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fornero
11-30-2003, 06:28 PM
Over the past few weeks I've done quite a bit of reading on cyclical diet plans, and have been experimenting with a few of them in various forms.

First, some background info:
I'm 20 years old, 5'10", ~145lbs, ~6% bf. I've dieted down from 235 using the traditional lowfat/high carb/low calorie method, coupled with extensive cardio/weight training (ya, almost certainly overtrained). Over the past 7 months or so, I've been working on restricted carbs, and have found that my performance in the gym, my saiety, and LBM/bf% have all improved. With the exception of a CKD cycle a week or so ago, I've never done a ketogenic diet, but depending on what I'm working with, my carbs range from 50-200g/day, which is considerably lower than the avgerage diet.

At this point, I'm quite happy with my physique, and would simply like to maintain my body composition while putting on a little muscle (I'm fine with slow muscle gains, as keeping fat gains minimal is the most important thing for me). I'd also like to be able to live a little on the weekends (read: do the college kid thing). In addition, I believe that at my current bf%, I'm considerably below my body's natural "setpoint", as when I eat maitenance calories, I usually find myself feeling ravenously hungry/tired/etc by the end of the week, which tells me some sort of refeeds are going to be needed.

My current plan is to do reduced carbs during the week (aiming for ~70g/day on lifting days, possibly less on cardio days). I'll workout my entire body over M/T, do HIIT on W/TH, and then do a depletion style (high volume, probably circuit training) workout friday afternoon. Following this, I'll begin a carb-load, with the goal of supercompensating muscle glycogen stores (which should be fairly depleted given restricted carbs and intense excercise) and raising leptin levels.

Here are my questions:
1.) If I consume alcohol on friday/saturday night, I know the liver immediately switches over to ethanol metabolism, and begins burning it as its prefered fuel source, storing everything else. While this would be bad on a CKD, as it would bring fat burning to a screeching halt (which would normally continue even through the carb-load), as I'm not going ketogenic, my real concern would be with glycogen storage and spillover-- assuming I'm doing a ~30 hour carb load (starting friday evening after a depletion workout, ending saturday night), and staying within moderate caloric restrictions (~16g/kg carbs)-- would consuming alcohol prevent the storage of muscle glycogen?

2.) Would it be beneficial to do a light full body workout on saturday morning? Something along the lines of 2-3 circuits, to stimulate increased muscle glycogen uptake (nothing coming anywhere close to failure).

-Matt

bradley
12-01-2003, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by fornero
Here are my questions:
1.) If I consume alcohol on friday/saturday night, I know the liver immediately switches over to ethanol metabolism, and begins burning it as its prefered fuel source, storing everything else. While this would be bad on a CKD, as it would bring fat burning to a screeching halt (which would normally continue even through the carb-load), as I'm not going ketogenic, my real concern would be with glycogen storage and spillover-- assuming I'm doing a ~30 hour carb load (starting friday evening after a depletion workout, ending saturday night), and staying within moderate caloric restrictions (~16g/kg carbs)-- would consuming alcohol prevent the storage of muscle glycogen?

Here is one related study, but I have not looked into the effects that alcohol can have on refeeding. Maybe this will help somewhat.

From the study below it does not seem that moderate alcohol consumption would have a detrimental impact on overall glycogen storage.
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: J Appl Physiol. 2003 Sep;95(3):983-90. Epub 2003 May 09.

Effect of alcohol intake on muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise.

Burke LM, Collier GR, Broad EM, Davis PG, Martin DT, Sanigorski AJ, Hargreaves M.

Sports Science and Sports Medicine, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen Australian Capital Territory 2616. louise.burke@ausport.gov.au

We studied the effects of alcohol intake on postexercise muscle glycogen restoration with samples from vastus lateralis being collected immediately after glycogen-depleting cycling and after a set recovery period. Six well-trained cyclists undertook a study of 8-h recovery (2 meals), and another nine cyclists undertook a separate 24-h protocol (4 meals). In each study, subjects completed three trials in crossover order: control (C) diet [meals providing carbohydrate (CHO) of 1.75 g/kg]; alcohol-displacement (A) diet (1.5 g/kg alcohol displacing CHO energy from C) and alcohol + CHO (AC) diet (C + 1.5 g/kg alcohol). Alcohol intake reduced postmeal glycemia especially in A trial and 24-h study, although insulin responses were maintained. Alcohol intake increased serum triglycerides, particularly in the 24-h study and AC trial. Glycogen storage was decreased in A diets compared with C at 8 h (24.4 +/- 7 vs. 44.6 +/- 6 mmol/kg wet wt, means +/- SE, P < 0.05) and 24 h (68 +/- 5 vs. 82 +/- 5 mmol/kg wet wt, P < 0.05). There was a trend to reduced glycogen storage with AC in 8 h (36.2 +/- 8 mmol/kg wet wt, P = 0.1) but no difference in 24 h (85 +/- 9 mmol/kg wet wt). We conclude that 1). the direct effect of alcohol on postexercise glycogen synthesis is unclear, and 2). the main effect of alcohol intake is indirect, by displacing CHO intake from optimal recovery nutrition practices.

