From Mouth to Muscles.
No, not that sort of "hot"...although, come to think of it...
You're hot - or maybe "warm" is more accurate - because whether you know it or not, every time you eat or drink, a number of systems in your body combine to act as an internal combustion engine and convert the chemical energy of what you consume into energy to sustain all bodily functions.
Assuming we eat three times a day; we all take over one thousand food related decisions a year. If we add two snacks a day in between our three main meals, this increases to eighteen hundred food related decisions.
That's a lot of decisions to take.
Understanding what our bodies need and how our bodies use the food we choose to eat and drink is a strong foundation for making the right nutritional choices to support our individual lifestyles.
A good place to start our understanding is with our digestive system...
From Mouth to Muscles...and Beyond
Carbohydrates Proteins and Lipids
The food we eat contains a mixture of fats - also called lipids; proteins and carbohydrates and they need to be digested before they can be absorbed. Mechanical digestion involves physically breaking down these macronutrients into smaller particles to more efficiently undergo the subsequent chemical digestion. The role of chemical digestion is to further breakdown the molecular structure of the ingested compounds by digestive enzymes into a form that is absorbable into the bloodstream.
Impressive huh? Bet you didn't know you had the energy to do all that, after that whopping Sunday roast ?
Sit tight, it gets even better...
After food enters the stomach, the stomach muscles go to work on it and convert it into a liquid called “chyme”, which then moves through to the small intestine .
The small intestine is a hive of activity - it's like your favourite gym in full flurry, the first day after a boozy three-day holiday weekend....The muscles of the small intestine mix food with digestive juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine and the walls of the small intestine absorb water and the digested nutrients into the bloodstream. This process continues in the large intestine where the remaining nutrients are absorbed, and digestion is finalised.
The digested nutrients in the bloodstream are now mainly in the form glucose - derived from the carbohydrates, amino acids - from the protein and fatty acids, derived from the lipids.
The blood carries these nutrients to the liver, where it stores, processes, and delivers nutrients via the bloodstream to the rest of the body when needed.
Y'Got Crazy Energy When You Exercise... Yeah
Ever wondered where your energy comes from? We're not talking about that Austin Powers "groovy energy" thing you've got going on, although it is rather fab....
We're talking about the energy you use in your workout or exercise .
Remember from the last section that by the time the nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream they are in simple compound form; glucose, amino acids and fatty acids? The bloodstream carries these nutrients to cells throughout the body; with glucose being the most important one for energy.
Glycogen, Liver and Muscles
As our body's main source of energy is glucose, it makes sense that the body can store it for when needed and it does so in the form of glycogen.
Glycogen is stored mainly in the muscle and liver and our muscles use it for energy when we’re physically active by converting it into a substance called adenosine triphosphate; ATP to us mere mortals.
What is ATP?
ATP is the body's 'energy currency' and is made in every cell in the body by the breakdown of glycogen. The body needs a continuous supply of ATP for energy, whether the energy is needed for lifting weights, walking, eating DuelFuel, thinking or even texting. It's also the unit of energy that fuels metabolism, the biochemical reactions that support and maintain life.
Our body uses three energy systems to keep cells supplied with necessary ATP to fuel our crazy-baby energy needs....yeah .
For short and intense movement lasting less than ten seconds, the body mainly uses the ATP-PC, or creatine phosphate system. This system is anaerobic, which means it does not use oxygen. The ATP-PC system utilizes the relatively small amount of ATP already stored in muscles for this immediate energy source. When the body's supply of ATP is depleted, which occurs in a matter of seconds, additional ATP is formed from the breakdown of phosphocreatine (PC), an energy compound found in in muscle.
Lactic Acid System
The lactic acid system, also called the anaerobic glycolysis system, produces energy from glycogen stored in muscle and can do so with or without oxygen. When little or no oxygen is available, the series of reactions that transforms glucose into ATP causes lactic acid to be produced, in an effort to make more ATP. The lactic acid system fuels relatively short periods - a few minutes - of high-intensity muscle activity, but the accumulation of lactic acid can contribute to fatigue and a burning sensation in the muscles, so if you're " feeling the burn ", you'll know your lactic acid system is up and running well.
