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Muscle glycogen super-compensation has been studied extensively over the last 30 years. What science has learnt from the advantages of carb loading for endurance athletes has made a radical difference to both the military as well as sports training.
There is an abundance of highly technical studies done over the last 30 years demonstrating the effectiveness of muscle glycogen super-compensation protocol. We will not be examining the studies that prove liver and other internal organs are unable to improve performance from carb loading and only concentrate on muscle glycogen levels.
We will briefly examine the carb loading protocol accepted by science today as empirical proof that it can affect muscle performance, specifically for the endurance athlete. Although there are many ways to carb load effectively we will not be examining the complex CHO loading mechanisms used in these studies.
It is however important to note that depending on the number of days that carb loading is done before endurance and short events of less than a few minutes, all show conclusively that up to 1.79 times the muscle glycogen can be stored.
This means that using the muscle glycogen super-compensation protocol can increase the baseline muscle glycogen stored in the muscle making it ready for action improving contractibility by 1.79 times. Studies also show that this elevated muscle glycogen remained very close to this elevated level for 3 days post-loading.
It must be added that the method of CHO loading used will directly affect the degree of glycogen loaded and the rate at which this glycogen load is maintained in the muscles. The amount of CHO and the type of CHO will ultimately affect the extent that this glycogen will hold in the muscle.
There are a number of well accepted studies that prove conclusively that the muscles of trained athletes are able to maintain the super-compensated muscle glycogen after carbohydrate loading for a longer period of time than untrained athletes.
This makes sense as the muscles ability to expand and hold the required extra glycogen gets better with practice, almost like the muscle knows that it will soon be called upon to maximize.
In conclusion muscle glycogen super-compensation works for endurance athletes in a measurable and predictable way. However the explosive power to recruit more muscle fibers during a powerlifting meet is currently anecdotal and cannot be put forward as a prerequisite for short explosive events like sprints and powerlifting.
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