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Basic Nutrients

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Any kind of physical activity, including sports, increases energy expenditure, making proper diet an absolute necessity for good performance. It is very important to have nutrient reserves to meet the demand during that period of activity. If reserves are all used up, the body cannot meet its needs and as a result fatigue and exhaustion sets in.

Carbohydrates and fats are the basic source of energy reserves. Proteins are very rarely used for that as they have more to do with tissue growth and repair.

Carbohydrate is the major nutrient to provide energy for exercise. Our body has two sources of carbohydrate reserves – The glucose in the circulating blood and the glycogen stored in muscles and liver.

For an active person the diet needs to provide about 60% of the total caloric intake in the form of complex carbohydrates, as they break down more slowly and help maintain blood sugar levels more evenly. Secondly, starches are more readily converted to glycogen to maintain this reserve store.