This is the big one, as it provides most of the body's ATP.
The aerobic system produces ATP as energy is released from the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids. In the presence of oxygen, ATP can be formed through glycolysis. This system also involves the Krebs or tricarboxylic acid cycle - a series of chemical reactions that generate energy in the mitochondria - the power plant inside the body cells. The complexity of this system, along with the fact that it relies heavily on the circulatory system to supply oxygen, makes it slower to act compared to the ATP-PC or lactic acid systems. The aerobic system supplies energy for body movement lasting more than just a few minutes, such as long periods of work or endurance activities. This system also provides ATP to fuel most of the body's energy needs not related to physical activity, such as building and repairing body tissues, digesting food, controlling body temperature and growing hair.
The Three Systems Together
The three energy systems don't work independently or function in isolation of each other; all three are switched on at all times, but each may take a starring or backroom role at any time; depending on the type, intensity and duration of physical activity being done.
No Carbs Before Marbs?...Not If You Want to Perform.
Most forms of exercise involve activating muscles through contraction and active muscles require a constant energy supply in the form of ATP, which is produced in part from glucose supplied by the bloodstream and from stored glycogen.
During exercise, ATP production in muscle is considerable. Even at rest, each muscle cell contains roughly 1 billion ATP molecules, all of which will be used and replaced every two minutes and during intense exercise this muscle ATP production can increase by a thousand times to meet the demands of intense muscle contraction.
During exercise at levels greater than approximately 60% maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)*, blood glucose and muscle glycogen are the main fuels used to produce the ATP required to sustain exercise, in large part because as exercise intensity increases, certain areas of the muscles are engaged which use carbohydrate as the predominant fuel source.
*VO2max measures the rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles use oxygen during exercise and helps determine our individual aerobic capacity
Carbohydrates and Performance
Over one hundred years ago the role carbohydrate played in performance during exercise started to be better understood; it became apparent that carbohydrate was a significant fuel source for exercising muscles, that there was a link between glucose levels and tiredness in marathon running and increasing the amount of carbohydrate eaten before a marathon prevented weakness and fatigue.
This link between the carbohydrate content of the diet, muscle glycogen, and performance in exercise was confirmed in the 1960s when Scandinavian researchers established that muscle glycogen content had a major impact on endurance performance.   
We also now know that beginning exercise with glycogen stores in our muscles topped-up contributes significantly to improved exercise performance and that replenishing glycogen stores is an important part of the process of recovering from exercise, which in turn helps maintain our capacity for subsequent exercise. 
Exercise Done. Recovery Time.
What is muscle protein breakdown? Many of us have experienced that aching sensation a day or two after doing some form of physical activity. This is because many forms of exercise put a greater level of resistance on muscles than is experienced in a day-to-day routine. This additional resistance can cause damage to muscles and is called muscle protein breakdown, or MPB. It often causes micro tears in the muscles, which the body needs to repair. .
What we therefore need after exercise is something to help muscles repair.
Muscle Protein Synthesis
Muscles repair through a process called muscle protein synthesis, MPS   , whereby protein is used to repair muscle damage caused by exercise. It's the opposite force to MPB, in which protein is lost as a result of exercise.
MPS can be enhanced by eating food high in protein immediately following exercise. The amino acids that enter the bloodstream from digestion are transported to the muscles, replacing any lost to exercise.
How Much Protein To Consume After Exercise?
When to Eat Protein after Exercise?
A Word About Leucine
If protein after exercise is a good way to support muscles as they recover, then protein and leucine after exercise is thought to be even better.
But...what is leucine?
Leucine is one of twenty amino acids which, when combined together, form proteins.
The body has the ability to make eleven of these amino acids; these are the "non-essential" amino acids you might have heard about. That leaves nine "essential" acids which the body needs but cannot produce itself and therefore must come from food. Leucine is one of these nine "essential" amino acids.
