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Ketosis is Glycogen Sparing

Study published in the journal Metabolism profiled 20 ultra-marathoners and ironman distance triathletes age 21-45 who were top competitors in running events of 50 kilometers (31 miles) or more

One group consumed a traditional high-carbohydrate diet, and the other a low-carbohydrate diet for an average of 20 months

On day one, the athletes ran on a treadmill to determine their maximum oxygen consumption and peak fat-burning rates – on day two, the athletes ran on a treadmill for three hours at an intensity equal to 64% of their maximum oxygen capacity

On average, the low-carb runners’ peak fat-burning rate was 2.3-fold higher than the rate for high-carb athletes: 1.5 versus .67 grams per minute

Glycogen finding: Despite their low intake of carbs, the fat-burning athletes had normal muscle glycogen levels at rest

They also broke down roughly the same level of glycogen as the high-carb runners during the long run, and synthesized the same amount of glycogen in their muscles during recovery as the high-carb athletes

Why is This

There were no differences in pre-exercise muscle glycogen concentrations, the rate of glycogen utilization during exercise, and the rate of glycogen synthesis during recovery.

Proves that chronic keto-adaptation in elite ultra-endurance athletes is associated with a robust capacity to increase fat oxidation during exercise while maintaining normal skeletal muscle glycogen concentrations

Rates of muscle glycogen synthesis in humans are highest when large amounts of carbs are consumed immediately post-exercise, yet the keto athletes had similar rates of glycogen repletion compared to the high carb athletes, despite receiving a negligible amount of carbs after exercise (4 vs 43 g) and more fat (31 vs 14 g)

When no carbs or energy is provided after prolonged exercise, a small amount of muscle glycogen synthesis occurs presumably due to hepatic gluconeogenesis providing a source of glucose for glycogen

The question then arises is what is the carbon source for glycogen synthesis in the absence of carb intake post-exercise?

It’s believed that lactate and/or glycerol, which were two-fold higher at the end of exercise in low carb athletes (and then sharply decreased during recovery), may have provided a source of carbons for glycogen synthesis during recovery

Lactate conversion to glycogen could occur directly (lactate glyconeogenesis) or indirectly via the Cori cycle

Could be that lactate rapidly replenished liver glycogen and it has an ability to maintain hepatic glucose output in the face of limited exogenous carb intake

Weight Training (Lower Reps)

Phosphagen System

No carbs or fats are used in the phosphagen system – the regeneration of ATP comes solely from stored creatine phosphate, which allows cells to replenish energy more quickly than any other energy system

This is why the phosphagen system is the predominant energy system used for all-out exercise lasting up to about 10 seconds (short sprints or 1-5 rep max lifts)

However, there is a limited amount of stored creatine phosphate and ATP in skeletal muscles, which is why fatigue occurs rapidly at higher intensities of activity

With the anaerobic system, there’s a reliance on glucose and glycogen – so working out in the range of 6+ reps will cause performance to suffer

Any sets that last between 30 seconds and 2 minutes will be much harder to handle at first – means that you will lose strength and endurance when you do 6 or more reps per set

If you want to keep gaining muscle and strength, lower the rep ranges to 3-5 reps and increase the sets and rest periods

The ability to sustain efforts for 30 to 120 seconds will be compromised; have sets with lower rep ranges so that the effort lasts shorter than 10 seconds per set

HIIT & Catecholamines

A study published in the journal Amino Acids had 12 healthy men complete a resting control trial and a trial consisting of ten 6 seconds cycle ergometer sprints interspersed with 30 seconds recovery, in randomised order

Found that with sprinting, plasma epinephrine increased 6.3-fold, whereas norepinephrine increased 14.5-fold at the end of sprinting

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