Scientists Say: Carbohydrate
Carbohydrates are molecules with carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Animals break down these chemicals in food to get energy.
Carbohydrate (noun, “CAR-boh-HI-drayt”)
This is a chemical compound made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Most carbohydrates have the same oxygen to hydrogen ratio as water. That’s two hydrogens for every oxygen.
Another word for a carbohydrate is saccharide. If saccharide reminds you of sugar, it’s because sugars are saccharides. More complex carbohydrates are known as starches. Sugars and starches are found in fruits, bread, potatoes and vegetables. Carbohydrates also make up the cellulose that builds cell walls.
Plants make carbohydrates inside their leaves and stems. This is a way for plants to store energy from the sun. When animals — including humans — eat plants, their bodies break down the bonds in these molecules to get energy. Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy from the food we eat.
In a sentence
Instead of waking them up, a carbohydrate-loaded meal makes mice sleepy.