

The purpose of this article is to:
1. Explain why the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates (CHO) is important for low intensity (long duration) exercise.
2. Explain why the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates (CHO) is important in regards to fat loss.

Below is the biological process of what happens within the human cells when the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates is not met.

Carbohydrates is known as a sugar and is absorbed from food when it reaches the intestines. This sugar travels in the blood as glucose, however can also be stored in the human muscles and liver as glycogen. If you do not eat carbohydrates then you will have decreased carbohydrate/ glycogen stores which will decrease the rate of glycolysis. Glycolysis is the breakdown of glucose to pyruvic acid which is then converted to Acetyl-CoA and occurs in the cytoplasm of the cell. Hence, by decreasing the rate of glycolysis you will decrease the quantity of pyruvic molecules being made. So by decreasing the quantity of pyruvic molecules being made, we are now decreasing the quantity of “material” to make the intermediate substrates of the “krebs cycle”. The krebs cycle occurs in the mitochondrial matrix of the cell and is where energy is made from both carbohydrates and fats. Both carbohydrates and fats are converted to a substance known as Acetyl-CoA which goes through the krebs cycle to make energy. If there is a decreased quantity of “material” to make the intermediate substrates of krebs then the functional rate of krebs is inhibited. Now we mentioned before that krebs is where energy is made, so if the krebs cycle is inhibited then we can’t make energy.

So now your asking… “well how is this related to fat?”

A process known as lipolysis is the breakdown of fatty free acids into acetic acids. Acetic acid is converted to Acetyl-CoA which then needs to go through the krebs cycle so it can be converted to energy as i mentioned before. However since the krebs cycle is inhibited due to not eating enough carbohydrates, the Acetyl-CoA from fats has nowhere to go and therefore fat is not being burned and energy is not being made.

Having said all this, the quantity of energy being made from fat is dependent upon the rate of carbohydrate metabolism.

To explain the purposes again…
1. The main fuel used in low intensity (long duration) exercise is fats, and therefore carbohydrates is required in order to keep the krebs cycle active so fats can be processed into energy for this type of exercise.
2. In order to burn fat for fat loss, the fats need to go through the krebs cycle. So once again carbohydrates is needed to keep the krebs cycle active so fats can be burned for fat loss.


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