Tag Archives: glycogen

  • Can Low Glycogen Training Increase Performance?

    It is well known among endurance athletes that loading up on carbohydrates or glycogen before competition or intense workouts is the best way to ensure that you have enough fuel for your body to go the distance. Now research is looking into low-glycogen preparation training to enhance performance.
  • I am on a diet. Why does my weight loss slow down after week 1?

    Week 1 overall weight loss is often very high.  You have probably noticed on television shows similar to "The Biggest Loser" and various other diets, that this is a very common trait of undertaking a diet.  Whilst the initial loss can be extremely encouraging, the subsequent weeks of typically less weight loss can conversely be very discouraging.  For example, 5kg may be lost in the first week which is a BIG loss.  But then in week 2 only 1-2kg may be lost.  Why is this the case?

    Such a contrast is very much a direct result of water retention and NOT fat loss.  In your first week, often the majority of weight loss is due to water loss combined with fat loss.  Week 2 will often be more a result of fat loss.

    The reason behind such a loss is due to a couple of major factors, sodium and carbohydrate intake.

    First of all, when one undertakes a typical diet, often the sodium intake is reduced.  Sodium, a main component of table salt and highly processed foods, increases your bodies ability to store water inside cells.  As soon as you eliminate the excess sodium from your diet your body can no longer hold onto so much water.  As a result, your body will excrete the excess water through the urine.

    Secondly there are many low-carbohydrate diets.  Essentially you are "starving" your body of carbohydrates which in-turn depletes your glycogen stores within muscle tissues.  Muscular glycogen storage is your bodies way of storing carbohydrates.  Each gram of glycogen requires 2.7 grams of water for storage within the muscle tissue.  Whilst you will lose weight as a result of glycogen depletion, you will also lose 2.7 times the weight of glycogen as a result of water loss.

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