Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Carbohydrate Loading

I learnt this concept today while going through Harper's. This is especially for the fitness enthusiasts, since learning it can help you to build up your stamina better.
Glycogen has a highly branched structure; now the more it is branched, more are the sites at which glycogenolysis can occur and hence faster will be its degradation leading to rapid release of Glucose-1-phosphate which will be utilized for muscle activity. 

Now what if I told you that there is a way you can slow down the rate of degradation of glycogen in your body thereby prolonging the duration of supply of glucose needed for muscle activity. Keeping in mind the above paragraph, you can do it by decreasing the branching in glycogen structure. 

Carbohydrate Loading 
The formation of branch points in glycogen is slower than the addition of glucose units to a linear chain. Carbohydrate loading is practising or working out upto exhaustion (to the point your muscle glycogen is depleted) followed by drinking or eating a high carbohydrate meal briskly. This results in rapid glycogen synthesis and consequent replenishment of glycogen stores in the body. But if glycogen is synthesized rapidly, the number of branch points in the structure will be relatively less, thereby achieving the objective.

Remember this while working out next time.



  1. Interesting concept but won't the demand supply ratio for our muscles alter? Slowing the degradation rate resulting in slower G1P release and our muscles getting fatigued sooner? Just a doubt


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