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Barry Anderberg
07-11-2008, 06:31 AM
If I'm strength training three times a week (Starting Strength) and eating a paleo diet, aren't I going to eventually deplete my glycogen? It seems very difficult to get many carbs if all I am eating are meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Fructose from fruit cannot replenish muscle glycogen, right?

What I really want to know is what the minimum amount of carbs I need to eat to avoid glycogen depletion is. I don't want my training to suffer or my strength to go down.

Mike ODonnell
07-11-2008, 07:03 AM
Unless you are trying to get a BB look....you won't deplete as much glycogen as you think you will do. Most workouts can recover with whole food carbs anywhere from 60-100g of carbs. (along with any other daily carb intake you have). You have to find the number that works for you....and get's you through a workout. Worst case...take a day off on the weekends and eat more carbs....you will replenish.

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-11-2008, 09:03 AM
There is a article fron last months Performance Menu specificaly on glycogen replenishment. Some fruits are higher in Glucose than you would think. I also have thought about veggie juicing post work out not whole foods but (shrug).

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-11-2008, 09:11 AM
Hey. I just checked about which issue that article was in and it turns out it is in the free download issue. Just go to back issues and search for Glycogen. Can't suggest PM strongly enough.

Derek Weaver
07-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Adding in some yams or sweet potatoes never hurt...

Plus, don't underestimate the importance of keeping liver glycogen filled.

Good things happen when the liver is in a good place.

Mike ODonnell
07-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Good things happen when the liver is in a good place.

True that!! Eat some Fruit!

Barry Anderberg
07-11-2008, 07:29 PM
True that!! Eat some Fruit!

Definitely.

However, if insulin is anabolic then this would seem to speak against doing a strict paleo diet when seeking to build muscle.

Unless the paleo diet makes you so insulin sensitive that the paleo carbs you do get are sufficient..

I don't know.. I think I need to go back to school and get a second degree in sports nutrition.

Edit: Looks like you replied to my comment on your blog.. thanks.

Steven Low
07-11-2008, 07:42 PM
No. Insulin is not the only anabolic hormone and certainly not the strongest (growth hormone and testosterone anyone?). Insulin is actually not that much more preferential to muscle tissue over adipose tissue at least non-post workout so if you're always spiking your insulin with carbs you're also generally adding to your fat stores. The problems with insulin and carbohydrate intake are fairly well documented especially in excess... aka obesity in America. In fact, insulin knockout mice do just fine and actually tend to have longer lifespans than their counterparts.

(p.s. this is a very very very simplified view and is actually more complex than this & different in some cases but I think you get the point).

Basically, don't worry about insulin too much and it's better to keep it on the low side. As long as you're eating well, getting enough sleep and lifting heavy you will gain muscle mass and strength. Keep it simple.


Consider brushing up on exercise physiology (or anatomy & phys stuff) + an overview of hormones in your body from like wikipedia or something. That will help. Either that or read most of the forum posts here, and most of the blogs that some members have in their sigs like Mike's. You will learn a lot.

Barry Anderberg
07-11-2008, 07:58 PM
I need to steer clear of the body building websites. :) Layne Norton thinks insulin is the end all be all of muscle building, and recommends a pretty high intake of carbohydrates. I just don't feel right sacrificing health by eating a ship load of carbs for the sole sake of gaining a fractional amount of extra muscle, thus my questions. Reading Good Calories Bad Calories has really caused me to rethink my approach.. as well as Mark's Daily Apple, even though I find Mark's writing style to be obnoxious as hell.

Hey Steven didn't I see you on Strength Mill in the Mark Rippetoe forum?

No. Insulin is not the only anabolic hormone and certainly not the strongest (growth hormone and testosterone anyone?). Insulin is actually not that much more preferential to muscle tissue over adipose tissue at least non-post workout so if you're always spiking your insulin with carbs you're also generally adding to your fat stores. The problems with insulin and carbohydrate intake are fairly well documented especially in excess... aka obesity in America. In fact, insulin knockout mice do just fine and actually tend to have longer lifespans than their counterparts.

(p.s. this is a very very very simplified view and is actually more complex than this & different in some cases but I think you get the point).

Basically, don't worry about insulin too much and it's better to keep it on the low side. As long as you're eating well, getting enough sleep and lifting heavy you will gain muscle mass and strength. Keep it simple.


Consider brushing up on exercise physiology (or anatomy & phys stuff) + an overview of hormones in your body from like wikipedia or something. That will help. Either that or read most of the forum posts here, and most of the blogs that some members have in their sigs like Mike's. You will learn a lot.

Mike ODonnell
07-11-2008, 08:03 PM
Layne Norton thinks insulin is the end all be all of muscle building, and recommends a pretty high intake of carbohydrates.

insulin does put on the lbs....then again most of those guys are puffy and only get lean for shows....and a BB in his 40s I know just had his gallbladder removed in an emergency surgery and is having liver issues....and lost 50lbs in one month.....

so not sure I will be taking any advice on health from bodybuilders anytime soon....

Darryl Shaw
07-14-2008, 05:29 AM
If I'm strength training three times a week (Starting Strength) and eating a paleo diet, aren't I going to eventually deplete my glycogen? It seems very difficult to get many carbs if all I am eating are meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Fructose from fruit cannot replenish muscle glycogen, right?

What I really want to know is what the minimum amount of carbs I need to eat to avoid glycogen depletion is. I don't want my training to suffer or my strength to go down.

