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Who needs carbs?


Active people! That's because carbohydrate-rich foods are the OPTIMUM FUEL FOR ENERGY.



The stored energy is called glycogen. Glycogen stored in the liver is used to maintain steady blood glucose levels for the body and brain. Glycogen stored in the muscle is used to provide fuel for the muscles. 


When we eat carbohydrate, it is converted into blood glucose and used for energy, or stored in the liver and muscle.

About 50-55% of a young person’s calorie intake should come from carbohydrate.

Carbo Charge!

See top GB pole vaulter, Lucy Bryan, cook up a carb-rich breakfast to fuel her for a heavy training session - #GoFaster cinnamon, apple & raisin porridge. Yum!

When people are active, the muscles burn a combination of CARBOHYDRATE, PROTEIN and FAT. This combination depends on the intensity and duration of your activity. The longer and higher the intensity of exercise, the higher proportion of carbohydrate will be used.

Cook something YUMMY with carbs!


Apple Power Pancakes with Spiced Apple Syrup


Athletes go SLOW!

Top 10 slow-release carbohydrates

1. Porridge oats 

A perfect mix of slow-release carbohydrate, protein and fibre, oats are the ultimate breakfast. 


3. Pasta

It's no wonder athletes eat lots of pasta! Any pasta, fresh or dried, is fabulous food for energy because it's low in fat and extremely high in carbohydrate. Wholewheat pasta is more nutritious as it contains more fibre, minerals and B vitamins than white pasta.


4. Rice

An excellent source of carbohydrate, rice also contains vitamin E, B vitamins and potassium. Brown rice contains more B vitamins, minerals and fibre than white rice. It takes longer to cook but it has a deliciously nutty flavour and is especially popular with endurance athletes.


2. Wholegrains

Wholegrain breads and unprocessed wholegrain cereals provide much more nutritional value than refined bread and cereals and will provide more sustained energy, as well as  fibre, vitamins and minerals, 

5. Egg noodles, couscous, quinoa

Tasty and quick to cook, these provide carbohydrate as well as a variety of important health-boosting nutrients.



6. Beans and lentils

Most lentils and pulses have a very low glycaemic index of less than 50. They are slow-release, low in fat and extremely nutritious, rich in carbohydrate, protein, B vitamins, fibre and minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc. Tinned baked beans provide great carbohydrate!



8. Fruit

Fruits like apples, cherries, bananas, pears, pineapples, mangoes are a good source of carbohydrate. 


7. Starchy vegetables

Beetroot, butternut squash, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes and sweet potatoes and yams are packed with nutrients and slow release carbohydrate. Note that chips and baked potatoes are fast-release carbohydrates so will not sustain energy levels so well.


9. Malt loaf and flapjacks

Some cakes can provide very good energy!


10. Dried fruit

Dried fruits like raisins and apricots make sustaining and nutritious snacks.







Slow-release carbs are released SLOWLY into the bloodstream. These are called Low Glycaemic Index (G.I.) carbohydrates.


They help sustain:


  • MOOD 




They also reduce:




**Slow-release carbs are generally unrefined, providing more vitamins, minerals and fibre, or 'nutrient-rich'

calories than refined carbs.**


   **Our diet should be made up of around 55-60% slow-release carbohydrates -



Carbo Charge!

Carbs for SPORT?

Some carbohydrate is digested more rapidly into the bloodstream than others 







Fast release (high G.I.) carbs give FAST ENERGY but it is 



High G.I. carbohydrates (fast-release) –  are RELEASED RAPIDLY into the bloodstream.


Fast-release carbs :


  • ENCOURAGE THE BODY TO PRODUCE 'INSULIN' which can lead to type 2 diabetes 

  • ARE OFTEN REFINED, providin fewer nutrients than unrefined carbs

  • are QUICKLY DIGESTED, to help muscles during exercise or to recover after exercise (best consumed within 15 minutes of finishing excercise - the MAGIC WINDOW!).


Research shows that increased consumption of refined fast-release carbohydrates is one of the major causes of obesity. These are foods like: high-sugar fizzy drinks, sweets, ice-cream, processed sugary cereals, white bread, pastries, white, short grain rice, biscuits, cakes, chips,







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