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The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for
the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as
energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic
Foods containing carbohydrate are in the grains, fruit, and milk groups. Vegetables have a small
amount of carbohydrate.
After carbohydrate is eaten, it is broken down into smaller units of sugar (including glucose, fructose
and galactose) in the stomach and small intestine. These small units of sugar are absorbed in the small
intestine and then enter the bloodstream where they travel to the liver. Fructose and galactose are
converted to glucose by the liver. Glucose is the carbohydrate transported by the bloodstream to the
various tissues and organs, including the muscles and the brain, where it will be used as energy.

Carbohydrate spares the use of protein as an energy source. When
carbohydrate consumption is inadequate, protein is broken down to make glucose to maintain a
constant blood glucose level. However, when proteins are broken down they lose their primary role as
building blocks for muscles. In addition, protein breakdown may result in an increased stress on the
kidneys, where protein byproducts are excreted into the urine.
Finally, glucose is essential for the central nervous system. The brain primarily uses glucose as its
energy source, and a lack of glucose can result in weakness, dizziness, and low blood glucose
(hypoglycemia). Reduced blood glucose during exercise decreases performance and could lead to
mental as well as physical fatigue.
Carbohydrates in the Body
All living cells contain glucose. For glucose to enter the cells it needs help from a hormone called
insulin. Insulin acts as gatekeeper and is released once carbohydrate is ingested. It signals the cells to
absorb the glucose. The glucose is then used for energy, stored in the liver and the muscles as
glycogen, or stored as fat.

Glycogen stores are essential
for athletic performance, because they serve as an energy reservoir when blood glucose levels are
decreased due to high intensity exercise or inadequate carbohydrate intake. Glycogen stores become
depleted as the intensity and duration of the exercise increases. It is imperative for the athlete,
whether a sprinter or endurance athlete, to restore glycogen by consuming carbohydrate on a regular

With the high carbohydrate diet (red line). Lipids are an important component of living cells. neutral fats. 90-110 grams as liver glycogen. Eat more fruit.) glycogen stores can last as long as 90 minutes. and K). waxes and steroids (like cortisone). These include neutral fats. and chloroform. Nonhydrolyzable lipids lack such functional groups and include steroids and fat-soluble vitamins (e. Fats and oils are composed of triacylglycerols or triglycerides. When the body needs more glucose than is available in bloodstream to support energy demands. glycogen stores are used to raise blood glucose levels. For low intensity exercise (distance running etc. Together with carbohydrates and proteins. it is important to optimize glycogen stores before exercise and replenish them after exercise. The diagram below shows the impact of diet on muscle glycogen content throughout 3 days with 2 hour training bouts (indicated by the dotted lines) daily." (Please see the various meanings of fat. E.g. D. waxes. Athletes were divided into two groups. phospholipids forming cell membrane components etc. chloroform and acetone. Glycogen stores are optimized by consuming a high carbohydrate diet (~60% of total kcal from carbohydrates). Triglycerides are found in blood tests. These are composed of glycerol (1.2. approximately 400 grams are stored as muscle glycogen. Of this. it is important to note that the glycogen stored in muscle is used directly by that muscle during exercise. phospholipids. How quickly glycogen stores might be depleted depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise. LIPIDS Lipid: Another word for "fat. glycogen stores can provide energy for approximately 20 minutes. In contrast. Lipids are molecules that can be extracted from plants and animals using nonpolar solvents such as ether. ether. it cannot borrow glycogen from other resting muscles. They serve as a source of fuel and are an important constituent of the structure of cells. Fatty acids Fatty acids are long chain carboxylic acids (typically 16 or more carbon atoms) which may or may not contain carbon-carbon double bonds. Oleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in nature. . and 25 grams circulate in the blood as glucose. For diet recommendations see Pre/During/Post game meal. Hydrolyzable/Non-hydrolyzable lipids Lipids that contain a functional group ester are hydrolysable in water. Compound lipids (lipids complexed with another type of chemical compound) comprise the lipoproteins. lipids are the main constituents of plant and animal cells. the low carbohydrate diet (black line) did not replenish the glycogen and subsequent bouts of training decreased glycogen stores progressively. and grains to include more carbohydrate in the diet. For prolonged high intensity exercise. Fats (and the fatty acids from which they are made) belong to this group as do other steroids.) A lipid is chemically defined as a substance that is insoluble in water and soluble in alcohol. A well-nourished adult can store approximately 500 grams or 2000 kcal of carbohydrates. glycogen levels were almost completely replenished after each training bout. However. and glycolipids. Lipids include fatty acids.3-trihydroxypropane) and 3 fatty acids to form a triester. The number of carbon atoms are almost always an even number and are usually unbranched. Because glycogen is readily used as fuel source during exercise. Lipids are easily stored in the body. glycolipids and phospholipids. one receiving a low carbohydrate diet and the other a high carbohydrate diet.basis. Complete hydrolysis of triacylglycerols yields three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. A. Glycogen stores are a readily available source of energy to support the demands of physical activity and exercise. Athletes on the low carbohydrate diet most likely had very little energy in the final 2-hour exercise bout. vegetables. Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids.

