5

votes

Full muscle glycogen + low liver glyocgen = ketosis

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Hi, My question concerns the relationship between muscle glycogen liver glycogen and ketosis.

Particularly, I am wondering if there is a way to have full or nearly full muscle glycogen levels while having low liver glycogen levels.

The reason I ask is because liver glycogen levels determine ketosis; you must deplete liver glycogen only to enter ketosis rather than that of both muscle and liver.

This seems possible since natural starch i.e. glucose preferentially restores muscle glycogen over liver glycogen while natural sugar i.e. fructose repletes liver glycogen.

Specifically, I am wondering if there is a way to manipulate dietary carbohydrate by way of using glucose without fructose in order to establish a state of ketosis (depleted liver glycogen) and maintain a decent amount of muscle glycogen (50-75%).

All comments and discussions welcome!

p.s. I need to be in ketosis to function in school without which I have energy crashes all the time ketosis keeps my energy levels steady and soaring mentally and aerobically but i want to lift weights and look good with a low carb (some peri workout carbs) diet my body equals that of the genetically gifted mesomorph but with a SAD I am merely a skewed endomorph. about 60g (sweet potato) post workout and I have effortless muscle building and fat loss. yes weight loss equals muscle and fat loss almost ubiquitously but people have to start calling it fat loss and weight gain good weight gain is muscle gain so you shouldn't even necessarily be losing weight for a good body composition.

Im done.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 09, 2012
at 07:58 PM

The information you have isn't accurate. Do some searches for the basic biology of ketogenic diets. I am discussing this with you because you say you need ketosis, but the protocol you want to try will kick you out of ketosis. Please do not try this protocol, stick to what is working for you now, and keep reading about ketosis until it dawns on you that I am right. It should be relatively easy to find out that glucose isn't good for ketosis.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 09, 2012
at 05:21 PM

it just seems like your practicing argumentation for the sake of argumentation.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 09, 2012
at 05:21 PM

the liver produces ketones in the absence of liver glycogen muscle glycogen which can hold up to 500 grams of glucose doesn't affect ketosis. muscle glycogen status has nothing to do with ketosis only liver glycogen. liver glycogen is replenished by fruit, particularly thefructose within it.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 09, 2012
at 03:07 PM

No. If you look at the response in the body of the same amount of glucose versus fructose, you'd actually see fructose is less likely to interfere with ketosis precisely because it is shuttled to the liver. The liver only stores something like 70g of glycogen, and it maintains a general blood sugar level of about 5g to keep the brain happy. This is what it does while you are in ketosis. You don't want to overdose on fructose because too much can damage the liver, but this shouldn't happen with unrefined, paleo foods.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:19 AM

You'll do better at improving your body composition by increasing the intensity of workouts and also increasing carbs. By increasing the intensity and doing high volume workout to failure, you'll increase HGH and also prime your muscles for much improved insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing all your carbs to go to all the right places.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I've had good success with a Kitavan-type diet. I notice that I lean up more and perform better restricting carbs to sweet potatoes as opposed to fruit and sweet potatoes. fruit is good but from an athletic standpoint, I think starch is better. Try starch pre-workout and fruit post workout. and then another starch in your next meal. So, for instance, you could do sweet potato and chicken pre workout. Post workout you could have berries and then two hours later you could have a real meal of fish, vegetables, and a sweet potato with coconut cream/oil.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 10:48 PM

doesn't liver glycogen determine ketosis: http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=10815

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Well, I think carbs are necessary, and ketones can help neurological function in a lot of people, and seem to help you. So I think it's best to try to get both at the same time.... The Kitavans manage very low blood glucose (60-70 mg/dl) on a high-carb diet with lots of coconut milk. Presumably their insulin is low, and the coconut milk may well be generating some ketones. I think you should experiment with these kinds of diets.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:50 PM

it doesnt matter how many cals your body needs to 'do something' like lay down muscle, its using fat for fuel for that task anyway

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:17 PM

and another reason i desperately need to read your book

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

glycogen for the gym or serotonin affects. hence the post ketogenic diet experience realization that carbs are valuable and essential on some level commonly ommited from the extreme low carb scene

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

maybe i don't need ketones to get the accelerated cognitive function as many people are phd holders who eat carbs its just that i can't seem to kick my adhd unless i am in deep ketosis in which i write essays like i never have before. perhaps it is only insulin and not ketones which are responsible for these benefits how many years must i search until i find the problem i thought my answer was done with a ketogenic diet but then anaerobic exercise became a problem and serotonin i became a robot with no feelings able to exert extreme will and concentration in the face of cognitive tasks but no

