Carbohydrates and exercise


The carbohydrates are summarized as a compound of carbon with hydrates. The carbohydrates are differentiated into:

  1. Simple sugars (Monosaccharides): Glucose, fructose, galactose e.g. glucose
  2. Double sugar (Dissaccharides): Maltose, sucrose, lactose e.g. Beet sugar
  3. Polysaccharides (Oligiosaccharides): consisting of 3-10 monosaccharides e.g. Energy drinking in sports, toast
  4. Polysaccharides (Polysaccharides): Starch, cellulose e.g. Potatoes, pasta, rice

The Polysaccharides consist of compounds sometimes more than 100,000 monosaccharide molecules. The most important polysaccharides include vegetable starch, which is found in both Potatoes, as well as in Cereal products is available. The animal strength (Glycogen) is mainly in the Musculature included, but plays in the nutrition hardly a role. However, glycogen plays an important role as an energy store. Cellulose cannot be broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. You can find more information on this topic here:

  • carbohydrates
  • Nutritional supplement


The vegetable starch is in Intestines, but also converted into individual sugar molecules starting in the mouth and in the form of Glycogen stored, or by blood to organs, especially Musculature transported and burned as needed or also stored as glycogen. The brain meets the need carbohydrates exclusively from glucose (glucose).


The human body has three options for storing carbohydrates. The carbohydrate store in the liver (approx. 75g.), The store in the muscle (approx. 300g) and the carbohydrate store in the blood (approx. 5g.). As already mentioned, carbohydrates are energy suppliers. The carbohydrates from the liver are required for organ functions. The blood sugar level is always kept constant, otherwise blood sugar disorders (Diabetes mellitus) arise. The carbohydrate stores in the liver and muscle can be enlarged through regular exercise. This means that the body has more energy available. This increase in memory is only due to the supply of the Polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates) possible. Simple sugars provide energy, but do not contain fiber or minerals and have an effect negative on the cholesterol level out. Thus, single and double sugars should Not make up more than 10% of your daily carbohydrate intake.

In order to be able to use the carbohydrates effectively, an interaction with other food components is necessary.

1. Potassium

  • Carbohydrates need potassium to be stored in the muscle. Potassium is mainly found in fruits, salads and vegetables. Endurance athletes should therefore always link their diet to these nutrients.

2. Liquid

  • In addition to potassium, sufficient fluid is necessary to be able to store the carbohydrates in the muscles. At least 2.5 liters should be drunk daily. Suitable liquids include water, herbal and fruit teas, fruit juice spritzers and other sports drinks. Coffee, black and green tea should always be consumed with a glass of water, as they have a diuretic effect and therefore do not provide optimal fluid.

3. Chromium

  • The trace element chromium improves the effectiveness of insulin and enables carbohydrates to be better absorbed by the muscles. Chrome acts as a lock opener. Chromium should be included in nutrients, especially in the morning.

4. Egg whites

  • Last but not least, high-quality proteins play an important role in carbohydrate intake. Protein improves the action of insulin and thus also enables an improved absorption of carbohydrates.

balanced nutrition


  • Pasta
  • rice
  • loaf
  • Potatoes
  • cereal


  • tomato sauce
  • vegetables
  • Tomatoes, peppers
  • Quark
  • fruit
  • cappuccino


  • Mushrooms
  • Edam, Gouda
  • Whole grain flakes
  • nuts
  • Almonds


  • cheese
  • Peas
  • Fish, meat
  • Beans
  • Eggs, cottage cheese
  • Milk, yogurt

The following topic "Carbohydrates table"gives you information about the carbohydrate content of certain foods.

During physical exertion

Carbohydrates play a particularly important role in medium and long-distance runners

For short-term maximum physical performance (approx. 20 muscle contractions) the required energy from the Creatine phosphates (KrP) won. Only after a load duration of more than approx. 8 seconds does the energy supply stop Carbohydrates. First anaerobic, without oxygen and then aerobic, with the consumption of oxygen. At Endurance exercise Above all, glycogen plays a decisive role. Approx. 15 grams of glycogen are available per kg of muscle. For a man weighing 80 kilos, this corresponds to approximately 500 grams of glycogen in the entire body. It is assumed that the body burns about 200 grams of carbohydrates when exercising for about 30 minutes. Since the glycogen stores are sufficiently full under normal conditions, it is not necessary to take in carbohydrates immediately before exercise. With prolonged exercise, however, the glycogen store plays a limiting role. Carbohydrates should either be in the form of monosaccharides during the competition and the glycogen stores should be adequately filled.