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Old 02-02-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
Harry Palley
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Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

Not to create another post-workout recovery thread, but here it goes anyway...

What is the deal with glycogen replenishment post-workout? For a while, I held to a standard 4 block meal consisting of deli turkey and two apples. Delicious and nutritious... or so I thought. From what I've gathered lately, there seems to be mixed opinions on the efficacy of fructose post-workout for recovery. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but fructose is converted into liver glycogen which is not ideal after an intensive met-con. Replenishing muscle glycogen is the elusive goal, and starchy vegetables (commonly sweet potatoes) are a good choice to achieve this in a more direct manner.

Although I do enjoy eating a considerably strict Paleo diet, I'm more concerned with finding the optimal recovery from the WOD. I bet its getting a little picky here... but since I pack the same meal with me to take to the gym, there's no reason not to perfect it.

So I'm wondering what your take is on that debate (if it even is one to begin with). Is fructose sufficient, or is there more potential with sweet potatoes.

What gets me is that... there are so many strict Paleo CrossFitters out there destroying PR's left and right. If fructose wasn't an adequate post-workout recovery solution, we wouldn't be seeing the progress that is being made.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

After reading the studies (sorry, no links available this second), I'm leaning towards low fat milk PWO.


BUT Robb Wolf has a blog entry covering your question somewhat: http://*************/?p=272 (WFS) that might be helpful.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:43 PM   #3
Liam Dougherty Springer
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

As is usually the case there is no one right answer....

There are so many variables.... still there are some basic guidelines which will aid anyone in developing a individual performance biased diet.

First yes fructose will only be used for liver glycogen and glucose can be used for both... That being said liver glycogen often times is depleted following a metcon especially if you work out in the morning or have not eaten much between the last meal of yesterday and todays work out.

Repleneshing muscle glycogen is done most efficiently within 30min. (I have heard arguments the window actually extends past that and I tend to agree) of a work out.

Depending on the rep count, intensity, and duration of a metcon the glycogen depletion from the muscle and or liver can be verry little to almost entire depletion.

For example Filthy 50 or murph will seriousely tax the glycogen stores and due to the volume of running Murph will get the liver good as well as the muscles.

If you are trying to use the pwo glycogen prefered window it helps to evaluate the load and adjust carb intake accordingly if you are zoneing this would require taking carb blocks out of other meals and puting them into the PWO meal. It also helps to have litlle or no fat in this meal as insuline expediates glycogen restoration.

Well at this point it is all becoming very complicated.... The truth is your body will continue to replenish glycogen stores through out the day. If you are zoneing and only eating verry low carbohydrate density veggies you will have less storage going on....

This is often where pizza craveings and ice cream benges as well as planned cheat days with high gi carbs in large amounts have a bennefit they allow us to stock back up to 100% from a continuousely depleted state.

Alright thats alot of information without any real solution so here is a simple helpfull suggestion.

After a workout eat a bannana, 1 cup blue berries, 16 0z. of milk and one egg both bannanas and bluberries are higher than most fruits in glucose. Aproximatly 63 gms. carbs, 22gm. protien, and between 4.5 and 20.5 gm fat depending on milk.(from memory) thats about 6 blocks carbs 3 blocks protein then depending on the volume the work out was eat a meal shortly there after with a yam as the carb source and use coconut oil or butter to blunt the insulin response. Typicaly a workout of over 200 reps will need the yam.

Also you don't need to fully replinish all the time so letting your self slowly deplete and stocking up with beer and pizza every so often can also work.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:57 PM   #4
Joe Bernard
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

I read the link that Jacob posted, thanks for that, but something is nagging me. Would eating regular potatoes be beneficial PWO? I know Robb Wolf advocates sweet potatoes or yams, but I tried them and don't like them at all, like even to the point of I couldn't force myself to eat them. I've been eating fruit/vegetables PWO for awhile, but I want to take advantage of the PWO meal for muscle glycogen replenishment and would like to know if eating regular potatoes is ok or not. The only other time I eat carbs is for breakfast and is in the form of berries. Snacks and dinners are purely protein and fat, once in awhile my dining hall has broccoli but it's rarer than a full-depth squat in a your typical weight room. So I don't eat many carbs as it is...

Last edited by Joe Bernard : 02-02-2009 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
Harry Palley
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

Thanks for the replies... very helpful. Jacob, that link really is a good read, and Liam - sound advice. I havn't had bananas in forever... they might even be my favorite fruit. The higher GI was what pushed me away from it (I think it's a zone unfavorable source). Might give them a go sometime soon.

Joe - I don't recall the specifics, but I believe white potatoes have a higher GI than the sweet potato, and have far less nutrients. Whether or not either of those are important factors in the topic at hand... I'm not sure. Currently I'm baking my sweet potatoes in thick chip-like slices, ~30 mins @ 350F, and sprinkling cinnimon or garlic/onion on them. I believe Robb Wolf advocates the cinnimon (actually I think its on that link that Jacob provided). Just food for thought... pun intended... lame... must be bedtime.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

Liver glycogen doesn't matter that much unless you're doing endurance efforts or longer metcons. High intensity work burns MOSTLY intramuscular glycogen for fuel and then dips strongly into the aerobic & cori cycle for energy.

Anecdotally, this agrees with MOST people not having to "reload" glycogen for strength work and shorter metcons... as opposed to having performance drop if they don't. This is especially important to those who do intermittent fasting.

Uh, yeah if you're actually looking to do it... low fat milk, chocomilk, sweet potato + cinnamon (read Robb Wolf's blog for that), etc.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
Joe Bernard
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Re: Liver Glycogen and Muscle Glycogen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Palley View Post
Thanks for the replies... very helpful. Jacob, that link really is a good read, and Liam - sound advice. I havn't had bananas in forever... they might even be my favorite fruit. The higher GI was what pushed me away from it (I think it's a zone unfavorable source). Might give them a go sometime soon.

Joe - I don't recall the specifics, but I believe white potatoes have a higher GI than the sweet potato, and have far less nutrients. Whether or not either of those are important factors in the topic at hand... I'm not sure. Currently I'm baking my sweet potatoes in thick chip-like slices, ~30 mins @ 350F, and sprinkling cinnimon or garlic/onion on them. I believe Robb Wolf advocates the cinnimon (actually I think its on that link that Jacob provided). Just food for thought... pun intended... lame... must be bedtime.
Yea I know they do, which is why I am wondering if it's ok or not to have....time to search the net again. For now I'll just have a banana every now and then, I love those.
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