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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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carbohydrates as an energy source
Posted by: Terry
Date: July 23, 2004 6:22 PM

How long does it take for low-fiber complex carbs such as grains to become an useable energy source? This question really relates to carbo-loading for distance running, and trying to consume the appropriate type of carb at the appropriate time to realize energy benefits. So, I will use this information to decide whether my "carbo-load" is best done 12, 24, or 36 hours prior to a distance run.

RE: carbohydrates as an energy source
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 26, 2004 1:36 AM

Conversion to glucose begins within minutes and as the glucose flows into the blood the pancreas begins to churn out insulin to keep the glucose level within the normal range Providing you are not diabetic, this works well. So, glucose is driven into the cells. Some of these cells are located in the liver and the liver handles a load of glucose by storing it as a kind of starch called glycogen. It is on these glycogen stores that the long distance runner draws on to keep glucose flowing into the muscles and thus to keep running. These stores are ordinarily exhausted by 19 miles of running and that is when runners "hit the wall." At that time a runner must either start walking or consume sugar in some form. In the interest of your long term health, I urge you not to do this kind of running. It will age you prematurely and slowly destroy the integrity of your spine, hips, knees, ankles. I suggest you find some other way to get your endorphin rush if you plan to live past 50 and don't want to have a big pain syndrome.



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