A quick overview on carbs for ELC-rower
Carbohydrates are generally categorized as simple or complex and are more specifically classified as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, or polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides include simple sugars such as fructose (fruit sugar), glucose (blood sugar), galactose, and ribose. These compounds are the only carbohydrates that can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining and have a more immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Simple sugars are building blocks to complex oligo- and polysaccharides, some of which can contain up to several hundred units of simple sugars.
Oligosaccharides include disaccharides such as lactose (milk sugar), maltose (malt sugar), sucrose (table sugar), trisaccharides (raffinose), and tetrasaccharides (stachyose). Some are non-digestible such as inulin and found naturally in foods.
Some are non-digestible oligosaccharides that serve as substrates, regulate metabolic pathways and even trigger hormone secretion. Inulin (known as fructooligosaccharides or FOS) is unique. Inulin is a naturally occurring complex carbohydrate, found in over 36,000 different plants worldwide and has been consumed for centuries by numerous cultures. It comes from such sources as artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions, and wheat. In the US, the majority of the average 2.6 grams consumed daily comes from wheat and onions. This amount, though, is simply not large enough to reap its numerous benefits which include, improved immune function, digestion, cardiovascular and circulatory function, as well as maintenance of cholesterol and improved mineral and amino acid absorption. Inulin decreases the rate of dietary carb conversion to fat, while simultaneously increasing glycogen production in the liver, It also inhibits lipogenesis, suppresses appetite, and increases metabolism by stoking metabolism (heat production) in response to food consumption.
Polysaccharides include starch and comprise approximately 90% of all naturally occurring carbohydrates. The main polysaccharides are glycogen, starches and fibers. In the human body, the main form of carbohydrate storage in the liver and muscle tissue is glycogen. It is readily converted to glucose as needed by the body for energy.
Starches are a naturally abundant nutrient carbohydrate. Starches are polymers of glucose and are primarily of plant origin, found chiefly in seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, and stem pith of plants, corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice. Starches are water soluble, tasteless, and lack defined shape or structure.
The glycemic index (GI) is a ratio, a calculation of how high your blood sugar rises in the 2 hours after you eat a high-carbohydrate food (in relation to a glucose standard that is 100, the maximum).