What Does Leucine Do?
Leucine helps kick-off the muscle building process by stimulating a signalling pathway - a series of chemical reactions where molecules work together to control a cell function, that results in muscle protein being created, thereby supporting muscle recovery.
How Much Leucine?
A number of studies have suggested a target of 0.7g - 3g of leucine per 20g protein is a suitable amount of leucine to support optimised MPS .
DuelFuel’s Vitamins & Minerals Mash-Up, De-Mashed…
Vitamins and minerals, also called micronutrients – or micros to the seriously informal, are normally required only in small amounts by the body, typically milligram [mg] or microgram [μg] amounts, although they are essential for a variety of physiological processes and functions .
All DuelFuel’s flapjacks, brownies and cake slices contain a blend of twenty-seven vitamins and minerals, to provide support before, during and after exercise. Our blend is consistent across all flapjacks, brownies and cake slices:
VITAMINS RI = Reference Intake
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 75g||%RI||
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 35g||%RI||
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 40g||%RI|
|Vitamin A µg||
|Vitamin D µg||
|Vitamin E mg||
|Vitamin K1 µg||
|Vitamin K2 µg||
|Vitamin C mg||
|Vitamin B1 Thiamin mg||
|Vitamin B2 Riboflavin mg||
|Vitamin B3 Niacin mg||
|Vitamin B6 mg||
|Folic Acid µg||
|Vitamin B12 µg||
MINERALS RI = Reference Intake
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 75g||%RI||
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 35g||%RI||
||Per 100g||%RI||Per 40g||%RI|
Vitamin K1 & K2
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
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 Julien S. Baker, Marie Clare McCormick,and Robert A. Robergs Interaction among Skeletal Muscle Metabolic Energy Systems during Intense Exercise. 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005844/
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 Meyer RA, Wiseman RW.. The metabolic systems: control of ATP synthesis in skeletal muscle. In: Farrell PA, Joyner MJ, Caiozzo VJ, ed. ACSM’s Advanced Exercise Physiology. 2nd ed.Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2012:363–378.
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 Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B.. Muscle glycogen during prolonged severe exercise. Acta Physiol Scand. 1967;71:129–139.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1967.tb03719.x
 Hultman E, Bergstrom J.. Muscle glycogen synthesis in relation to diet studied in normal subjects. Acta Med Scand. 1967;182:109–117.
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 Tipton, K.D., Hamilton, D.L. & Gallagher, I.J. Assessing the Role of Muscle Protein Breakdown in Response to Nutrition and Exercise in Humans. Sports Med 48, 53–64 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0845-5
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 Skeletal muscle and resistance exercise training; the role of protein synthesis in recovery and remodeling Chris McGlory, Michaela C. Devries, and Stuart M. Phillips 06 MAR 2017
 Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise P. J. Atherton,K. Smith The Journal of Psychology, First published: 31 January 2012
 Making Sense of Muscle Protein Synthesis: A Focus on Muscle Growth During Resistance Training Oliver C. Witard, Laurent Bannock, and Kevin D. Tipton, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,
 Schoenfeld, B.J., Aragon, A.A. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 10 (2018).
Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise. Oliver C Witard, Sarah R Jackman, Leigh Breen, Kenneth Smith, Anna Selby, Kevin D Tipton. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 86-95.
 Exercise and protein nutrition The science of muscle hypertrophy: making dietary protein count Stuart M. Phillips Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, 1280 Main St West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 November 2010
 Jäger, R., Kerksick, C.M., Campbell, B.I. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 20 (2017).
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 Levenhagen DK, Gresham JD, Carlson MG, Maron DJ, Borel MJ, Flakoll PJ. Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001;280(6):E982-93
 Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial. Tyler A Churchward-Venne, Leigh Breen, Danielle M Di Donato, Amy J Hector, Cameron J Mitchell, Daniel R Moore, Trent Stellingwerff, Denis Breuille, Elizabeth A Offord, Steven K Baker. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 99, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 276-286,
 Jäger, R., Kerksick, C.M., Campbell, B.I. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 20 (2017).
