The process of eating is an important part of human body anatomy. For the reason that we need to know the digestion process so that we can understand more about the foods we consume.
The process for digestions is when food enters our mouth starts the digestion process starts immediately. When foods are eaten they have to be broken down into component nutrients, the breaking down of complex foods into a much simpler form, molecules which the body can then absorb and use for body building, ATP renewal and producing energy.
- Fats are converted into fatty acids and glycerol.
- Carbohydrates are converted to monosaccharides ( glucose, fructose and galactose).
- Proteins are converted to amino acids.
The way digestion happens
First food is broken up by the chewing, mixed with enzymes contained in saliva the breakdown process starts.
Once the food is swallowed it passes down the oesophagus to the stomach, on the way the food particles are mixed with the gastric juices, the whole mixture is churned to a thin acidic liquid.
Very little is absorbed through the stomach wall, only alcohol and fast absorbing drugs such as aspirin.
Amount of time food remains in the stomach can be very important, special for sportive people .
High fat meals will take longer to digest 3-4 hours rather than carbohydrate snacks 30 minutes , this will affect pre-event eating pattern.
The sports you are taking part in can also effect the amount of time you leave between eating and exercising.
For example, racing cyclists can manage to eat close to a high intensity exercise, because lack of body movement. Where runners can’t, because of the body movement.
Smoothies and shakes are great fuels for fitness, because most of the digestion process is already complete.
Your aim, is to have your stomach as empty as possible before you start exercising. This is so the blood is diverted to your muscles much quicker during intensive exercise and less energy is focused on the stomach.
The digestive process slows down your performance and any food left in the stomach will feel uncomfortable during the event.