Many pre-workout supplements have a particularly large amount of carbohydrates (CHO) in their formula. While sugars provide a favorable taste for these workout supplements, they offer a function beyond flavor. Many carbohydrates are broken down in the body by multiple enzymes such as alpha amylase, to produce single glucose monomers.
The glucose is then transported from the intestine into the blood using GLUT transporters. Glucose can then be incorporated into the metabolic pathway known as glycolysis. This is an intricate 10 step process which ultimate leads to the production of about 3 ATP per 1 glucose molecule. ATP is primary source of energy for many of the body`s functions.
An additional product of glycolysis is acetyl-CoA which is incorporated into each cell`s primary fat burning mechanism, the Krebs Cycle. Carbohydrates are absolutely necessary to keep this cycle efficient and supply the body with adequate ATP.
Furthermore, carbohydrates are the most efficient form of energy for the human body. Efficiency of an energy sources is calculated by the ATP to oxygen ratio. CHOs have a higher ATP per oxygen ratio than fats, meaning less exertion is needed on your end to produce ATP from CHOs, hence their inclusion in many pre-workout supplements.
When picking a pre-workout supplement, these are the finer details one must consider to get the most out of their exercise.