Depending on the membrane’s location and role in the body. There are in addition numerous biosynthetic pathways to both break down and synthesize lipids in the body. oils are mainly present in plants and sometimes in fish. Lipids also form the structural components of cell membranes and form various messengers and signalling molecules within the body. Cholesterol. Image Credit: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Waxes/fats and oils These are esters with long-chain carboxylic acids and long-alcohols. There are. however. Unsaturated fats assume a particular geometry that prevents the molecules from packing as efficiently as they do in saturated molecules. Fat is the name given to a class of triglycerides that appear as solid or semisolid at room temperature. Those that have two or more double bonds are called polyunsaturated. some essential lipids that need to be obtained from the diet. Mono/poly unsaturated and saturated Those fatty acids with no carbon-carbon double bonds are called saturated. which is not found in plant cells. lipids can make up anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of the membrane. Saturated fats are typically solids and are derived from animals. while unsaturated fats are liquids and usually extracted from plants. Oils are triglycerides that appear as a liquid at room temperature. Thus the boiling points of unsaturated fats is lower. fats are mainly present in animals. is a type of lipid that helps stiffen the membrane. Synthesis and function of lipids in the body Lipids are utilized or synthesized from the dietary fats. The main biological functions of lipids include storing energy as lipids may be broken down to yield large amounts of energy. Oleic acid is monounsaturated. with the remainder being proteins. Nucleic acids .The membrane that surrounds a cell is made up of proteins and lipids.

Nucleic acids. and a nitrogenous base. a phosphate group. the polymer is DNA. or large biomolecules. which include DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). If the sugar is ribose. each are found in abundance in all living things. or the order of nucleotides within a DNA or RNA molecule. the polymer is RNA. nucleic acids are the most important biological macromolecules. where they function in encoding. essential for all known forms of life.[2] Nucleic acids are biopolymers. . showing the helices and nucleobases each employs. are made from monomers known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide has three components: a 5-carbon sugar. The Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher discovered nucleic acids (DNA) in 1869. information is conveyed through the nucleic acid sequence. If the sugar is deoxyribose. Strings of nucleotides strung together in a specific sequence are the mechanism for storing and transmitting hereditary. or genetic information via protein synthesis. transmitting and expressing genetic information—in other words. he raised the idea that they could be involved in heredity.A comparison of the two principal nucleic acids: RNA (left) and DNA (right).[1] Later. Together with proteins.

