Glycogen Supercompensation In Athletes

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Glycogen Supercompensation in Athletes Abstract Glycogen supercompensation affects performance and can make the difference between coming in first or last (Prevost, 1999). Glycogen supplies muscles and the liver are the main source of energy for the body. The quality of glycogen within these organs directly affects the endurance of the muscle and the athlete (Arheim, 2005). Glycogen supercompensation, also known as glycogen loading, is maximizing the amount of glycogen that can be stored within the body, especially in muscles. The increase of glycogen within those structures can be dramatically increased by reducing the training program at least forty-eight hours before the actually competition. This allows for metabolic waste, which may hinder performance, to be excreted from the body. Glycogen supercompensation is accompanied by three phases, which is a six day period. During phase one, days one and two, training should be normal and carbohydrate intake should also be normal. During phase two, days three through five, training should be decreased yet carbohydrate intake should increase by at least seventy percent. Finally, the third phase, the sixth day and day of the competition, normal diet should be consumed by the athlete (Arheim, 2005). Glycogen supercompensation occurs only in muscles that were trained and is maximal at a carbohydrate intake of approximately 25 grams per hour for average adults. As mentioned above, the muscles and the liver store more of the glycogen in the body. The liver actually can hold a higher concentration of glycogen; however, the muscles actually store more due to the fact that muscles are far more abundant in the body than the size of the liver. When the liver and muscles are replenished in the body, then the body shifts to breaking down the excess glucose. As a result, the glucose that is already stored in the

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