Glycogen stores


Greg Nuckols wrote an article two weeks ago about various ways of testing a person’s recovery with the aim being to regulate training intensity based off of how recovered one is. I believe you have also written about this topic in the past.

My question is, what types of tests can I, or anyone else, do to determine the amount of glycogen in my muscles to determine how many grams of carbohydrates I should eat? I notice when I look very flat (one or two days without a significant amount of carbs), when I should eat more carbs or bloated (like after thanksgiving) when I should cut back a bit for the next day or two. However, I can’t really tell where my glycogen stores are at unless I am at the two extremes that I just mentioned. Any ideas besides looking in the mirror?


The only way I can think of is to get a Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (DXA) after a couple days of re-feeding to fill up on glycogen. and then getting another scan to determine the difference. I can’t think of another way to do it. DXA scans will give you the weight of lean body mass in specific compartments of your body that you choose.

say your right arm weighs 10kg on your baseline day. You measure again and it weighs 9.5kg on a day you feel “depleted”. i GUESS you could assume that .5kg that is gone was the glycogen that you depleted. 500g of missing weight…25% of that would be carbohydrate, the rest would be water. glycogen is stored on a 1:3 ratio with water. approximately 125g of CHO missing from that arm, (obviously this is hypothetical). Now I just thought this up in my head. Keep in mind CHO aren’t the only thing coming into and out of the muscle cell…