The Athlete’s Basic Guide To Manipulating Carbohydrates For Optimal Performance

The Athlete’s Basic Guide To Manipulating Carbohydrates For Optimal Performance

When it comes to athletics and nutrition, there are a few nutrients that garner more attention than carbohydrates.

No matter what sport you're involved with or athletic event you're attending, there's a good chance that different carbohydrates are available, claiming to help provide acute or sustained energy.

As an athlete, you need to have command over how carbohydrates benefit your body and performance, and also, how to use them strategically to put yourself at a competitive advantage.

Whether you've purchased our performance carbohydrate, Glyco-Muscle Fueler, or not, we wanted you to have a no-frills carbohydrate resource so that you can make informed decisions when it comes to your performance nutrition to give you that edge.

Throughout this brief report, you’ll learn the basics behind carbohydrates and gain a better understanding of what carbs do in the body for the athlete and the weekend warrior alike.

You’ll also gain knowledge over how different carbohydrate sources interact with your body so that you can make smart decisions and generate strategies for using carbohydrates to enhance your performance and recovery when you need it most.

As a valued PNP Supplements patron, we care about your performance just as much as you do and it’s our hope that this resource, paired with Glyco-Muscle Fueler, not only enhances your performance, but helps you gain a better understanding of what works best for you.

What are carbohydrates and athletic performance?

What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients that we consume for energy. For the athlete, carbohydrates are arguably one of the more essential nutrients for immediate energy as well as recovery.

Carbohydrates are found in many different kinds of foods, including:

  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Candy
  • Sports Drinks
  • And more…

There are a variety of different foods that all provide carbohydrates. But each source provides a different kind with different structures. These different structures digest differently and alter how the body uses them.

For athletes looking to perform and recover, selecting the right type of carbohydrate at the right time can determine how your body performs during grueling events or workouts and how it grows for the future.

Carbohydrates Metabolize To Glucose For Energy

It is, however, imperative to know that for most of the types of carbohydrates you consume, whether, from whole grains or candy, these carbohydrates are all metabolized down into the purest sugar possible known as glucose (1).

The reason for this is simple: carbohydrates are built on chains of glucose molecules.

To better understand, take protein as an example.

Proteins from meat, for example, are structures of amino acids bound together. When you eat protein, your body metabolizes the full protein into its different amino acids, allowing them to enter the blood where they can build new cells and muscle tissue. 

For carbs, this concept is essentially the same, but with glucose molecules instead of amino acids.

Since your body can't utilize carbohydrates in their complete form, your body breaks them down into smaller molecules of glucose that can enter the blood and then provide energy for your cells.

Amazingly, the body breaks this glucose down even further, eventually producing the actual energy that each cell can use known as adenosine triphosphate or ATP.

Now, the exciting thing is that different carbohydrates have different lengths and complexities of these glucose chains, and this structure determines how easily digested the carb is (2).

For example, table sugar is known as a simple carbohydrate, because it has a very short chain of glucose. Alternatively, the carbohydrates found in whole grains have longer and often, more complicated chains and are known as complex carbohydrates.

Because simple carbs have such a small structure, they metabolize very quickly, which means that their glucose can enter the blood to fuel cells very fast.

With complex carbohydrates, their structures are complex and take longer to metabolize down to glucose, meaning, the glucose from these carbohydrates takes longer to enter the blood.

Highlights: Carbohydrates are in many ingredients. Both simple and complex carbohydrates metabolize down to glucose, which helps fuel your performance. Simple carbs metabolize much faster than complex, making them the right choice for immediate energy needs.

Carbohydrates and Athletic Performance Why It Is Important

Why Is This Important For The Athlete?

As an athlete, you need to understand how different sources of carbohydrates metabolize since it can be the difference between winning and losing.

For instance, if you're in the middle of an intense athletic event, the last thing you want to do is eat a bunch of oatmeal, right? Instead, you'd probably benefit more from drinking a sports drink or something like Glyco-Muscle Fueler.  

That's because these carb sources metabolize differently.

In this case, a sports drink comprised of simple sugar will metabolize and provide energy rapidly, while the oatmeal will take much longer to digest. In this case, carbohydrates that digest faster are the obvious choice.

