Optimizing Glycogen Absorption

At times we wonder why we feel tired, sluggish, and/or weak… And then we maybe remember the last meal we had and then it all coincides. Body is always adapting to external environment that translates internally as well. So when we go without food and in this instance, carbohydrates, our body will slow all physical processes down for “survival mode”. Now we want to view this in retrospect to our training and ways to optimize the glycogen.

First off, never start off with a very dense carb based meal. Body has been in fasted mode and we still want to keep that goal with emphasis burning body fat. Your first meal should involve a protein source, quality fat source, and if do incorporate carbs a lower glycemic base (oats, grits, berries if using fruit). Have you ever wondered if and when you eat a heavy carbohydrate based breakfast you will immediately feel tired and sluggish. This means the body has already started storing the excess as body fat which in turn directly causes a reduction in metabolic rate. This way we will not cause a crazy insulin spike that will increase body fat deposition when we start our day. Now after first meal we can slowly incorporate more carbohydrate sources but keeping variety in the mix by using slow and intermediate carbohydrate bases such rice, sweet potato, red potato, Ezekiel bread, etc.

Now let’s get down to it: Perfect time to really implement simple sugars are during training and post-workout. Here we are forcefully depleting our glycogen stores at a higher rate. Body will re-uptake glucose at higher rates during and after training, which will allow us to use 30-40% more carbohydrates in this window of time. As a type 1 diabetic myself, I can affirm that this can be different sometimes with those that may be more glucose sensitive like myself. One thing that can be done for utilization of glucose in this case are spreading the amounts out at 2-3 different times over a 2 hour post workout window. This does help facilitate faster and more efficient absorption of carbohydrates. This allows me to not peak super high in my blood sugar averages throughout the day. Stay tune to my future articles detailing more on glycogen optimization.

Don’t forget to find me at Hew Health to work with me directly and ask more questions!

Trey Hodge
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