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:03 PM

lol it was a nice answer a very good read thanks for trying to answer that.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 05, 2012
at 05:03 PM

The answer is no. You cannot manipulate dietary carbohydrate in this way because you are wrong about ketosis. Glucose causes more insulin response than fructose, so you'd shut down ketone production faster.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:58 PM

it just takes longer to replenish once you deplete because no matter what you do, the liver will have it's glycogen stores and will keep your blood sugar at a certain level. Thus, when in ketosis, your muscle stores very gradually get replenished from the blood. Exercisers eat carbs to replenish the stores faster so they can exercise more- but they don't stay in ketosis.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Nope, what? The local muscle tissue burns its local supply. You can say it is 'locked in' but nothing I said contradicts that. You do burn glycogen walking, running, etc- why do you think runners carb-load? Every exercise starts off anaerobic; you move to aerobic if you keep it up long enough.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:26 PM

what about the ketosis part is he right about that "of course you can be in ketosis and have any % of normal muscle glycogen"?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:46 AM

You're assuming the calories within a lb of muscle is equal to the calories it takes to form that muscle, which is completely incorrect. Takes about 3000kcal to lay 1 lb of muscle if I recall. And we're not talking about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy which is limited to short term.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:42 AM

Pre workout carbs IF you feel you perform better with them, otherwise, just eat them after and they will go to the right places.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:41 AM

nope, once muscle cells take up glycogen, its 'locked in' and only getting out when burned. You do not burn glycogen walking around, or even jogging*, the only time glycogen is used by muscle is in anaerobic .......

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:41 PM

when i tried fruit loading i felt literally naked like in an uncomfortable fashion as a result of the lack of ketosis and the calm stable and non anxious brain state that usually comes with it so im sticking with glucose non fructose starch

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:40 PM

i do not eat till about "when im good and hungry" usually early to late afternoon i am basically IF most days i only have had success with starches particularly sweet potatoes since they are anti inflammatory starch and loaded with beta carotene and vitamin c

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:38 PM

i thought pre workout would be better if the goal was to promote ketosis post workout may not be as conducive to such but maybe you know something i do not....

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:37 PM

i know but it seems like taking a drug to induce ketosis because it is about as natural as that since the oil is much higher than that found in single coconuts which would also contain natural sugars and yeah it seems odd to me that coconut oil is the only natural source of mcts besides human breast milk palm oil and the little bit found in butter alongside lcts and sct's what gives? biodiversity anyone but year i do keep mct coconut oil in the fridge as a back up for my coffee i will definintely keep that in mind though thanks JRM that was helpful indeed

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Of course it's possible to achieve both, maybe not minute by minute but over the course of several weeks there's no good reason why you can't build muscle while burning some body fat the rest of the time. That's kinda the point of a cyclic ketogenic diet. Of course if it was easy the world would look quite different. Just take your time with whatever goal you have and you can get there.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

thank you very much for your reply by the way

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:25 PM

you said i wasn't making any gains in actual protein accretion only neural strength gains i have to tell you that i have not been straight keto but still having preworkout carbs in the form of a sweet potatoe before bed to replenish muscle glycogen and then working out in the morning thereafter so that is where the muscle gain was coming from and the fat loss was perhaps during the daily post exercise induced ketogenesis perhaps but yeah i forgot to mention that i was doing a tkd'ish carb refeed each night for at least a week now.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:17 PM

if its impossible to simaltaneously gain muscle while losing fat is it possible to modify the ratio of muscle to fat gain such that the former outweight the latter significantly such that you would put on quite a bit of muscle while gaining little fat or what are the limits that way or must you always separate bulking cutting phases

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7 Answers

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4
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on March 23, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Targeted ketogenic diet. Have ~100g of carbs from starches around workouts, which should help preferentially fill in glycogen levels.

Ketosis has more to do with how long it has been since you've had carbohydrates. Muscle glycogen content has more to do with your activity:carb ratio.

And unfortunately you are not gaining muscle effortlessly while losing fat on a keto diet. You are probably making strength gains, which are neural, but not related to net muscle protein accretion. If you are an overfat beginner, you may make some true muscle gains while losing fat, but they will be minimal and certainly not effortless. If you are not very fat, or not a beginner, simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss is not possible.

