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Calorimetry

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It Gets You Going

It Gets You Going

Credit: MJmerry
Source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7062/6773299702_89a9c15bac_b.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

It’s only 10:00 AM and you’re already slowing down. You need a quick boost, so you reach for an energy drink or an energy bar to pick you up. But what exactly is in that bar or drink? Do you really get energized or is this just a gimmick?

News You Can Use

  • The source of all biochemical energy is ATP. This molecule provides energy for all reactions in the body by breaking off a phosphate group and releasing chemical energy. ATP is formed by way of a very complicated set of reactions. The starting point for many of these reactions is a carbohydrate molecule.
  • Dietary sources of carbohydrates are complex sugars (starch) or disaccharides (sucrose or table sugar, lactose in milk). These sugars are digested in the small intestine and transported as glucose into the cells. Once inside the cell, the glucose is converted to materials that contribute to ATP formation.
  • Most energy bars and energy drinks have high carbohydrate content. The problem is that most of the carbohydrate is in the form of simple sugars such as sucrose. This form is easily digestible, but has the drawback of increasing blood glucose quickly. The rapid rise in blood glucose is followed by a fairly rapid drop which can make the sense of fatigue worse. This swift drop can also trigger migraine headaches in some people.
  • Credit: Faruk Ate?
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurafire/11184987736/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Energy bars typically found in a supermarket [Figure2]

     

  • Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and few minerals. They cannot be used for rehydration after heavy exercise.
  • Watch the video at the link below to learn how to make energy bars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v3PMDN6-xo

Can You Apply It?

Use the links below to learn more about energy bars and drinks. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the preferable form of carbohydrate for eating?
  2. What are three foods that should be in energy bars?
  3. What should be avoided in energy bars?
  4. List three problems associated with energy bars and drinks.

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: MJmerry; Source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7062/6773299702_89a9c15bac_b.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Faruk Ate?; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurafire/11184987736/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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