Glycogen is an agglomeration of glucose that plays a crucial role in providing energy to human cells. It is stored in the muscles and in the liver, and can be quickly converted into glucose to provide energy to the muscles during physical exercise. It's the equivalent of a fuel tank for athletes.
The importance of glycogen in endurance sports is undeniable. Sports such as cross-country skiing, cycling, triathlon, swimming and running involve repetitive and prolonged movements which obviously require a great deal of energy. Muscles therefore primarily use glycogen as fuel during these activities. A sufficient store of glycogen can mean the difference between a successful performance, and the famous "bonk" so common for endurance athletes.
The duration and intensity of exercise determine the amount of glycogen that is used. During exercise, muscle glycogen stores can be consumed in just a few hours. When the reserves are depleted, performance can be seriously affected and fatigue can occur much more quickly.
It is therefore important for athletes to maintain adequate glycogen stores. This can be done by consuming carbohydrate-rich foods before exercise (Carb-loading) to properly fill the tank, as well as during exercise to ensure you never run out of fuel.
Glycogen is also very important for recovery after exercise. Consuming carbohydrates post-workout is therefore recommended, as it helps to replenish glycogen stores and prevent fatigue and muscle breakdown.
Glycogen is therefore a crucial component of endurance performance and its maintenance of adequate stores can make a significant difference for athletes. They already invest an enormous amount of time and effort in achieving their goals, and understanding the importance of glycogen and its management is crucial to maximizing these investments.
Our UPIKA Endurance and UPIKA Endurance+ formula has 25g of quality, easily digestible carbohydrates, which allow you to easily fill your glycogen reserves before exercise and maintain them at an adequate level for the entire duration.