PMID: 12740311



2.) Would it be beneficial to do a light full body workout on saturday morning? Something along the lines of 2-3 circuits, to stimulate increased muscle glycogen uptake (nothing coming anywhere close to failure).


I do not think this would actually be beneficial since the ultimate goal of a refeed/carb up is glycogen replenishment and to increase leptin levels. A short depletion workout would further deplete glycogen stores, which would cause an increase in the amount of carbs needed to cause spillover into adipocytes. Keep in mind that a little spillover is the ultimate goal, when referring to increasing leptin levels.

Although I am not sure about the effects that a second depletion workout would have on achieving glycogen supercompensation.

fornero
12-01-2003, 09:38 AM
I do not think this would actually be beneficial since the ultimate goal of a refeed/carb up is glycogen replenishment and to increase leptin levels. A short depletion workout would further deplete glycogen stores, which would cause an increase in the amount of carbs needed to cause spillover into adipocytes. Keep in mind that a little spillover is the ultimate goal, when referring to increasing leptin levels.

Although I am not sure about the effects that a second depletion workout would have on achieving glycogen supercompensation.

My concern is that I'd be starting the carb up on friday evening, and then be sleeping for a good 8 hours of it, so the post-workout increase in glycogen synthesis would be diminished (as opposed to the refeeds I've done previously, which were 12-14 hrs in length, and occured directly following a morning depletion workout).

While some depletion of glycogen stores would occur over 2-3 circuits, I don't think it would be all that susbstantial when compared to the carb intake, and my understanding is that it would promote increased glycogen synthesis throughout the day.

I've yet to try a refeed longer than 12-14 hours, so spillover is definately something that's on my mind. I definately feel like I need to do some sort of refeed (carb cravings/feelings of lethargy hit hard toward the end of the week), but I'd rather not do so like a hermit; pounding down cereal/bread laying on my couch ;)

From the position of minimizing the negetive affects of alcohol consumption as much as possible (as well as promoting greater glycogen loading for the remainder of the refeed), do you think the 2nd workout would be useful?

-Matt

bradley
12-01-2003, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by fornero


My concern is that I'd be starting the carb up on friday evening, and then be sleeping for a good 8 hours of it, so the post-workout increase in glycogen synthesis would be diminished (as opposed to the refeeds I've done previously, which were 12-14 hrs in length, and occured directly following a morning depletion workout).

If I remember correctly the highest rate of glycogen synthesis occurs during the first six hours, so it is not that long of a window. I suppose that you are going to go out on Friday, due to the questions about alcohol, so you should be able to get in a good amount of carbs over the course of the evening. Although I do see where you are coming from.

What about performing the depletion workout on Saturday morning and then starting your refeed then?



While some depletion of glycogen stores would occur over 2-3 circuits, I don't think it would be all that susbstantial when compared to the carb intake, and my understanding is that it would promote increased glycogen synthesis throughout the day.

I've yet to try a refeed longer than 12-14 hours, so spillover is definately something that's on my mind. I definately feel like I need to do some sort of refeed (carb cravings/feelings of lethargy hit hard toward the end of the week), but I'd rather not do so like a hermit; pounding down cereal/bread laying on my couch ;)

Keep in mind that one of the ultimate goals of refeeding is to cause a small amount of spillover. I personally would give it a try without the second depletion workout and see what kind of results you get. If you do not want to be gorging on carbs all weekend, then the second depletion workout might not be a good idea. If you keep the refeed clean, the amount of spillover will not be significant unless you just go absolutely crazy one the pasta, bread, pretzels, etc.



From the position of minimizing the negetive affects of alcohol consumption as much as possible (as well as promoting greater glycogen loading for the remainder of the refeed), do you think the 2nd workout would be useful?

I can not say for sure, but I think the amount of alcohol you plan on consuming would be the main determining factor. If you must drink, do so moderately, and continue the refeed as normal with only one depletion workout. Next week you might try adding in the second depletion workout. Remember, everyone will respond differently, and there is only one way to find out for sure. Trial and error is a common approach when dieting. Either way, I do not think it is going to make a significant difference, as far as fat gain is concerned.

fornero
12-01-2003, 04:38 PM
If I remember correctly the highest rate of glycogen synthesis occurs during the first six hours, so it is not that long of a window. I suppose that you are going to go out on Friday, due to the questions about alcohol, so you should be able to get in a good amount of carbs over the course of the evening. Although I do see where you are coming from.