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 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1468 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1468
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 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin K and maintenance of bone (ID 123, 127, 128, and 2879), blood coagulation (ID 124 and 126), and function of the heart and blood vessels (ID 124, 125 and 2880) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1228
Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin C and reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 139, 2622), contribution to normal psychological functions (ID 140), regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E (ID 202), contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism (ID 2334, 3196), maintenance of the normal function of the immune system (ID 4321) and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 3331) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1815
Scientific Opinion on substantiation of health claims related to thiamine and energy-yielding metabolism (ID 21, 24, 28), cardiac function (ID 20), function of the nervous system (ID 22, 27), maintenance of bone (ID 25), maintenance of teeth (ID 25), maintenance of hair (ID 25), maintenance of nails (ID 25), maintenance of skin (ID 25) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1222
Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to thiamin and reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 23) and contribution to normal psychological functions (ID 205) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1755
Riboflavin related health claims | EFSA https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1814
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to niacin and energy-yielding metabolismhttps://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1224
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to niacin and reduction of tiredness and fatiguehttps://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1757
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin B6 and contribution to normal homocysteine metabolismhttps://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1759
 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1225 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1225
 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1760 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1760
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to folate and blood formation (ID 79), homocysteine metabolism (ID 80), energy-yielding metabolism (ID 90), function of the immune system (ID 91), function of blood vessels (ID 94, 175, 192), cell division (ID 193), and maternal tissue growth during pregnancy (ID 2882) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1213
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin B12 and red blood cell formation https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1223
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin B12 and contribution to normal neurological and psychological functions https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1756
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to biotin and energy-yielding metabolism https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1209
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to biotin and maintenance of normal skin and mucous membranes https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1728
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to potassium and maintenance of normal muscular and neurological function https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1469
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to chloride as Na-, K-, Ca-, or Mg-salt and contribution to normal digestion by production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1764
 cientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to calcium and maintenance of bones and teeth https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1210
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to calcium and maintenance of normal bone and teeth https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1725
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to phosphorus and function of cell membranes https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1219
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to magnesium and electrolyte balance (ID 238), energy-yielding metabolism https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1216
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to magnesium and “hormonal health” (ID 243), reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 244) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1807
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to iron and formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin (ID 374, 2889), oxygen transport (ID 255), contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism (ID 255), reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 255, 374, 2889), biotransformation of xenobiotic substances (ID 258), and “activity of heart, liver and muscles” (ID 397) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1740
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to iron and formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin (ID 249, ID 1589), oxygen transport (ID 250, ID 254, ID 256), energy-yielding metabolism (ID 251, ID 1589), function of the immune system (ID 252, ID 259), cognitive function (ID 253) and cell division (ID 368) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1215
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to zinc and maintenance of normal skin (ID 293), DNA synthesis and cell division (ID 293), contribution to normal protein synthesis (ID 293, 4293), maintenance of normal serum testosterone concentrations (ID 301), “normal growth” (ID 303), reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 304), contribution to normal carbohydrate metabolism (ID 382), maintenance of normal hair (ID 412), maintenance of normal nails (ID 412) and contribution to normal macronutrient metabolism (ID 2890) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1819
 Zinc related health claims | EFSA https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1229
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to copper and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 263, 1726) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1211
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to selenium and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1220
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to chromium and contribution to normal macronutrient metabolism https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1732
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to molybdenum and contribution to normal amino acid metabolism (ID 313) and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 341) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1745
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to iodine and thyroid function and production of thyroid hormones (ID 274), energy-yielding metabolism (ID 274), maintenance of vision (ID 356), maintenance of hair (ID 370), maintenance of nails (ID 370), and maintenance of skin (ID 370) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1214
 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to iodine and contribution to normal cognitive and neurological function (ID 273), contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism (ID 402), and contribution to normal thyroid function and production of thyroid hormones (ID 1237) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1800