What Happens In The Body When You Eat Or Drink Carbohydrates?

When you eat or drink carbohydrates, they all eventually get metabolized into glucose. Once glucose becomes readily available, it enters into your body’s circulation.

Once glucose levels in the blood begin to rise, cells from your pancreas increase production of a hormone known as insulin.

Insulin is a glucose disposal hormone. This means it helps guide that sugar into the tissues that can use it for energy or storage, like muscle or your liver (3).

Despite being cast as a "bad" hormone in recent years, functioning insulin is essential for health and survival. For example, diabetes is a disease where insulin doesn't work correctly and can lead to death if not treated.

Insulin not only responds to glucose but also the amount of glucose and the speed that glucose enters the blood. For example, if you drink a large amount of sugar, your body will release a lot of insulin to help remove that sugar from the blood (3).

Alternatively, if you eat a smaller amount of slow-digesting carbohydrates, the insulin response will be lower and happen a bit slower.

Being able to manipulate this hormone is vital for an athlete because it can determine how glucose reaches your muscles for continued performance, but it can also ruin performance too.

Too Much Insulin Can Cause A Crash

Like mentioned, if you consume too much simple sugar, your body will produce a lot of insulin. This insulin can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar, leading to a state known as hypoglycemia (4, 5).

As an athlete, this means you'll probably feel weak and dizzy and experience a drop in performance, which is the last thing you want during an event (4, 5).

Mostly, this means that you'll need to experiment with using fast-digesting carbs to determine the right amount for your body. Additionally, you'll need to experiment with when you consume them around your performance.

Isn’t Insulin Bad For Me?

There's a good chance you've heard that insulin is bad for you, and that's because of a disorder known as insulin resistance.

When the carbs you eat metabolize to glucose, your body releases insulin, and a healthy insulin response depends on the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat (2).

However, if you’re consuming high amounts of fast-digesting carbs each day and not active, your tissues can become resistant to insulin's effects. As a result, the body needs to produce more and more insulin to remove glucose from the blood (3).

If this cycle continues, your body can develop such a strong resistance that insulin no longer works. This situation is called insulin resistance and, in severe cases, Type II Diabetes (3, 6).

Fortunately, regular exercise seems to help athletes avoid this issue for the most part. If you're regularly active and focus on slower digesting, whole-food carbohydrates when you're not exercising, then insulin will likely work as it should (7, 8).

Highlights: Insulin is a hormone that helps remove sugar from the blood. With an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, insulin works normally and is vital for survival. However, low activity, paired with an abundance of fast-digesting carb sources, can cause insulin resistance.

What Determines How Carbs Are Used?

What Determines How Carbs Are Used?

Believe it or not, there are a few different ways that carbohydrates are utilized in the body. Mostly, what happens to the carbs you consume depends on various factors like:

  • Being active/inactive
  • How demanding your activity is (duration and intensity)
  • How much usable energy you have based on the type of activity
  • How much stored energy (glycogen) your muscles and liver contain

Essentially, carbohydrates will either be used rapidly if energy demands are high or stored as glycogen for later use (9).

For instance, if you're in the middle of a grueling workout and drink a sports drink, those simple carbs will help provide your muscles with glucose and energy for continued performance.

If, on the other hand, you drink that beverage after the workout, many of those carbohydrates will serve the purpose of replenishing stored glycogen.

As a simple way to understand this principle, if you're performing at a high intensity, there's a good chance the carbohydrates you eat will help support that activity by being used. If you're inactive and energy demands are low, your body will store those carbs as glycogen in your muscles and liver.

Aren’t Carbs Bad For Weight Loss?

A common misconception about carbohydrates is that eating them will limit weight loss or lead directly to weight and fat gain. While this can occur, it's not a natural result of eating carbs.

Carbohydrates, just like protein and fat, provide the body with calories. Even though carbohydrates do function differently than these other macronutrients, they still offer calories that serve a specific purpose.

What you should know is that carbohydrates do not inherently make you gain weight, and they do not directly inhibit weight loss in the same vein that neither does fat or protein.