Ya-- I plan to go out Friday night; and while I may end up not drinking, I don't want to be in a situation where all of my friends partying, and I decline to because I "have to keep my refeed clean". It's not an issue of social pressure (I can and have dealt with that), but more along the lines of guilt/etc-- I'll feel bad about myself if I do something that I feel ****s up my diet (ya, chances are I'm pretty ****ed up, as I imagine many formerly fat people are). Ultimately, I'd like to be able to live as normally as possible on the weekends (while at the same time maintaining a much better than "normal" physique :rolleyes:).


What about performing the depletion workout on Saturday morning and then starting your refeed then?

I would (and may) do this, but it seems that come Friday (especially after working out) I feel like lukewarm crap. I waited until Sunday once on a cycle like this, and that was definately way too long, but depending on how I feel Friday, I may do just that.


Keep in mind that one of the ultimate goals of refeeding is to cause a small amount of spillover. I personally would give it a try without the second depletion workout and see what kind of results you get. If you do not want to be gorging on carbs all weekend, then the second depletion workout might not be a good idea. If you keep the refeed clean, the amount of spillover will not be significant unless you just go absolutely crazy one the pasta, bread, pretzels, etc.

Ya-- I know a little spillover needs to occur, hence the caloric deficit during the week to burn it off. My concern would be more with large (ie, greater than I burn during the week) amount of spillover on a longer refeed; especially if alcohol were thrown into the mix.

That being said, I would love nothing more than to gorge on carbs all weekend-- so if a second light workout (more to stimulate glycogen uptake/upregulate metabolism than to further deplete the stores) will allow me to "safely" eat through Saturday, then I'd consider it worthwhile-- moreso if it means I can knock back a few beers with my friends.

I really appreciate your thoughts on this, as balancing diet/hormonal/mood levels, my desire to stay lean, and my desire to "have a life" is something that's often on my mind.

bradley
12-01-2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by fornero

Ya-- I know a little spillover needs to occur, hence the caloric deficit during the week to burn it off. My concern would be more with large (ie, greater than I burn during the week) amount of spillover on a longer refeed; especially if alcohol were thrown into the mix.

If you were to hold off until Saturday to perform your refeed, you could still go out and have a few drinks with friends. This would allow you to get the best of both worlds, so to speak. A few extra cals on Friday is not going to be overly detrimental, and then you could commence to refeeding Saturday. De novo lipogenesis should not be a concern if you are depleted, unless you take in an inordinate amount of carbs.



I really appreciate your thoughts on this, as balancing diet/hormonal/mood levels, my desire to stay lean, and my desire to "have a life" is something that's often on my mind.

Everything in moderation.;)

fornero
12-01-2003, 05:13 PM
If you were to hold off until Saturday to perform your refeed, you could still go out and have a few drinks with friends. This would allow you to get the best of both worlds, so to speak. A few extra cals on Friday is not going to be overly detrimental, and then you could commence to refeeding Saturday. De novo lipogenesis should not be a concern if you are depleted, unless you take in an inordinate amount of carbs.

Ya, I'm leaning towards doing something like this. My only real concern comes from feeling weak/lethargic on friday, but that's nothing a little mild substance abuse can't solve. On that note (yes! another question), given that I'm not looking to be in ketosis, would sticking to non-carb beverages (as opposed to say, light beer-- I haven't had juice/non-diet soda in years, and have no taste for it, alone or mixed) be important in terms of depletion, or is the real issue here cals in/cals out (in which case I'm not too concerned; as between eating at 1800-1600 cals/day coupled with a pretty intensive workout schedule should leave me in a fairly large deficit).


Everything in moderation.
But of course-- though the definition of moderation becomes a bit looser the...err "looser" one gets :angel:

bradley
12-02-2003, 02:19 AM
Originally posted by fornero

On that note (yes! another question), given that I'm not looking to be in ketosis, would sticking to non-carb beverages (as opposed to say, light beer-- I haven't had juice/non-diet soda in years, and have no taste for it, alone or mixed) be important in terms of depletion, or is the real issue here cals in/cals out (in which case I'm not too concerned; as between eating at 1800-1600 cals/day coupled with a pretty intensive workout schedule should leave me in a fairly large deficit).

The carb content of light beer would be rather insignificant, since light beer only contains a small amount of carbohydrates. Most of the calories in beer are derived purely from the alcohol content.

Although you should still be quite depleted from a weeks worth of dieting at that calorie level, even if you were to take in a small amount of carbs. Also the depletion workout before the refeed will ensure that you are in a depleted state.