The Fact About Glycogen Deficiency And Operating


Did you know that glycogen plays a huge role in your body and your exercise performance? Since your body needs energy to move and refuel, you either draw from the foods you recently consumed or from stores in your body. There can be a balancing act that can cause the human body to work optimally depending on the person's goals. That's what we're going to discuss here today: food as fuel, glycogen stores in the body, glycogen deficiency and alternative fuel sources.

Who knew there was so much to think about?

Glycogen production

When we eat carbohydrates, our body converts those carbohydrates into a fuel called glucose. The glucose is then converted to glycogen so that it can be stored in your body. Glycogen is stored in your muscles and in your liver and is essential for energy production. But let's take the train back a little.

  1. When you eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates, your glucose levels rise.
  2. When your glucose rises, it signals the pancreas to make more insulin.
  3. Insulin helps your body take insulin from the blood and use it for energy.
  4. It is the insulin that causes the body to turn glucose into glycogen.
  5. Glycogen can then be sent to areas like muscles and your liver to be stored for energy.

How long does it take to run out of glycogen stores?

Any kind of vigorous physical activity will help you deplete your glycogen stores. When you consume carbohydrates, how to restore glycogen is pretty simple.

If you've ever wondered, "How long does glycogen last?" You are not alone. If you only collaborate at a light pace, you'll burn about a gram of glycogen per minute. At an "endurance pace" you burn about two grams per minute. However, when you race, you will burn potentially three grams of glycogen per minute.

So if you are wondering how long it takes to deplete your glycogen stores, it really depends on the intensity of the activity you are participating in.

Each person has around 2,000 calories of stored glycogen at any point in time, which is between 350 and 500 grams. Your liver stores around 80% of it and the rest is in your body's muscles.

Most people start depleting their glycogen stores somewhere after an hour and forty-five minutes, with two plus hours of activity being the point at which people are most likely to hit the wall.

What if you run out of glycogen stores?

Those who are wondering about glycogen deficiency are pondering an excellent question. As soon as an athlete has used up his glycogen stores, the gas tank is empty. When your glycogen stores run low, your body begins to respond.

Adapted for survival, so your body will feel tired and you will naturally slow down while trying to conserve energy.

Known as "bonking" in the world of endurance running, you want to try to prevent this at all costs. This is why most runners fuel up by consuming some calories for every 45 minutes they train if the workout is longer than 60 or 90 minutes.

These refueling sessions are typically not conducted by eating “real food”. Rather, you are consuming energy gels, blocks, or snacks that are small, portable, easy to digest, and made specifically for runners.

Does running burn fat or glycogen?

As an amazing machine, your body has the ability to burn both fat and carbohydrates to fuel your body and give it the energy it needs. If you ask him what he wants, your body will likely prefer carbohydrates as they burn fuel quickly and efficiently.

However, you can train your body to burn fat. Burning fat instead of carbohydrates is preferred by some people, especially people trying to lose weight.

Most people are shocked to find that lower-intensity physical activity burns more fat than their higher-intensity counterparts. The longer you are engaged in low-intensity activities, the more fat you are likely to burn. Finally, overall good physical condition increases the likelihood that your body will work well and burn fat.


When trying to train your body to burn fat or adapt to fat, you are likely to be consuming fewer carbohydrates than other athletes. The keto or ketogenic diet, in which people consume very little carbohydrates, is becoming increasingly popular.

Of course, this isn't the low carbohydrate content of the Adkin diet, where people mow bacon with one side of bacon. Rather, a keto diet emphasizes healthy fats like fish, olives, nuts, and avocados.

Does Fasting Deplete Muscle Glycogen?

If you fast before exercising, you will break down your glycogen muscles at a slower rate than if you had eaten. In other words, you're not depleting your glycogen muscles simply by not eating all night while you sleep and then exercising on an empty stomach.

intermittent fastingintegrated

However, if you fast intermittently, your muscles may be exhausted faster than normal. Those who diet through intermittent fasting express the value of a full day in a shorter window of time. Your meal window can be anywhere from 6 to 10 hours.

If this seems like a very large inequality that can produce very different results and effects on the body, you are absolutely right. Just as no two people are the same, no two bodies achieve the same fast.

Low Carb Elite Athletes?

While it may seem against the convention for endurance athletes to eat large amounts of carbohydrates, there are many athletes who are low on carbohydrates for their bodies.

These athletes have found that their bodies run very well and efficiently with this type of food. If you are fascinated by the world of the elite ultra-marathon runners, meet Zach Bitter. The record holder in the 100 miler eats almost no carbohydrates.

Should everyone cut out carbohydrates?

That's not to say that all runners should throw away their bagels and baked potatoes. Most athletes could benefit from striking a balance between using a long-term method as an excuse for a whole cake, and might find that refueling with more natural carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and steel cut oatmeal leads to an overall sense of wellbeing.

There is a delicate balance in figuring out how best to behave your body. Practice your refueling. Investigate what other runners are eating. Try to eat more real foods and less processed foods. See how your body is reacting and whether this is having a positive or negative effect on your running. What do you have to lose?


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