Carbohydrates can, however, lead to these issues if you consume more than the body requires for replenishing stored glycogen or providing immediate energy, such as during a workout or event.

Think of it this way: carbohydrates have the purpose of providing usable energy for activity. That's why your muscles store glucose in the form of glycogen. This glycogen can be used to provide efficient and sustained energy during that activity.

If you consume more carbohydrates than are needed for immediate energy or to replenish these glycogen reserves, then sugars can undergo a process known as de novo lipogenesis where carbohydrates are transformed into fats (10).

But this process only occurs if those carbohydrates can’t be used as intended, such as if energy demands have been met.

Mostly, remember that carbohydrates can lead to weight gain or make weight loss difficult, but only if you eat more than you need, just like with other forms of calories.

If you're an athlete and very active, it's unlikely that this will be a concern, unless you're severely overeating carbs. Your activity level, for the most part, should be the determinant of how many or how few carbohydrates you consume.

How These Factors Determine Which Type Of Carbohydrate To Use

Now that you understand that the fate of carbohydrates depends heavily on your energy demands, it gets a little easier to decide which type of carb will be best for each situation.

Simple Carbs

Simply put, consuming fast-digesting carbohydrates like those found in sports drinks or even GlycoMuscle Fueler will be a better choice when energy demands are higher since they break down easily and can supply immediate energy. 

Additionally, it's smart to use these carbs for refueling and recovering if you have to perform multiple times in the same day or across multi-day events.

When you compete or train, your muscles are converting that stored glycogen back into glucose through a process known as glycogenolysis. As this happens, the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles declines (11).

If you use a large amount of this glycogen, you'll hit a wall in performance known as the dreaded "bonk," where performance significantly declines (12, 13).

Additionally, if you need to compete later the same day or even the following day, you'll need to replenish this stored glycogen as rapidly as possible. Otherwise, your performance will suffer.

Because of the rapid digestion rate of simple carbs, they're a better choice for rapidly replenishing your glycogen levels.

As we'll touch on a little later, knowing exactly when to use different amounts of simple carbohydrates will require self-experimentation.

Complex Carbs

While complex carbohydrates like the ones found in whole grains will break down to glucose eventually, their structure makes this happen at a slower rate. If you consume these carbohydrates too close to your workout or event, you could be left feeling full and bloated, without receiving the energy you need to perform.

Mostly, complex carbohydrates are a great idea after training or performance or earlier in the day, a few hours before your event.

First, since complex carbohydrates still break down into glucose, they'll be able to provide glycogen replenishment despite doing so at a slower rate. Second, because of their complex structure, the glucose they provide will enter the bloodstream at a slower pace than their simple carbohydrate counterparts.

Because this glucose will enter the blood a little bit slower, the body's insulin response will also be a bit less aggressive (2).

For general health, maintaining lower levels of insulin when you can is a good idea. As discussed earlier, having chronically elevated insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which is a disorder associated with obesity and disease.

Again, for most athletes, insulin resistance isn't too much of a concern, but sticking with complex carbohydrates during times when immediate energy isn't required is considered best practice (7, 8).

Lastly, because of their slower rate of digestion, complex carbohydrates are a good idea from a hunger standpoint, especially when activity level and carbohydrate consumption is lower.

Highlights: Both simple and complex carbohydrates are useful for athletes. Their usefulness, however, depends heavily on energy demands and how quickly you need that energy for sustained or future performance.

The Importance of Carbohydrates For Athletes

The Importance Of Carbohydrates For Athletes

Carbohydrates are important for athletes and performance because they provide energy much faster than other nutrients like fat. Fat does yield more energy (ATP) per gram, but can't do so efficiently during high-intensity activity, for example.

Mostly, the type of energy that your body prefers to use depends heavily on factors like the intensity and duration of your activity or sport (14).

For instance, when you're at rest or moving slowly, your body prioritizes fat metabolism for energy. Since fat provides more ATP per gram, it's more efficient when energy demands are low.

When you're burning through stored energy rapidly, the body attempts to generate energy at the rate you're using it. Since glucose metabolizes faster, it's a better choice for rapid energy production.

Imagine for a moment what is required for a runner during a 5K race. Running for this duration of time requires a significant amount of energy, especially if the athlete is running at a challenging pace.

