Carbohydrate Intake for Adolescents Student Athletes

Essay by mambueUniversity, Master'sB+, May 2009

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Carbohydrate (CHO) is the body's main fuel for high intensity activity. CHO is stored in the liver and in the muscles in the form of glycogen. This amounts to about 100 grams. But even this capacity could vary based on the quantity of glycogen broken down from the supply of blood glucose and the amount of glucose supplied to the liver after food intake. Muscle and liver glycogen levels are fairly small and become lower during physical activity. When the quantity of CHO becomes lower, so does the energy level. At this point, fatigue could quickly boost altering the energy level, the intensity of the exercise, and even the outcome of the practice or competition. Based on the readings and comparison between peer-reviewed research articles, my athlete performing an average weekly training, should ingest 5 to 7 g/kg/day of CHO (1). If the athlete would be involved in endurance training, it would be recommended that he would ingest 9-10 grams CHO/kg of body weight per day to restore and maintain muscle glycogen levels.

Young athletes engaging in endurance physical activities such as cycling should employ a diet in which at least 60% of the total energy is supplied by carbohydrate (1, 3, 4). Because I mainly work with juniors, and in particular adolescents, I did some research on CHO intake for the pediatric population. My athlete is a 17 years old male, about 5’10’’ weighting about 170 pounds. Recent studies show that junior athletes should ingest between 6 and 9 g/kg/day per day if males and between 3-5.5 if females. A study by Leblanc et al. (2002) on adolescents’ soccer players was conducted in a 3 year period in which the young athletes were tested during their growth from 13 to 16 years of age. The usual daily CHO intake...