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  • Glycogen question

    Hello! I am relatively new to the primal lifestyle but love everything so far. Just trying to understand a few things. I do not have a strong nutrition based physiology background and I would love to understand more about glycogen use in the body. I obviously know the basics and that it is the storage form of glucose in the body held in the liver and muscle. I am more interested in knowing if there is a way to determine how much glycogen is used up during exercise. I read that if you are doing more than an hour of exercise you would need to take in an extra 100g of carbs? I also read a post where Mark said that protein post workout could be used to refill the glycogen stores. If that is true, why do I need to increase carbs, can't i just eat more protein? Also, why does the body need to replenish the glycogen stores anyway? For example, Mark said if you were doing p90x that you would need to eat more carbs to reload the glycogen. Why is it so important to reload the glycogen tank if we can burn fat efficiently for energy? I have read some pretty detailed research that says when performing sprints or high impact exercises for very short periods of time our bodies will literally burn nothing but glycogen or sugar stores and then for the next 24 - 36 hours our bodies switch to fat burning mechanisms. I hope someone can answer some of these questions. Thanks!

  • #2
    What is your current workout regime like?
    My food blog ~ http://stuffimakemyhusband.blogspot.com
    My primal success story

    "Boxing seems to contain so complete and so powerful an image of life -- life's beauty, vulnerability, despair, incalculable and often self-destructive courage -- that boxing IS life, and hardly a mere game." --Joyce Carol Oates

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    • #3
      The glycogen is a fast source of energy for hard workouts. You can do everything without carbs but you'll need longer rest periods so your body can convert the fat into energy.
      In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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      • #4
        This is a very good question. I was looking up glycogen to get a better understanding of it all. I guess that is why I have to rest 3-4 days after my weight lifting days before I feel like going again.
        I've vlc right now.
        Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
        Now can walk on the beach for hours.

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Wown thanks that really put it in a better perspective for me. I'm glad I started weight lifting!!
            Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
            Now can walk on the beach for hours.

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            • #7
              There is no point eating extra protein post workout bar what you need for repair etc when you can just eat the carbs and not worry about conversion or anything. It's the best time to eat carbs (post workout) and if you are doing any high intensity training they will be beneficial.
              "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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              • #8
                Beyond what you need for repair is the key question. What do you need to repair? If you are lifting heavy, you should strive for 1g protein per body weight. If you are not, 1g of protein per lean body mass is probably sufficient. I tend to get a pretty big bolus of protein and carbs right after I workout with my whey protein shake (mixed with milk). I agree that PWO is the best time to eat primal carbs as well (e.g., sweet potato). But you don't need a lot of carbs unless you are doing a refeed, which is not really all that necessary.

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                • #9
                  I'm currently in ketosis does this apply to me?
                  Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
                  Now can walk on the beach for hours.

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                  • #10
                    no, the laws of physics are suspended for you. Of course it applies to you. You don't have to do any of this, but it may make working out harder.

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                    • #11
                      Okay so up my carbs post weight lifting. Oh dang I have to eat many avacados only the bestest fruit in the universe.
                      Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
                      Now can walk on the beach for hours.

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                      • #12
                        I've also always wondered this. Why replenish the glycogen? Will the body take it from skeletal muscle anyway if we don't? I sprint and lift heavy stuff to extremes once or twice per week. I seem to feel the same whether or not I eat anything afterward. When I do eat afterward it's usually liver and coconut milk, maybe an avocado. But I recover at the same rate, it seems, whether or not I eat in the hours after exercise. I mean, we're only supposed to eat when we feel hungry. So if I sprint and get home feeling too elated to notice hunger, why would I eat? Is my digestive system even ready to handle food after being shut off by my autonomic nervous system so abruptly?
                        Crohn's, doing SCD

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                        • #13
                          I read that there was little to no glycogen in someone who is in ketosis anyhow.

                          I like to follow what my body says. Sometimes I'm not hungry at all after an intense workout. I ate a good bit after my weighlifting yesterday. Today I was ravenous and ate like 5-6 baked chicken legs.
                          Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
                          Now can walk on the beach for hours.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kaylakala View Post
                            Okay so up my carbs post weight lifting. Oh dang I have to eat many avacados only the bestest fruit in the universe.
                            I wouldn't recommend avocado as a post-workout carb source. They are richer in fat than carbs.

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