CHO depletion CHO loading (90% CHO diet)
The effects of the carbohydrate-depletion/carbohydrate-loading exercise diet regime on muscle glycogen levels. A, B, and C represent three groups of exercisers. CHO = carbohydrate.
Note. Adapted from data in “Human Muscle Glycogen Content and Capacity for Prolonged Exercise After Different Diets” by B. Ahlborg, J. Bergstrom, J. Brohult, L.G. Ekelund, E. Hultman, and G. Maschio, 1967a, Forvarsmedicin, 3, p. 91.
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Group B exercised to exhaustion on Day 1. Then, after 24 hours on high-fat, high-protein diets, they again exercised to exhaustion (Day 0) before eating high-carbohydrate diets for the next 7 days. Group C performed only one exercise bout on Day 0 and then ate high-carbohydrate diets for the next 7 days.
This experiment showed the following.
The exhaustive exercise caused muscle glycogen levels to fall to very low levels.
Researchers observed minimal glycogen resynthesis when a high-fat, high-protein diet (carbohydrate depletion) was eaten by Group A between Day -3 and Day 0 and by Group B between Day -1 and Day 0.
A high-carbohydrate (90%) diet (carbohydrate loading) caused muscle glycogen levels to be resynthesized rapidly, so that preexercise levels were exceeded within 24 hours (see lines for all groups between Day 0 and Day 1).
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