Insulin, Glycogen, Glucose, Oh My?
I was recently referred to this great thread from bradley: http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...I&pagenumber=1
After reading it, I still have some concerns. Now, I may have missed it or became confused in the process of reading it, but it seems to me that there is still something missing. Please help me understand if I have overlooked something.
Okay. Try to follow me here….. I understand the concept of eating high GI carbs about 45 minutes before a workout to get an insulin spike at the beginning of the workout, while it then tapers of at the end to leave you in a decreased catabolic state post training, so your body will have a more stabilized insulin level to start repairing muscle right away. What I don’t really understand is if, just like it was mentioned in the thread, the role of insulin is to remove glucose from the bloodstream to store in the muscle cells, and (from what I understand) glucose in your blood only serves to feed you nervous system, and since your body is in energy burning mode and not in a energy storing mode during exercise, wouldn’t the excess glucose not get stored during a workout and interfere with glucagon, which is necessary for energy utilization, thus going against what is wanted the most; getting as much glucagon stored in the muscle cells as possible during the workout?
Then there is the issue of moving the pre-workout meal directly before the workout and even having some during. This sounds like it would help with the timing of the insulin spike, but I thought that (and please correct me if I am wrong):
- even during the workout, the body utilizes liver glycogen to maintain blood glucose, so if muscles could use it, it would always be there, correct?
- muscles rely primarily on glycogen stored within the cells, not blood glucose, right?
- consuming carbohydrates, even in liquid form, would cause blood to be redirected to the gut (and away from muscle) for digestion/absorption?
- elevated blood glucose levels caused by carb ingestion result in insulin release, which may be anabolic, but might interfere with breakdown of glycogen and fat for energy?
So, if a carb drink was consumed while working out, glucose shouldn’t get transferred into the muscle cells, right? How well can muscle cells utilize this glucose for energy especially when your body is in a energy burning state; how effective is insulin? I would imagine it’s not very effective. What about if muscles could use blood glucose, whose levels are maintained by the liver, would a carb drink even be needed? Shouldn’t we already have around 80-100g worth of carbs in the liver waiting to replenish blood glucose?
Sorry for the amount of questions, but a lot of the info in that thread seems to conflict to what I was told and have read from multiple sources over the years.