In most cases. mitochondrial DNA and chloroplast DNA are usually circular double-stranded DNA molecules.[18] and. Transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules contain a particularly large number of modified nucleosides. a pentose sugar. chloroplasts. and form a foundation for genome and forensic science. The substructure consisting of a nucleobase plus sugar is termed a nucleoside. nucleic acid structures with three or four strands can form. single-stranded RNA and DNA molecules are not constrained to a regular double helix. through the use of enzymes[13] (DNA and RNA polymerases) and by solid-phase chemical synthesis. but usually not both. For example. cytosine. The nucleobases are joined to the sugars via an N-glycosidic linkage involving a nucleobase ring nitrogen (N-1 for pyrimidines and N-9 for purines) and the 1' carbon of the pentose sugar ring. Also. and for the presence of phosphate groups (related to phosphoric acid).[10] All living cells contain both DNA and RNA (except some cells such as mature red blood cells). Nucleic acids were named for their initial discovery within the nucleus. while viruses contain either DNA or RNA. [20] Topology Double-stranded nucleic acids are made up of complementary sequences. bacterial chromosomes.[14] for example peptide nucleic acids. the nucleobases found in the two nucleic acid types are different: adenine.[3] Experimental studies of nucleic acids constitute a major part of modern biological and medical research. a phosphate group. the carbons to which the phosphate groups attach are the 3'-end and the 5'-end carbons of the sugar.Nucleic acids were discovered by Friedrich Miescher in 1869.[21] In contrast. but both circular and branched molecules can result from RNA splicing reactions. Non-standard nucleosides are also found in both RNA and DNA and usually arise from modification of the standard nucleosides within the DNA molecule or the primary (initial) RNA transcript. Molecular composition and size[15] Nucleic acids are generally very large molecules. and the ends of nucleic acid molecules are referred to as 5'-end and 3'-end.[7] Nucleic acid sequences Main article: Nucleic acid sequence . Indeed. nucleic acids are now known to be found in all life forms as well as some nonliving entities. [9] Although first discovered within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. and may occur as linear and circular molecules.[12] Nucleic acids are also generated within the laboratory.[19] Nucleic acids are linear polymers (chains) of nucleotides. members of a family of biopolymers. and a phosphate group. including within bacteria. as well as a wide range of complex tertiary interactions. mitochondria.[15] In conventional nomenclature.[8] and is synonymous with polynucleotide. The chemical methods also enable the generation of altered nucleic acids that are not found in nature. naturally occurring DNA molecules are double-stranded and RNA molecules are singlestranded. Each nucleotide consists of three components: a purine or pyrimidine nucleobase (sometimes termed nitrogenous base or simply base). single-stranded molecules.[4][5][6] Occurrence and nomenclature[7] The term nucleic acid is the overall name for DNA and RNA. in which extensive WatsonCrick base pairing results in a highly repeated and quite uniform double-helical three-dimensional structure. archaea. and can adopt highly complex three-dimensional structures that are based on short stretches of intramolecular base-paired sequences that include both Watson-Crick and noncanonical base pairs. This gives nucleic acids directionality. DNA molecules are probably the largest individual molecules known.[11] Most RNA molecules are linear. as well as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. plasmids. Nucleic acid types differ in the structure of the sugar in their nucleotides–DNA contains 2'-deoxyribose while RNA contains ribose (where the only difference is the presence of a hydroxyl group). while thymine occurs in DNA and uracil occurs in RNA. [22] Nucleic acid molecules are usually unbranched. while chromosomes of the eukaryotic nucleus are usually linear double-stranded DNA molecules. Well-studied biological nucleic acid molecules range in size from 21 nucleotides (small interfering RNA) to large chromosomes (human chromosome 1 is a single molecule that contains 247 million base pairs[16]). in some circumstances.[17] There are numerous exceptions. however—some viruses have genomes made of doublestranded RNA and other viruses have single-stranded DNA genomes. and a nucleobase. and guanine are found in both RNA and DNA. [11] The basic component of biological nucleic acids is the nucleotide. The sugars and phosphates in nucleic acids are connected to each other in an alternating chain (sugarphosphate backbone) through phosphodiester linkages. viruses and viroids. each of which contains a pentose sugar (ribose or deoxyribose).

bases). many other classes of RNA are now known. These two strands run in opposite directions to each other and are. and directly enable cognition. Messenger RNA acts to carry genetic sequence information between DNA and ribosomes. plants. Likewise. Within cells DNA is organized into long structures called chromosomes.and locked nucleic acid. messenger RNA (mRNA). The DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. In addition.ncbi. During cell division these chromosomes are duplicated in the process of DNA replication. therefore. and protists) store most of their DNA inside the cell nucleus and some of their DNA in organelles. These compact structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins. molecular assemblies.[1] In contrast. the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI. Each of these is distinguished from naturally occurring DNA or RNA by changes to the backbone of the molecule . organs and organisms. Eukaryotic organisms (animals. directing protein synthesis. Transfer RNA serves as the carrier molecule for amino acids to be used in protein synthesis. memory and behavior (See: Genetics). antiparallel. Ribosomal RNA is a major component of the ribosome. helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed. The three universal types of RNA include transfer RNA (tRNA). Attached to each sugar is one of four types of molecules called nucleobases (informally. Artificial nucleic acid analogs Main article: Nucleic acid analogues Artificial nucleic acid analogs have been designed and synthesized by chemists. fungi.nlm. such as mitochondria or chloroplasts. Nucleotide sequences are of great importance in biology since they carry the ultimate instructions that encode all biological molecules.nih. chromatin proteins such as histones compact and organize DNA. other DNA sequences have structural purposes. It is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone that encodes information. morpholino. and catalyzes peptide bond formation. and include peptide nucleic acid. prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) store their DNA only in the cytoplasm. DNA is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life. The code is read by copying stretches of DNA into the related nucleic acid RNA in a process called transcription. Along with RNA and proteins. and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Within the chromosomes. and is responsible for decoding the mRNA. or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information.[23][24] and today hundreds of millions of nucleotides are sequenced daily at genome centers and smaller laboratories worldwide. as well as glycol nucleic acid and threose nucleic acid. providing each cell its own complete set of chromosomes. Ribonucleic acid Main article: RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) functions in converting genetic information from genes into the amino acid sequences of proteins. In addition to maintaining the GenBank nucleic acid sequence database. with backbones made of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds.One DNA or RNA molecule differs from another primarily in the sequence of nucleotides. This information is read using the genetic code. which specifies the sequence of the amino acids within proteins. subcellular and cellular structures. http://www. Enormous efforts have gone into the development of experimental methods to determine the nucleotide sequence of biological DNA and RNA molecules. DNA consists of two long polymers of simple units called nucleotides.gov) provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through the NCBI Web site [25] Types of nucleic acids Deoxyribonucleic acid Main article: DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms .

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