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Biological Chemicals and Their Role in Sport

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Scientific Principles for Sport and Exercise Biological Chemicals and Their Role in Sport In order for our bodies to stay healthy there are seven key nutrients which we should involve in our every day diet. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates (CHO) are important to our bodies as they give us energy for our working muscles. They are named carbohydrates due to their characteristic content of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen with the general formula of Cx(H2O)6. The liver turns carbohydrates into glucose and this is used by the body for energy. Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice and cereal; these are known as complex carbohydrates. CHO can also be found in sugary foods such as confectionary which includes food stuffs such as lollipops, sweets and chocolate; these are known as simple carbohydrates. Simple CHOs are easily digested by the body which gives us a very fast energy release, which can be known as a 'hit'. This is because straight after digestion it appears in the circulatory system in the form of glucose, it goes straight to the cells to be used as energy. As the molecules are small they can be metabolized quickly therefore producing the quickest form of energy. Complex CHOs are larger molecules and they can only be broken down by using the enzyme amylase, which is found in the salivary glands and the pancreas. This means that it takes longer for all the complex CHOs to be metabolized so energy is released slowly and lasts for longer periods of time. Carbohydrates have different structures depending on if it is a monosaccharide, disaccharide or a polysaccharide. (A) Monosaccharides They are a group of sweet, soluble, crystalline molecules which are the simplest forms of carbohydrates and the basic building blocks for other saccharides. They are monomers and are considered monosaccharides if they have about 5 or 6 carbons within them. The 3 most common types of monosaccharides follow the formula of, C6H12O6 and are known as: * Glucose - 'blood sugar', this is an immediate source of energy for cellular respiration, which can be in a ring or chain formed structure. ...read more.


The brain and the nervous system also rely a lot of EFAs as they also produce hormone-like substances that help regulate our body's blood pressure; additionally they help prevent blood clotting and help the immune system. (C) It is very important that an athlete includes fat in their diet; this is because after about 20 minutes of intense aerobic training, our carbohydrate reserve starts to deplete, when this happens we start using our fat store which acts as an almost endless supply of fuel, (energy). Aerobic training increases the body's ability to use fat as fuel rather than use up all of our glycogen stores. The amount of fat an athlete stores or requires in their body depends upon the sport that they compete in and their natural body physique. Trained athletes can use fat as energy much more quickly than an untrained one; however when they start to use fat as fuel depends upon the duration of the event and the condition that the athlete is in. It is believed that fat can contribute up to 75% of the energy in demand during a pro-longed aerobic workout. Both athletes and all individuals should consume no more than 30% of calories from fat a day, with less than 10% of this coming from saturated fats. This tends to mean that a woman's recommended daily allowance, RDA, of fat should be about 76g and a man's should be about 100g. (D) Proteins Protein is an essential nutrient within our diet; it is needed for a number of functions the main one being growth and repair of muscles and tissues. It is also used for other purposes including: * Structural integrity of cells and growth of the body. * Formation of enzymes, digestive juices, haemoglobin and hormones. * Protection of the body against infection. * Help transport oxygen, nutrients and drugs. * Production of milk proteins during lactation. ...read more.


* Iron can be found in, meats (especially red meats e.g. beef), tuna, salmon, eggs, beans, dried fruits, leafy vegetables and whole/enriched foods such as wheat or oats. * Potassium can be found in food such as, bananas, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans, lentils and dried fruits. * Zinc can be found mainly in, beef, pork, lamb, lentils, beans, and peanuts. http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/minerals.html 18th October 2006 * Vitamins - Every single vitamin we consume has a special requirement within the body, like with minerals they are found in a variety of foods. Some of the most common vitamins which you will have probably heard of are, Vitamin D - required to keep bones healthy, Vitamin A - required to protect the surface linings of the eyes and respiratory tracts, Vitamin E - a powerful antioxidant and can help with keeping diseases away and certain cancers, Vitamin C - is used for a number of functions including healing of any cuts, strengthening bones and teeth and building resistance to infections. Different vitamins can be found from different sources some of the most common ones are; * Vitamin A - eggs, liver, fortified cereals, orange and green vegetables, apricots, peaches, mangos and many more. * Vitamin C - red berries, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, juices such as grapefruit and orange, kiwifruit and red and green peppers. * Vitamin D - Manufactured by our bodies when sunlight gets on our skin. However can also be found in foods such as, egg yolks, fish oils and fortified foods like milk. * Vitamin E - Vegetable oils, nuts, leafy green vegetables and whole grains. http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/vitamin.html 18th October 2006 * Fiber - This is a nutrient that our bodies cannot digest however, they are very important in helping us remove food quickly from our bodies by keeping the colon smooth. Fiber can be found in many foods including, fruits, vegetables, dry beans and peas, nuts, seeds, breads and cereals. Google - definition of Fiber. 18th October 2006 Joanna Davies BTEC National IB09 Diploma Sports & Exercise Science 1 ...read more.

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