During this race, the body needs to provide energy in a sustainable but quick fashion. Otherwise, the runner’s muscles won’t have the energy necessary to contract.

For this type of activity, glucose will likely be the choice for the body to extract energy because it can provide ATP fast enough to sustain the intensity needed for the race.

Importantly, the body is metabolizing fat as well in this situation, but glucose is providing the majority since it can do so faster. Once energy demands decline, fat will take precedence (15).

How Intense Does Activity Need To Be For Prioritizing Carbs?

Interestingly, research suggests that when your intensity of activity is at least 55-65% of your VO2 Max, carbohydrates take over as the primary source for energy production (15-21).

For most athletes, competitions often require performing at a higher intensity, such as 75-100% of VO2 Max, which indicates a preferred use of carbs as a primary fuel source.

Keep in mind: the absolute intensities that carbohydrates become the preferred source of energy will fluctuate based on your body and level of fitness. However, once intensity increases, it's safe to assume that carb usage will as well.

Carbs Are Important Even For Endurance Athletes

Because lower intensities often favor fat metabolism for energy production, many people assume that endurance athletes would, therefore, benefit from a higher fat diet.

However, research indicates that even longer duration events like a marathon will benefit from carbohydrates (21, 22).

For example, in one study, researchers measured carbohydrate and fat usage for athletes running a marathon at different intensities. One group was considered the "fast" group, running the marathon at approximately 75% of their VO2 Max, while the "slower" group ran at 65% of their VO2 Max.

They uncovered that even though the slower group ran at a lower intensity and had a slightly higher contribution of energy from fat, the total amount of carbohydrates used was not significantly different from the "fast" group (21).

Mostly, the faster group just prioritized carbohydrates more to maintain a higher intensity. The slower group still used the same amount of carbohydrates but did so at a slower rate (21).

Mostly, we can see that slower intensities will use fat to a greater extent than higher intensities, but this doesn't mean that fat will take over even for endurance-focused activities.

What Does This Mean For You?

Since carbohydrates will be the preferred source of energy for most strenuous athletic events, consuming enough carbohydrates through your diet will help ensure that you have enough for performance, especially as intensity increases. 

Importantly, other factors do influence carb usage during activity. Your training style and experience, for instance, plays an essential role in how your body uses different nutrients at different intensities.

If you have more experience with endurance-type training, you may be able to utilize more fat at higher intensities than someone who isn't endurance trained.

That, however, doesn't mean that your body won't preferentially use carbs at really high intensities. Research suggests that carbs will still be necessary at high intensities, even if you’re an elite endurance athlete (21, 22).

Consuming Enough Carbs Will Ensure Energy Availability

At the very least, eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates will ensure that your muscles have the necessary energy to contract forcefully in a sustained way, especially for longer durations at higher intensities.

If you're not consuming adequate carbohydrates through your diet, your muscles and blood might not have sufficient glucose available for sustained ATP production. 

Returning to the multi-event example previously, consuming fast-digesting carbs is the right choice because it replenishes stored glycogen rapidly.

As a result, you'll have the energy you need to perform at a high level later in the day. If you don't consume enough carbs, your energy availability will be lacking, and performance will suffer.

Once energy availability is adequate, your performance is reliant on your training adaptations rather than limited by a lack of available energy.

Highlights: Carbohydrates are quite crucial for high intensity and even endurance performance. By consuming adequate carbs, you ensure that your muscles have the energy to perform at their peak capacity.

Carbohydrates and Athletic Performance Determining Carbohydrate Intake

Determining Your Carbohydrate Intake

The number of carbohydrates that you'll need to consume each day to provide enough energy and maximize glycogen storage will vary from one individual to the next, depending on your current eating habits as well as your activity level.

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), athletes needing to perform at a high level should prioritize carbohydrates in their diet, consuming anywhere from 5-12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight each day (23).

For perspective, a 190lb or 86kg individual would need to consume roughly 430 grams of carbs on the low end and a massive 1032 grams of carbs on the high end depending on activity level and recovery demands.

