Food and drink sources of energy

How is energy produced? To put it simply, carbohydrates break down into sugars that form ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) – molecules paramount in metabolism. Simple sugars break down more quickly and easily. More complex carbs take longer to break down and therefore provide the body with an adequate supply of compounds required to produce ATP. That is why sugars are not too bad for your diet because they are essential for producing energy. However, when consumed in excess and in unhealthy forms, sugars can lead to adverse health effects such as diabetes.

The human body has 4 methods to create ATP – units of energy. They vary depending on speed and whether they burn oxygen or not.

1. Aerobic Respiration (or cellular respiration). This is energy that your body requires just to live, for everyday activities and cardio exercises (like a long run). It is generated by a sugar burning process in the body’s cells known as aerobic respiration. In this process, cells uses oxygen to burn glucose and make ATP.

2. Anaerobic Respiration. This process occurs in the cytoplasm. It is effective for vigorous exercise of between 1 – 3 minutes, such as short sprints. In this process the body will partially burn glucose without oxygen (anaerobic).

3. Beta Oxidation/ Fat Burning (Aerobic Lipolysis). This is the slowest process. It is too slow to produce energy during exercise. The body uses this method when carbohydrates are not available.

4. ATP Phosphocreatine. This is the fastest source of energy. In this process the body relies on each cell’s small amount of energy which soon runs out. To create more energy the cells use creatine phosphates. This type of energy is used during short, sharp, explosive bursts of exercise (10 – 30 seconds).

This is how the processes work on the inside, and eating and drinking provide resources necessary for them to happen. Food and drink will not only build energy reserves but will also increase the benefits of endurance and energy gain during exercise. Read on if you train regularly but you are not sure what to eat and drink to produce enough necessary energy.

Meal of healthy dishes
Quote – A healthy and balanced diet will provide you with all the nutrients you need.

Hydration

It is crucial to stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. Intense workouts and various sports can lead to dehydration which can cause a decrease in physical and mental performance. What can you drink during physical activity?

  • Before an exercise you should drink a slightly sweet drink to regulate your blood sugar level.
  • During an exercise that lasts up to 3 hours you can drink mineral water. For a longer workout, drinks containing mineral salts are recommended. This kind of drink will help you replace losses associated with sweating. Magnesium is a great mineral which helps balance the level of electrolytes in your body. The Berocca Sport formula has been developed specifically to meet the needs of endurance athletes. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals – including magnesium, which contributes to normal electrolyte balance.
  • After exercise it is good to drink a mineral soda water rich in bicarbonates.

Food

What food can help you get the most out of your sport and fitness activities? A healthy and balanced diet will provide you with all the nutrients you need. A diet low in carbohydrates can lead to a lack of energy during exercise, loss of concentration, and delayed recovery.

Get the most of your sport activities

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Before a “quiet” exercise you should eat foods high in fat (oily fish, omelettes and dairy products). Before the race it is recommended to have slow sugars (pasta, rice or cereals).

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Maintain your energy reserves during the effort with quick sugar recalls (fruit paste, cereal bars, dried fruits or carbohydrate gel).

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After an exercise eat a meal consisting of starchy foods, white meat or fish and vegetables.

Food and drink should provide enough nutrients for your body to produce energy needed for everyday activities or exercise. However, if you are an active person or even an endurance athlete, you should consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements like Berocca Sports to your diet to get the most out of your training.

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