If your goal is getting stronger/more muscular, you really should give up a ketogenic diet. If your goal is losing fat, keto is fine.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:17 PM

if its impossible to simaltaneously gain muscle while losing fat is it possible to modify the ratio of muscle to fat gain such that the former outweight the latter significantly such that you would put on quite a bit of muscle while gaining little fat or what are the limits that way or must you always separate bulking cutting phases

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

thank you very much for your reply by the way

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Of course it's possible to achieve both, maybe not minute by minute but over the course of several weeks there's no good reason why you can't build muscle while burning some body fat the rest of the time. That's kinda the point of a cyclic ketogenic diet. Of course if it was easy the world would look quite different. Just take your time with whatever goal you have and you can get there.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:25 PM

you said i wasn't making any gains in actual protein accretion only neural strength gains i have to tell you that i have not been straight keto but still having preworkout carbs in the form of a sweet potatoe before bed to replenish muscle glycogen and then working out in the morning thereafter so that is where the muscle gain was coming from and the fat loss was perhaps during the daily post exercise induced ketogenesis perhaps but yeah i forgot to mention that i was doing a tkd'ish carb refeed each night for at least a week now.

5
9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

on April 05, 2012
at 07:55 PM

Hi Lucas,

It's an interesting idea. Dietary glucose, although it goes preferentially to muscle glycogen, also goes into liver glycogen. The pathway is not fully understood but liver glycogen does get replenished after eating starch. So you might slightly promote ketosis by eating starches rather than fructose-bearing sugars, but only slightly.

However, you can also force the liver to export ketones by flooding it with short- and medium-chain fatty acids. This will happen regardless of liver glycogen levels.

So I think some combination of eating starches (ie white potatoes rather than sweet potatoes) and coconut milk would be a good strategy to try.

Best, Paul

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

maybe i don't need ketones to get the accelerated cognitive function as many people are phd holders who eat carbs its just that i can't seem to kick my adhd unless i am in deep ketosis in which i write essays like i never have before. perhaps it is only insulin and not ketones which are responsible for these benefits how many years must i search until i find the problem i thought my answer was done with a ketogenic diet but then anaerobic exercise became a problem and serotonin i became a robot with no feelings able to exert extreme will and concentration in the face of cognitive tasks but no

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:17 PM

and another reason i desperately need to read your book

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

glycogen for the gym or serotonin affects. hence the post ketogenic diet experience realization that carbs are valuable and essential on some level commonly ommited from the extreme low carb scene

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Well, I think carbs are necessary, and ketones can help neurological function in a lot of people, and seem to help you. So I think it's best to try to get both at the same time.... The Kitavans manage very low blood glucose (60-70 mg/dl) on a high-carb diet with lots of coconut milk. Presumably their insulin is low, and the coconut milk may well be generating some ketones. I think you should experiment with these kinds of diets.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:19 AM

You'll do better at improving your body composition by increasing the intensity of workouts and also increasing carbs. By increasing the intensity and doing high volume workout to failure, you'll increase HGH and also prime your muscles for much improved insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing all your carbs to go to all the right places.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I've had good success with a Kitavan-type diet. I notice that I lean up more and perform better restricting carbs to sweet potatoes as opposed to fruit and sweet potatoes. fruit is good but from an athletic standpoint, I think starch is better. Try starch pre-workout and fruit post workout. and then another starch in your next meal. So, for instance, you could do sweet potato and chicken pre workout. Post workout you could have berries and then two hours later you could have a real meal of fish, vegetables, and a sweet potato with coconut cream/oil.

3
Medium avatar

on April 05, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Strictly speaking, the workouts themselves will send glycogenic precursors (lactate/alanine) to the liver, which along with the post-workout starch, will replete liver glycogen to some extent.

I think a sedentary person should be able to remain in ketosis with a fairly substantial amount of starch. Anecdotally, I've observed that on non-workout days where I eat a lot of sweet potatoes throughout the day I am more prone to hypoglycemia a while after eating and my body temperature is lower than on days where I eat sweet potatoes & apples. Glucose by itself is used peripherally and does a very poor job of repleting liver glycogen.

On the other hand, the sedentary in ketosis would be sending alanine to the liver due to muscle breakdown resulting from cortisol-induced glucose scavenging.

So to answer your question, I have no idea.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:03 PM

lol it was a nice answer a very good read thanks for trying to answer that.