Now, these ranges of carb intake are likely very high for most athletes. For instance, if you were consuming 12 grams per kilogram, at a bodyweight of 86kg, you'd be consuming more than 4,000 calories each day only from carbohydrates!

Instead of merely following strict guidelines, it's a better idea to measure your current carbohydrate intake and either increase, decrease, or maintain that amount based on your goals and current performance.

Step 1: Track Your Macronutrient Intake For A Week

Before you go about manipulating your carb intake, you first need to have an idea of how many carbs you consume each day on average.

To do this, you should track all of the food you eat for five to seven days, separate your carb intake from proteins and fats, and then average the amount.

From there, determine how many carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight you're consuming to use as a baseline.

For example: if your average carb intake is 250 grams per day, simply divide that amount by your bodyweight in kilograms. For an 86kg individual, that would equal just less than 3 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight.

Step 2: Determine How Carb Intake Should Be Manipulated

Once you have an average carb intake, consider your goals, and determine how manipulating your carb intake will benefit you.

If you feel that your performance and recovery is suffering because you don’t have enough fuel to get through your workouts, consider increasing your carb intake by one to two grams per kilogram of bodyweight.

After a week, reassess how these additional carbohydrates have influenced your performance. If you feel you need more, then consider adding another gram or two per kilogram until you think that your performance is maximized.

Step 3: Monitor Changes To Your Body

Even though carbohydrates do not inherently lead to weight gain, consuming too many of them relative to your needs will.

If you've decided to increase or decrease your carbohydrate intake, you should regularly monitor your body weight to ensure that you haven't gained or lost weight, unless that's your goal.

If you’ve increased your carbohydrate intake and seen a performance boost, yet have gained unwanted weight, it might be worth reducing the amount of fat and protein that you’re consuming to compensate for the additional calories.

Highlights: The number of carbohydrates that you consume each day should be individualized based on your current intake and how you believe changing that amount will positively benefit your performance.

Carbohydrates and Athletic Performance Nutrient Timing Consideration 

Nutrient Timing Considerations

While consuming adequate carbohydrates across days and weeks is very important, adjusting carbohydrate intake around your workout and events is very important as well.

In particular, pre-workout or event nutrition is essential to ensure that your blood has enough energy or glucose to provide immediate performance, but also so that your liver and muscles have enough glycogen reserved to provide sustained performance.

Again, while there are strict recommendations made by organizations like the ISSN, pre and intra-workout nutrition should be individualized based on your experience and preferences.

Experiment With Carb Timing

Consuming carbohydrates in the hours and minutes leading up to a workout or performance can help ensure that you have all of the energy that you need for immediate and sustained performance.

However, if you consume carbohydrates too far in advance or too close to the event, you might see a drop in performance.

For instance, if you consume too many fast-digesting carbohydrates before an event or workout, you might experience a rapid drop in blood sugar as a result. This drop in blood sugar can lead to a decline in performance (4, 5).

To avoid this or at least learn from it, try consuming your carbohydrates anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes before your training. From there, assess your performance.

By doing this, you can learn how your body reacts to carbohydrates leading up to a workout or performance. If you find that your performance has declined, you can then test consuming carbohydrates closer and further away until you find the strategy that works best for you.

However, this sort of experiment should not be done in season or before an event where performance is essential. 

Experiment With Carb Source

Just as with timing, the type of carbohydrate you consume, such as simple or complex and liquid or solid should be dependent on your preferences.

For example, a long-distance runner might prefer a mixture of complex and simple carbohydrates before a run, while an elite sprinter might prefer only simple liquid carbohydrates.

As an athlete, you should test different forms and sources of carbohydrates before and during training to determine which is best for your situation.

Once you find the right timing protocol, try experimenting with different carbohydrates until you find the type that maximizes your performance.

Experiment With Carb Amount

Lastly, the number of carbs you consume before a workout or event will again depend on your preferences and experience.

Depending on the number of carbohydrates you currently consume before and during activity, you should experiment by adjusting that amount based on what you believe you need.

If you believe that adding additional carbohydrates before and during your workout will improve your performance, try adding in anywhere between 20 and 50 grams of carbs. From there, reassess how doing so influenced your performance.

