To boost one’s energy level, a suitable nutrition plays a vital role. Foods serve as fuel that enables the body to keep on going. What foods are recommended for energy build up? Foods that contain nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are also called as energy nutrients.
Carbohydrates are major sources of energy in a diet. They can be monosaccharide, disaccharide, complex polysaccharide, and fiber. Monosaccharide is the basic unit of carbohydrates that includes glucose, also known as blood sugar; fructose, the most concentrated form of sugar usually derived from fruits; and galactose, derived from milk sugar. Disaccharides are usually just a combination of two monosaccharides. Examples are maltose, a combination of two glucose; sucrose, from glucose and fructose; and lactose, from glucose and galactose. Complex polysaccharides may include glycogen, an animal starch usually stored in the body, which is found in the liver and muscles. It helps in regulating the maintenance of glucose levels in the blood. Starches that provide carbohydrates include grains, cereals, breads, pasta, and legumes. Fibers are primarily considered as plant starch. They only add bulk, but do not provide energy. A healthy adult may take 50 – 100 mg per day of simple carbohydrates, 55 – 60% of calories per day of complex carbohydrates, and 20 – 35 g of fibers per day.
Next are proteins. Proteins have a wide range of functions in the body, including regulation of fluids, tissue repair and integrity, and a lot more. Common sources of proteins include animal sources, eggs, soy products, added proteins to processed foods such as casein and gelatin, and amino acids added to foods like aspartame and monosodium glutamate.
The third energy nutrients are fats. There are three types of fats: fatty acids, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are mostly derived from animals. Intake should be limited to prevent incidence of heart disease. On the contrary, unsaturated fats, which are from plant origin, and essential fatty acids are good for the heart. Food sources may include fish oils, fatty fish, cooking oil, vegetable oil, and margarine.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are converted into energy by many enzymatic actions. Both proteins and carbohydrates provide 4 kcal/g of energy, and fats provide 9 kcal/g of energy.