Postexercise muscle glycogen resynthesis in humans

Louise M. Burke, Luc J. C. van Loon, John A. Hawley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Since the pioneering studies conducted in the 1960s in which glycogen status was investigated using the muscle biopsy technique, sports scientists have developed a sophisticated appreciation of the role of glycogen in cellular adaptation and exercise performance, as well as sites of storage of this important metabolic fuel. While sports nutrition guidelines have evolved during the past decade to incorporate sport-specific and periodized manipulation of carbohydrate (CHO) availability, athletes attempt to maximize muscle glycogen synthesis between important workouts or competitive events so that fuel stores closely match the demands of the prescribed exercise. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that enhance or impair this biphasic process. In the early postexercise period (0-4 h), glycogen depletion provides a strong drive for its own resynthesis, with the provision of CHO (similar to 1 g/kg body mass) optimizing this process. During the later phase of recovery (4-24 h), CHO intake should meet the anticipated fuel needs of the training/competition, with the type, form, and pattern of intake being less important than total intake. Dietary strategies that can enhance glycogen synthesis from suboptimal amounts of CHO or energy intake are of practical interest to many athletes; in this scenario, the coingestion of protein with CHO can assist glycogen storage. Future research should identify other factors that enhance the rate of synthesis of glycogen storage in a limited time frame, improve glycogen storage from a limited CHO intake, or increase muscle glycogen supercompensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1067
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume122
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Keywords

  • refueling
  • carbohydrate intake
  • carbohydrate loading
  • glycogen synthase
  • HUMAN SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • CARBOHYDRATE-PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT
  • PROLONGED SEVERE EXERCISE
  • PLASMA-INSULIN RESPONSES
  • ENDURANCE-TYPE EXERCISE
  • SHORT-TERM RECOVERY
  • ECCENTRIC EXERCISE
  • CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION
  • EXHAUSTIVE EXERCISE
  • AMINO-ACID

Cite this