Carbohydrate is the preferred fuel for exercise, but many people think carbohydrate is the fattening enemy. Carbohydrate is the only fuel that can be used for high-intensity training and competition and the stores of carbohydrate (glycogen) in the liver and muscle are limited. Diet and training status influence carbohydrate stores; diets containing sufficient carbohydrate combined with training can enhance glycogen storage. The current guidelines for carbohydrate intake for athletes are based on ensuring sufficient carbohydrate for training and competition based on body weight rather than a percentage of total calories. Glycemic index of a food or glycemic load of a meal may be a useful tool for choosing carbohydrates, but many other factors influence blood glucose response, so athletes are encouraged to choose carbohydrates that are palatable, nutrient-rich and well-tolerated.
The goal of this course is to identify how carbohydrate is stored, made available and used, leading to recommendations for dietary carbohydrate consumption by exercisers and especially by athletes seeking optimum performance. At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to —
- Explain the importance of carbohydrate as fuel during moderate and high-intensity exercise
- Describe the recommended carbohydrate intake based on training intensity and duration
- Discuss the limitation of using the glycemic index/load to provide guidelines for food intake around an exercise session.
PHOTO CREDIT: Yoann MORIN / Shutterstock.com
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including dietitians, health educators, and fitness professionals.
Dietitians: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at www.continuingeducation.com
. If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at lms.nurse.com
and search for this topic title.
Gannett Education is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider (#GD001) with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This course is a Level 2 course. Suggested CDR Learning Codes: 2000, 2070, 2110, 4000, 4060
Gannett Education is also accredited by the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition (provider # FBN 50-1489).
This course is approved for continuing education clock hours by the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM).