All food that we eat gives us energy. Why do we still feel fatigued, tired or lethargic after a certain sport. You might have noticed that you have slept well, trained well and consumed at least 2-3 litres of water in a day, but still, you have felt low in energy. This is due to low consumption of carbohydrates or wrong sources of carbohydrates. Most young athletes believe that in order to push yourself through the last 10 mins of the sport, you need to have a good amount of protein, but the truth is you also need to fuel yourself well. How do you fuel yourself well? 

By including the proper amount of carbohydrates in the diet.

Role of carbohydrate in the diet

When you eat a fruit or bread, it is broken down into glucose which is then used by our body as a readily available source of energy.  Carbohydrates are the most important form of fuel for exercise and sports activities and should make up about 50-60% of our daily food intake. Our body has the ability to store excess glucose in our liver in the form of glycogen. These glycogen stores are limited, so it is important to be fully fueled at the start of any exercise.  Depriving yourself or cutting down calories or restricting your intake of carbohydrates in your diet, may make you feel tired and not able to perform at your best. So, eating and including carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet will keep your stores fully charged.

Good sources of carbohydrates

Good sources of carbohydrate are whole grains, rice, wheat, barley, jowar, bread, fruits and vegetables.

The other carbohydrate sources that you need to steer clear from are processed and packaged foods such as biscuits, pizza, burger, namkeens and crackers.

When is the best time to include carbohydrates?

You need to make sure to include a good amount of carbohydrates pre and post training or a match to ensure that your energy levels are stable and also post training or match so that your glycogen stores can be replenished.

What happens with Glycogen deprivation?

  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Finding it difficult to think or concentrate
  • Unconscious 
  • Dizzy or light headache

Thus, it is very important that you focus on Carbohydrates as your main fuel for your body in order to avoid these symptoms and be on the top of your game.