Just as the car needs fuel to run, our body needs energy during exercise. However, there are many doubts as to how best to obtain this energy to improve performance in training.
We can call energy the capacity that our body has to perform work, that is, to apply force or cause displacements. Its production depends on three substrates present in our food: carbohydrate, protein and fat.
Based on that, we can imagine three taps containing these components, open or inside our body. In this way, they are producing energy during exercise and throughout the day. These taps close and open a little more depending on the route used , that is, which food is ingested in greater quantity, and their control depends on the type of activity performed.
CARBOHYDRATE, PROTEIN OR FAT?
The combination of these nutrients in our diet improves both performance in physical activity and muscle recovery , thus helping with weight loss and muscle strengthening.
Normally, to get a good amount of energy during exercise, our diet requires 60% carbohydrates , 25% protein and the rest of fats . However, this amount varies according to the person, since depending on your training goal, the intake of each nutrient can change. This will depend on the volume of the practice, the intensity, its purpose and the time it is practiced.
In less intense practices, when less energy demand is required during exercise, fat predominates as fuel. This is because the metabolism of this nutrient is slower. As the intensity of energy increases, in the transition from light to moderate exercise and from this to intense exercise, the muscles divert the fuel to the carbohydrate , which has a faster metabolism. For this reason, the more intense the activity, the more carbohydrates should be ingested.
The protein is linked to muscle recovery after exercise. Her consumption in food prevents fatigue when working out and helps in the development of muscles.
HOW IT WORKS
The fat we eat is stored in the form of triglycerides in the adipose tissue and to be used it must be degraded, resulting in free fatty acids that are converted into energy for many bodily functions, such as muscle contraction.
Carbohydrate, in turn, is broken down in its simplest form: glucose, being released into the bloodstream to be immediately converted into energy in cells . This happens through a process known as glycogenesis. The extra glucose that is not needed is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscle tissue, making it more accessible compared to fat and protein.
This “energy” mentioned above is known as adenosine triphosphate ( ATP) . It contains a phosphate alloy that when broken, releases energy for any purpose the body needs. After ATP loses phosphate, it is called adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and this ADP enters the chemical reaction again, where it receives another energy-rich phosphate bond that converts it back to ATP. Active cells, such as muscle cells, normally contain high levels of ATP.
In energy production during exercise, different systems are used , and they do not work independently. For example: when a person is performing a high intensity workout, for example, he uses the path called glycolytic, using glucose as a substrate, since this system provides energy quickly. In this case, the oxidative system, in which it uses fat as a substrate, contributes a small part of the energy needed during the process.
HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISES
The speed at which our bodies use energy is called the metabolic rate which ranges from 1200 to 3000 kilo calories / day for individuals involved in normal daily activities. The practice of physical exercise increases the need for energy to much higher levels .
High-intensity activities promote an increase in the metabolic rate immediately after exercise, that is, during recovery. Its benefits are clear, because in addition to the energy expenditure being high at the time of exercise, we continue to spend energy after doing them . Thus, high intensity exercises, in addition to to metabolize more calories in total, use more absolute calories from fat metabolization, considering the same exercise time.
This type of activity will also use fat as an energy substrate during and / or after its completion. So don’t stop !!! The important thing is to eat the right foods and keep the balance negative, that is, spend more calories than you eat, so we will lose weight and achieve our goals.