Highlights: How you manipulate your carb intake will take some experimentation. The best way to do so is to build off of your current habits and try different forms of carbs at different time points around activity to determine the right strategy for you as an individual.

Carbohydrates and Athletic Performance Glyco-Muscle Fueler

Where Glyco-Muscle Fueler Fits In

Throughout this whole book, we’ve discussed what carbohydrates are and how different forms interact with the body differently.

Now, you might be wondering where exactly Glyco-Muscle Fueler fits in.

To answer this question, let’s take a deeper dive into what Glyco-Muscle Fueler is so that you can determine how to best use it to improve performance.

Glyco-Muscle Fueler Leverages The Power Of Karbolyn

Glyco-Muscle Fueler has two primary purposes:

  1. Provide Immediate and Lasting Energy
  2. Replenish Energy Reserves For Lasting Performance

To achieve both, you need carbohydrates and proven ingredients. But when it comes to peak performance, you need more than just any carbohydrates. You need carbs that will reach your bloodstream rapidly, but not leave you with a short-lived high followed by a crash.

Glyco-Muscle Fueler gets its primary carbohydrate source from Karbolyn.

Karbolyn is a refined, complex carbohydrate known as a homopolysaccharide. That means it's a structure made up of a long chain of glucose molecules that digests reasonably quickly.

But, Glyco-Muscle Fueler isn’t just a carbohydrate supplement.

In fact, it also leverages some other proven ingredients meant to help improve blood flow and even enhance how your muscles replenish their valuable glycogen.

As a result, you have a supplement that not only provides immediate energy but one that can also improve your ability to recover rapidly.

Citrulline Malate

One of the more important ingredients found in Glyco-Muscle Fueler is known as citrulline malate.

If you've ever heard of L-Arginine, you know that it's an amino acid, which is regarded to increase the production of Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide is a compound in our bodies that helps improve blood flow and gives us the feeling of "the pump."

Believe it or not, Citrulline metabolizes into L-Arginine when you ingest it, which then leads to the production of Nitric Oxide (24, 25).

Even more, studies suggest that when you take Citrulline, it appears to elevate Arginine levels better than if you were to just supplement with Arginine alone! (26).

Because of Citrulline's ability to enhance blood flow, it's an excellent option for taking before and during workouts or intense performance.

Citrulline can help ensure that your muscles receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to perform, but also enhance the clearance of metabolic byproducts that can limit performance.

Additionally, some research suggests that using Citrulline can effectively limit fatigue during grueling workouts and potentially even improve your perception of recovery (27).

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a part of the Ayurveda supplement category.

As a part of Ayurveda supplementation, fenugreek has been used by different cultures for quite some time for various purposes. As an athlete, though, fenugreek appears to improve the process of glycogen resynthesis (28).

As a result, it's a great option for intra and post-workout supplementation and pairs perfectly with a rapidly digesting carb source like Karbolyn.

B Vitamins & Electrolytes

As an athlete, you know just how essential vitamins and electrolytes are for continued performance. Glyco-Muscle Fueler provides them.

B Vitamins are essential for the body to produce efficient energy from various carb sources. Some research suggests that intense training programs can require higher intakes of these vitamins to support your energy demands (29).

Electrolytes, on the other hand, are another requirement for the hard-training athlete. Without optimal levels of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium, your performance could severely suffer (30, 31).

Carbohydrates and Glyco-Muscle Fueler

How To Use Glyco-Muscle Fueler

Since Glyco-Muscle Fueler's primary carbohydrate source is Karbolyn, it's a great supplement for before and during workouts and athletic events, and in some cases, beneficial for after you’re finished.

Let’s dive into some ways to use it.

Pre-Workout

Since Glyco-Muscle Fueler breaks down into glucose rapidly, it’s a great way to provide your body with immediate energy, while also leveraging the benefits of the other ingredients included.

But remember, elevating blood glucose too rapidly before training or performance can cause insulin to spike, leading to feelings of fatigue. This means you need to experiment (4, 5).

If you already take a pre-workout, it’s a good idea to start by taking your dose of Glyco-Muscle Fueler at the same time, since it’s meant to enhance performance.  

