CARBOHYDRATE IS A KEY ENERGY SOURCE DURING EXERCISE. FACTORS SUCH AS FED/METABOLIC STATE, DIET, TYPE, INTENSITY/ DURATION OF EXERCISE, AND TRAINING STATUS INFLUENCE ITS USE DURING EXERCISE AND WHETHER EXTERNAL (E.G., DIET), INTERNAL (E.G., MUSCLE OR LIVER GLYCOGEN), OR BLOOD SOURCES ARE USED. ALONG WITH HYDRATION, CARBOHYDRATE AVAILABILITY IS A PRIMARY FACTOR LEADING TO MUSCULAR OR CENTRAL FATIGUE. PROPER TIMING OF CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER EXERCISE CAN SUSTAIN PERFORMANCE AND OPTIMIZE RECOVERY. CARBOHYDRATE TYPE CAN INFLUENCE OSMOTIC, DIGESTIBILITY, GLYCEMIC, AND INSULINEMIC EFFECTS. THIS ARTICLE BRIEFLY REVIEWS THESE KEY CONCEPTS AND PROVIDES PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR APPLICATION TO ATHLETES.
1Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas; 2Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; and 3School of Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Robert Wildman is adjunct faculty in the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University.
Chad Kerksick is an assistant professor of Exercise Physiology and directs the Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Physiology Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science Department at the University of Oklahoma.
Bill Campbell is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida and is also the director of the Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory