I’ve previously documented the benefits of strategic carbohydrate consumption for muscle growth and athletic performance. Now a recent study has demonstrated a direct association between optimal muscle glycogen stores and enhanced performance during intense exercise. This study investigated the effect of initial muscle glycogen stores on performance during repeated sprints and revealed some potential mechanisms behind glycogen’s effect on muscle fatigue.

In this study, muscle biopsies and blood samples were collected from eight subjects that performed several cycling trials. Results revealed that when the participants exercised with full glycogen stores, they were able to work at high intensities for longer periods before fatigue set in.

Interesting, when the subjects exercised with low muscle glycogen stores, not only did their work capacity suffer, their creatine phosphate levels and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium uptake was also reduced.

Creatine phosphate is the essential high energy molecule required to power continuous muscle contraction. Calcium flow and uptake in the muscle occurs within the sarcoplasmic reticulum (the “plumbing” essential to muscle contraction). Fast and effective calcium control in muscle is also a key requirement for high work capacity. Both creatine and calcium control were reduced when the participants exercised with low muscle glycogen stores.

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This study underscores the critical importance of keeping your glycogen stores full and the detrimental consequences when you don’t.

The performance benefits of fast acting carbohydrates to the athlete can’t be overstated. Most view carbohydrates as strictly a fuel source, but carbohydrate’s impact on muscle growth goes far beyond fuel.

DGC - Fast Muscle Energy and Hydration - Best Energy SupplementDGC is designed specifically for rapid glycogen replenishment for fast muscle energizing effects. DGC (Dextrorotatory Glucose Crystals) is a unique glucose crystal that supplies an unmatched fuel source for fast and efficient muscle energy.

DGC requires no digestion before absorption into the bloodstream. This means an ultra-fast fuel supply for supporting quick and sustained muscle energy requirements and mental function. DGC’s function of replenishing muscle glycogen ensures an optimum metabolic environment for active muscle energy, recovery, and vital protein synthesis.

Source: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 13:1-14

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Optimum Muscle Glycogen Stores Mean Higher Athletic Performance

by Paul Delia time to read: 2 min