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Old 01-21-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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In NK where does the muscle glycogen come from?

I am just curious how your body acquires its muscle glycogen if it isn't getting any carbohydrates. Does the body make muscle glycogen from fat?
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
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I know we have a couple of chemist and several exercise enthusiast that can give a great answer to your question.

I think the short answer is that the body will produce whatever it needs from your protein intake.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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I remember this bugged me a lot... and after reading peter attia's site and another one called "the ketogenic diet for health," it seems that on a low carb diet sources of glycogen are:

1. Any carbs you do ingest
2. Any glycogen you had previously
3. Gluconeogenesis - your body makes sugars from protein sources you ingest (and if you're not eating enough, it will take it from your lean body mass)
4. The remaining glycerol chain after a triglyceride is broken down and the fatty acids are released, although this is not a large source of glycogen.

From what I remember of biochemistry, this makes sense and provides a satisfactory answer for me.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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So what type of exercise is best if you have to stay below 25g of carbs and eat lower than the recommended protein amount. Basically my diet right now has to be pretty high fat, or else I have a really rough time with the insulin response. I am worried about eating away at my lean body mass, because I don't have that much to begin with
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #5
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nice thread
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Why are you eating under the recommended protein amount then? If you already have very little LBM, you don't have any to spare from eating too much fat.

You'll definitely lose weight eating that way, but it will be more LBM then anything. Do you really want to be skinny fat?
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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One way mentioned I think in the Art & Science books is the Cori cycle -- mainly applicable while exercising, when Lactate produced by glycogen/glucose anaerobic burning gets "recharged" back into glucose in the liver (while the liver is being fueled by fat). I think that's one process grouped under "Gluconeogenesis" though, but that should give you an idea of what the body has in its repertoire. It's not just protein being converted into glucose.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:58 AM   #8
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No, I don't want to be skinny fat. My hyperinsulinemia is so bad that I have to be under 25g of carbs a day, and between 60 - 70g of protein. The rest must be fat, and I have to have a heavy dose of it at every meal. I am working on upping the protein slowly, and I am hoping that I will be able to eventually eat more.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:36 AM   #9
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If I were you, I would do a very short exercise routine daily: 20 minutes, consisting of weight training and sprints (varied, some sort of "cross-fit-esque" workout). I would also do slow cardio, like a nice walk or hatha yoga. This will keep your muscles intact, even while you are experimenting. Personally, I would avoid longer bouts of cardio like jogging or skiing.... which typically lead to some weight gain and more intense cravings anyway.....

Just curious Punkin, what types of benefits are you now experiencing with NK? (as opposed to your old High Carb, low-cal diet)
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:08 AM   #10
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I have a serious problem with hyperinsulinemia. I don't know whether the years of excessive exercise has caused it to the extent that I have it now, but diabetes and weight issues do run in my family, so there is also a genetic factor with me. Not all people who exercise a lot experience this. I also have PCOS, which I have had forever.

NK is helping with the PCOS, I think mostly because it is a diet really high in fat, which helps my body produce the hormones, but also because it keeps my insulin levels down. In NK, even I watch my protein levels, my insulin levels become more stable. I don't have as many painful cramps in my stomach or ravenous hunger pains. A couple months ago whenever I ate a meal, I would get this horrible ravenous hunger pain while I was eating. And sometimes between meals I would get it as well, but when I got them between meals I would just exercise and they would go away. I tried everything but nothing worked until I started eating LC.
In the past I would just eat alot of carbs in the past to make the pains go away but that put me into the cycle of yoyo dieting. Then when I took up excessive exercise, that freed me from the yoyo dieting but that is when I got locked into a cycle where I kept having to exercise more and more and more. This summer I got up to 5-6hrs a day on some days. It was ridiculous, but it was the only thing that relieved the pains in my stomach other than eating. But eating didn't work either after awhile because if I ate a big meal, and hour or two later I would be ravenously hungry again and the pains would return. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night and eat 4 slices of plain bread and drink a lot of water.
Until recently I didn't know about hyperinsulinemia, and that is what is going on with me. My body isn't doing a good job of regulating my blood sugar levels. I suspect the exercise just aggravates the condition in me. Since I have been in NK I don't have a lock on my carb cupboard anymore and I am not so moody. I used to have terrible mood swings and be constantly taking things out on people. Before I would experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, not the life threatening ones, just things like dizziness, nausea, fatigue, etc. That is all gone now and I am so much happier.

Last edited by Punkin; 01-22-2013 at 06:10 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 AM   #11
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I think I read in a review on ketosis by Volek or Phinney that muscle glycogen levels drop, but not that far -- like to 70% of what they are under a "normal" diet.

Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like your concern here is losing muscle mass? Are you thinking that is related to muscle glycogen stores? I don't see that the 30% depletion of glycogen stores would trigger muscle catabolism. Your skeletal muscles are perfectly happy burning free fatty acids -- which is what you are feeding them. Probably one of the reasons why NK is LBM sparing, even under conditions of caloric restriction.

If you curtail training some of your muscle mass will probably be turned over after some time. If you don't want that to happen you could do some resistance training maybe?

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