Dietary Manipulation of Glycogen Stores Carbohydrate Loading

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Dietary manipulation can be used to increase the stores of glycogen in muscle and liver. Glycogen increases when more carbohydrate is eaten. The practice is called carbohydrate loading. The athlete has 3 days of exhausting physical exercise on a low-carbohydrate diet followed by 3 days of rest on a high-carbohydrate diet. In general, athletes dislike both phases; in the first, they feel exhausted both mentally and physically, and in the second, they feel bloated because the glycogen retains extra water. However, other feeding programs exist that do not use the carbohydrate depletion phase. For athletes in general, it makes sense to eat plenty of carbohydrate to maximize glycogen storage, as the usual training periods of several hours per day deplete it. There is little doubt that a high-carbohydrate diet improves glycogen storage and athletic performance (see also Chapter,,„4.7.). What to advise athletes to ingest just before an event is difficult. Solid food is not advisable before strenuous exercise. A popular solution for athletes is drinking glucose/sweetened fruit juices. Fructose ingestion is said to cause less increase in blood glucose and insulin levels and thus a slower loss of muscle glycogen (see review 55).

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Keep Your Weight In Check During The Holidays

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