2
E753cf7753e7be889ca68b1a4203483f

on March 24, 2012
at 01:11 PM

Your carbs should be starches and eat them post workout. Have short fast or vlc periods on most days.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:41 PM

when i tried fruit loading i felt literally naked like in an uncomfortable fashion as a result of the lack of ketosis and the calm stable and non anxious brain state that usually comes with it so im sticking with glucose non fructose starch

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:40 PM

i do not eat till about "when im good and hungry" usually early to late afternoon i am basically IF most days i only have had success with starches particularly sweet potatoes since they are anti inflammatory starch and loaded with beta carotene and vitamin c

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:38 PM

i thought pre workout would be better if the goal was to promote ketosis post workout may not be as conducive to such but maybe you know something i do not....

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:42 AM

Pre workout carbs IF you feel you perform better with them, otherwise, just eat them after and they will go to the right places.

1
79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13

(448)

on March 24, 2012
at 02:49 AM

The more coconut oil you eat, the more leeway you will have on carb consumption.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on March 24, 2012
at 03:37 PM

i know but it seems like taking a drug to induce ketosis because it is about as natural as that since the oil is much higher than that found in single coconuts which would also contain natural sugars and yeah it seems odd to me that coconut oil is the only natural source of mcts besides human breast milk palm oil and the little bit found in butter alongside lcts and sct's what gives? biodiversity anyone but year i do keep mct coconut oil in the fridge as a back up for my coffee i will definintely keep that in mind though thanks JRM that was helpful indeed

-1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on April 05, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Its preposterous to think that it is impossible to lose fat AND gain muscle at the same time. PREPOSTEROUS!!!! Its ALSO preposterous to think that you need massive amounts of protein AND/OR excess calories to gain muscle.

Neither makes any sense whatsoever, no matter how much they sound right or the protein/supplement companies want you to believe.

1 LB of muscle is 454 Grams. About 90 grams and even less is protein, the rest is primarily WATER, Glucose and fat. Notice WATER is mostly what muscle is comprised of. How many calories/carbs/protein/or fat does WATER contain? I thought so.

All your body needs to do is lay down 90 whopping grams of muscle protein and SHIZAM you have 454grams (1 Pound) of new muscle (like magiK)

Lets not even begin to talk about hyper hydrating, carb loading, creatine loading, Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy ALL of which will cause a gain in LBM completely without dietary protein, heck, some of them completely without any action whatsoever, and most of which will cause increased LBM even in a calorie deficit state!!!!

And yes, of course you can be in ketosis AND have any % of muscle glycogen, heck, you can even be at 101+% of normal muscle glycogen AND be 'in' ketosis. Ketosis is in full swing once liver glycogen is empty. Stop eating carbs and depending on how much sugar the rest of your body is burning your liver will empty out pretty quick <24hrs and you will most certainly in ketosis.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:26 PM

what about the ketosis part is he right about that "of course you can be in ketosis and have any % of normal muscle glycogen"?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:46 AM

You're assuming the calories within a lb of muscle is equal to the calories it takes to form that muscle, which is completely incorrect. Takes about 3000kcal to lay 1 lb of muscle if I recall. And we're not talking about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy which is limited to short term.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:58 PM

it just takes longer to replenish once you deplete because no matter what you do, the liver will have it's glycogen stores and will keep your blood sugar at a certain level. Thus, when in ketosis, your muscle stores very gradually get replenished from the blood. Exercisers eat carbs to replenish the stores faster so they can exercise more- but they don't stay in ketosis.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 08:50 PM

it doesnt matter how many cals your body needs to 'do something' like lay down muscle, its using fat for fuel for that task anyway

-2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:38 PM

I don't see a scenario where this works out. The liver's glucose supply is there to keep vital systems alive- like the brain. The muscle glycogen is there mainly for the local muscle tissue (at least that's my impression). So the body's survival system will select for depleting muscle glycogen and keeping the emergency supply in the liver. The body will make sugar out of protein rather than let the liver supply get too depleted.

Look, you sound like you are doing pretty good right now. You are over thinking everything! Liver glycogen stores don't effect ketosis. Fooling around with glucose supplementation probably will. Spike your insulin high enough, and you shut down ketone production. Can I possibly yell louder over the internet? It sounds like you are already doing a good job; don't screw it up chasing some mirage!

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:41 AM

nope, once muscle cells take up glycogen, its 'locked in' and only getting out when burned. You do not burn glycogen walking around, or even jogging*, the only time glycogen is used by muscle is in anaerobic .......

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Nope, what? The local muscle tissue burns its local supply. You can say it is 'locked in' but nothing I said contradicts that. You do burn glycogen walking, running, etc- why do you think runners carb-load? Every exercise starts off anaerobic; you move to aerobic if you keep it up long enough.

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