Glyocogen depletion shouldn't be an issue on a paleo diet because contrary to popular belief the diet of paleolithic hunter-gatherers (actually gatherer-scavengers) was largely plant based. I believe the confusion regarding the ratio of plant to animal foods ratio comes from Cordains research showing that hunter-gathers derive around 70% of their calories from animal foods. This doesn't mean that they ate a meat based diet though as this figure of 70% results from the fact that animal foods have a far higher calorie density than plant foods so when you look at plant/animal food ratios of hunter-gathers in terms of weight and volume you find a ratio closer to 70/30 with the bulk of the diet being plants.

Basically, don't worry about insulin too much and it's better to keep it on the low side. As long as you're eating well, getting enough sleep and lifting heavy you will gain muscle mass and strength. Keep it simple.

Well said. Exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels so the only people who really need to worry about their blood sugar and insulin levels are couch potatoes.

Mike ODonnell
07-14-2008, 06:24 AM
the only people who really need to worry about their blood sugar and insulin levels are couch potatoes.

Not so true....as you can active in spurts....be eating sugar all day....and still develop insulin resistance...increase inflammation and risks of all degenerative diseases across the board. The rate at which it all progresses of course will be individualistic to activity levels and personal insulin sensitivity to begin with. But skinny and athletic people get diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer too. Insulin is probably the ONLY hormone we have true full control over and the one we need to focus on the most. A few spikes a week from pwo feeding is not going to do much.....but chronic spikes and high levels will lead to disease and early retirement from mankind. (Just did a whole post on insulin (http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/07/11/insulin-and-sugar-the-one-hormone-you-need-to-control-and-the-one-enemy-you-need-to-avoid/) on the blog...but I highly recommend you read Dr Rosedale's full lecture notes (http://drbass.com/rosedale2.html) as well)

Darryl Shaw
07-14-2008, 06:45 AM
Not so true....as you can active in spurts....be eating sugar all day....and still develop insulin resistance...increase inflammation and risks of all degenerative diseases across the board. The rate at which it all progresses of course will be individualistic to activity levels and personal insulin sensitivity to begin with. But skinny and athletic people get diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer too. Insulin is probably the ONLY hormone we have true full control over and the one we need to focus on the most. A few spikes a week from pwo feeding is not going to do much.....but chronic spikes and high levels will lead to disease and early retirement from mankind. (Just did a whole post on insulin (http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/07/11/insulin-and-sugar-the-one-hormone-you-need-to-control-and-the-one-enemy-you-need-to-avoid/) on the blog...but I highly recommend you read Dr Rosedale's full lecture notes (http://drbass.com/rosedale2.html) as well)

Unless there's some genetic factors involved or they're eating a crappy diet lacking in fruit and vegetables skinny and athletic people only increase their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer if they listen to idiots who tell them they're supposed to slow down as they get older and consequently swap lean body mass for lard because as I said earlier exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels.

Mike ODonnell
07-14-2008, 07:29 AM
Unless there's some genetic factors involved or they're eating a crappy diet lacking in fruit and vegetables skinny and athletic people only increase their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer if they listen to idiots who tell them they're supposed to slow down as they get older and consequently swap lean body mass for lard because as I said earlier exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels.

Most athletes I know eat like crap....and eat TONS of sugar like gatorade, high pasta meals, Hammer Gels, donuts, candy bars, soda....but they get away with it due to extremely high activity levels. Not to be compared of course to the average corporate man/1 hour spin class/weekend jogger type of person. Of course when talking about health there are other factors such as increased oxidative damage from excess training and calorie consumption. Exercise does normalize blood sugar....when you are exercising. Someone carb loading every night to prepare for training is probably not going to be improving health. Most athletes also as they get older have inflammation issues and will gain weight quickly once they stop their training programs. Loads of variables...but of course if an athlete is eating healthy, then they have a great health base than the others eating crap.

Steve Liberati
07-14-2008, 08:03 AM
I need to steer clear of the body building websites. :) Layne Norton thinks insulin is the end all be all of muscle building, and recommends a pretty high intake of carbohydrates. I just don't feel right sacrificing health by eating a ship load of carbs for the sole sake of gaining a fractional amount of extra muscle, thus my questions. Reading Good Calories Bad Calories has really caused me to rethink my approach.. as well as Mark's Daily Apple, even though I find Mark's writing style to be obnoxious as hell.

Hey Steven didn't I see you on Strength Mill in the Mark Rippetoe forum?

Wierd never thought that about Mark's writing style. In fact, I find his style quite down to earth and (captivating). Now Art Devaney is a different story. I find him obnoxious as hell. While I enjoyed reading his blog over the years (great thinker and articulator), I think Art's ego often gets in the way of his writing. Art D. considers himself the prototypical Alpha Male, others just see it as narcissistic. He's probably the same guy who bites the waitress's head off for forgetting his side of broccoli or sends his food back for not being the exact temperature he likes. I could be wrong, but I bet he's a complete dick in real life.

Mike ODonnell
07-14-2008, 09:48 AM
Wierd never thought that about Mark's writing style. In fact, I find his style quite down to earth and (captivating). Now Art Devaney is a different story. I find him obnoxious as hell. While I enjoyed reading his blog over the years (great thinker and articulator), I think Art's ego often gets in the way of his writing. Art D. considers himself the prototypical Alpha Male, others just see it as narcissistic. He's probably the same guy who bites the waitress's head off for forgetting his side of broccoli or sends his food back for not being the exact temperature he likes. I could be wrong, but I bet he's a complete dick in real life.

His blog is going private anyways.....so I took him off the RSS reader because I was tired of hearing how great he was and how much great stuff is in the private section....not that there is anything wrong with trying to make money on the net (I know that for sure)...but never liked his self centered style even if he is in great shape (but he always has been). However I'd probably still pay $30 for a book if he ever writes it as he is a very smart guy.