GLYCOGEN SUPERCOMPENSATION HELPFUL FOR SOME TASKS BUT NOT FOR OTHERS
Hawley, J. A., Schabort, E. J., Noakes, T. D., & Dennis, S. C. (1997). Carbohydrate-loading and exercise performance. Sports Medicine, 24, 73-81.
Carbohydrate loading is a popular activity among athletes. However, its effects on varying forms of exercise have not been conclusively established. In this review the authors conclude the following.
At the completion of both forms of exercise there are substantial quantities of glycogen still remaining in the working muscles.
Implication. Glycogen loading is not helpful for single bouts of short intense exercise, or moderate intensity endurance activity of up to 90 minutes duration. However, it is helpful for maximum endurance tasks where glycogen levels have the potential to be substantially reduced. It appears that glycogen supercompensation is only valuable for very extended moderate exercise bouts, such as a two-hour training session, or maximum shorter but aerobically-dominant tasks.
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