If you're not already using a pre-workout, try taking your initial dose of Glyco-Muscle Fueler around 15 minutes before you train. That way, you'll be a few sets in before Glyco hits your bloodstream.

From there, assess how you feel. If 15 minutes pre-workout works for you, that’s great! If not, try experimenting with 15-minute increments, working your way up or down until you find the time point that improves performance the most.

Intra-Workout

Just like with a sports drink, Glyco-Muscle Fueler will provide you with the energy needed to continue working hard.

A good rule of thumb is to begin using some Glyco-Muscle Fueler just before you expect some fatigue to set in. For a workout, this probably means after you’ve completed your first exercise.

However, when you use Glyco should be based on how you’re performing. If you feel you need more energy, start sooner. If you feel fresh, then consider saving it.

Using One Dose Just Before & During Your Workout

Depending on your typical carbohydrate strategy, you might find that you only need one dose of Glyco-Muscle Fueler to enhance your performance.

In this case, try sipping on your drink just a few minutes before you begin and continue throughout the workout until you feel your energy needs are met, or, you finish your serving.

Post-Workout Recovery

Since Glyco-Muscle Fueler will digest rapidly, it’s best to limit its use post-workout to times when immediate recovery is essential.

This includes situations such as:

  • You have to work out or perform later in the day.
  • You need to recover for a multi-day event.

During these situations, replenishing stored glycogen quickly is essential for your future performance (13).

If, however, you don't require immediate recovery and glycogen replenishment, you should save Glyco-Muscle Fueler for your next workout or event.

As mentioned earlier, during these situations it’s best to opt for slower digesting, complex carbohydrates, to help you maintain insulin sensitivity and overall metabolic health, while still providing the nutrients required for recovery, just at a slower rate.

Carbohydrates For Athletic Performance

Final Thoughts

For the athlete, there are few nutrients as important as the carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates provide not only the immediate energy you need during the most demanding of athletic events, but also provide stored energy for future performance.

Importantly, the types and amounts of carbohydrates you consume are arguably just as important as when you use them.

Hopefully through reading this guide, you’ve gained a better understanding of what carbohydrates are and how best to manipulate your carb intake for maximal performance.

Be sure to revisit this guide from time to time to reevaluate your own carbohydrate experiments and perhaps, reinforce the ideas you have to continue to develop the strategies that work best for you.

Glyco-Muscle Fueler Carbohydrate Supplement Powder

References

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  3. Wilcox, G. (2005). Insulin and insulin resistance. Clinical biochemist reviews26(2), 19.

  4. Jentjens, R. L., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2002). Prevalence of hypoglycemia following pre-exercise carbohydrate ingestion is not accompanied by higher insulin sensitivity. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism12(4), 398-413.

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  6. Taylor, R. (2012). Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes61(4), 778-779.

  7. Gill, J. M. (2007). Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin resistance: a short update. Current opinion in lipidology18(1), 47-52.

  8. Bell, L. M., Watts, K., Siafarikas, A., Thompson, A., Ratnam, N., Bulsara, M., ... & Davis, E. A. (2007). Exercise alone reduces insulin resistance in obese children independently of changes in body composition. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism92(11), 4230-4235.

  9. Mul, J. D., Stanford, K. I., Hirshman, M. F., & Goodyear, L. J. (2015). Exercise and regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. In Progress in molecular biology and translational science (Vol. 135, pp. 17-37). Academic Press.

  10. Acheson, K. J., Schutz, Y., Bessard, T., Anantharaman, K. R. I. S. H. N. A., Flatt, J. P., & Jequier, E. (1988). Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. The American journal of clinical nutrition48(2), 240-247.

  11. Hargreaves, M. A. R. K., McCONELL, G. L. E. N. N., & Proietto, J. O. S. E. P. H. (1995). Influence of muscle glycogen on glycogenolysis and glucose uptake during exercise in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology78(1), 288-292.

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Samuel Biesack
Samuel Biesack - Author

Sam is a strength & conditioning coach who specializes in exercise and nutrition research. He holds a Master's in Exercise & Nutrition Science and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. If he's not lifting in the gym, he's probably running a trail in Colorado or playing video games.


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