Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are polyhydroxy aldehydes (such as glucose) or ketones (such as fructose) constructed from carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen in a proportion that approximates that of a "hydrate of carbon", or CX(H2O)X. Carbohydrates in nutritional science are synonymous with saccharides, a group that includes sugars (mono- and di-) and starches (oligo- and poly-), and provides a useable source of Calories to the body.

Our evidence based analysis features 21 unique references to scientific papers.


Research analysis by and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Jun 15, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Carbohydrate

Q: Will carbs make me fat?

A: They can if you eat more calories than you should be eating, which is definitely a concern as carbohydrates are disconnected from the sensation of fullness in some people (preceding overeating). Inherently though, carbs do not cause more fat gain than the caloric load suggests

Read full answer to "Will carbs make me fat?"


Q: Is it better to do aerobic exercise fasted?

A: Fasted cardio uses more fatty acids while exercising, but over the long term has negligible fat loss benefits. Fasted vs fed has little effect on performance except when nearing maximal effort.

Read full answer to "Is it better to do aerobic exercise fasted?"


Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Via HEM and FAQ:

  1. Hellerstein MK. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects. Eur J Clin Nutr. (1999)
  2. Hellerstein MK. No common energy currency: de novo lipogenesis as the road less traveled. Am J Clin Nutr. (2001)
  3. McDevitt RM, et al. De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr. (2001)
  4. Schwarz JM, et al. Short-term alterations in carbohydrate energy intake in humans. Striking effects on hepatic glucose production, de novo lipogenesis, lipolysis, and whole-body fuel selection. J Clin Invest. (1995)
  5. Sofer S, et al. Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner. Obesity (Silver Spring). (2011)
  6. Cornier MA, et al. The effects of exercise on the neuronal response to food cues. Physiol Behav. (2012)
  7. Deighton K, Zahra JC, Stensel DJ. Appetite, energy intake and resting metabolic responses to 60 min treadmill running performed in a fasted versus a postprandial state. Appetite. (2012)
  8. Trabelsi K, et al. Effects of fed- versus fasted-state aerobic training during Ramadan on body composition and some metabolic parameters in physically active men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2012)
  9. Stannard SR, et al. Adaptations to skeletal muscle with endurance exercise training in the acutely fed versus overnight-fasted state. J Sci Med Sport. (2010)
  10. Van Proeyen K, et al. Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state. J Appl Physiol. (2011)
  11. Achten J, Jeukendrup AE. The effect of pre-exercise carbohydrate feedings on the intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. J Sports Sci. (2003)
  12. Van Proeyen K, et al. Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet. J Physiol. (2010)
  13. Bennard P, Doucet E. Acute effects of exercise timing and breakfast meal glycemic index on exercise-induced fat oxidation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. (2006)
  14. Barwell ND, et al. Individual responsiveness to exercise-induced fat loss is associated with change in resting substrate utilization. Metabolism. (2009)
  15. De Bock K, et al. Effect of training in the fasted state on metabolic responses during exercise with carbohydrate intake. J Appl Physiol. (2008)
  16. Schisler JA, Ianuzzo CD. Running to maintain cardiovascular fitness is not limited by short-term fasting or enhanced by carbohydrate supplementation. J Phys Act Health. (2007)
  17. Sheffield-Moore M, et al. Postexercise protein metabolism in older and younger men following moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2004)
  18. Aerobic Exercise Training Increases Skeletal Muscle Protein Turnover in Healthy Adults at Rest.
  19. Van Proeyen K, De Bock K, Hespel P. Training in the fasted state facilitates re-activation of eEF2 activity during recovery from endurance exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. (2011)
  20. Kaul G, Pattan G, Rafeequi T. Eukaryotic elongation factor-2 (eEF2): its regulation and peptide chain elongation. Cell Biochem Funct. (2011)
  21. Harber MP, et al. Muscle protein synthesis and gene expression during recovery from aerobic exercise in the fasted and fed states. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. (2010)