T Nation

Carbohydrate Depletion

After reading Dave Barr’s article on Carbo-tolerance I have decided to try a week of “carb-depletion”. Meaning lowering my carb intake to an absalute minimum but increasing protein intake.
How many of you have tried this?

What was your exeprience with training during that depletion week(s). And finally is one week enough to have actual impact on fat loss?

groeten Ramon

You should plan to increase your fats intake as well; low carbs does NOT equal low kcals.

[quote]chillain wrote:
You should plan to increase your fats intake as well; low carbs does NOT equal low kcals.

[/quote]

But if the OP’s goal is to lose fat (which I assume it is) wouldn’t the goal be to lower calories. Simply replacing calories from carbs with an equal number from fats won’t do anything.

OP: in order to deplete carbs, perform multiple sets of higher rep (12-15) exercises combined with low carbs. This will deplete glycogen much faster. And yes, it sucks.

[quote]JMoUCF87 wrote:
Simply replacing calories from carbs with an equal number from fats won’t do anything[/quote]

Of course it will. It’ll deplete his glycogen stores right in line with the title of this thread.

[quote]NederPolska wrote:
After reading Dave Barr’s article on Carbo-tolerance I have decided to try a week of “carb-depletion”. Meaning lowering my carb intake to an absalute minimum but increasing protein intake.
How many of you have tried this?
[/quote]
Not the exact thing, but I have been on the anabolic diet, in which you deplete pretty much every week.

[quote]
What was your exeprience with training during that depletion week(s). And finally is one week enough to have actual impact on fat loss?
groeten Ramon[/quote]

It really sucked the first couple of week, since your body is not used to accessing fat for fuel as much.
Now, I don’t even notice it. It took about 2 months to completely adjust though.
IMO one week will do nothing more than deplete water and maybe a little fat. This ‘loss’ will come back as soon as you carb-up again.
It’s worth trying, but you need a longer experimentation window.
Try going 2 weeks before the first carb-up OR read the carb cycling articles by Christian Thibaudeau.

And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.

[quote]Evil1 wrote:
And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.[/quote]

Really? Where have you heard this? I ask because bodybuilders and/or just recreational weightlifters that look to fully glycogen deplete weight train for at least three days in order to deplete. If depleting fully was possible by not weightlifting, then why lift weights? I remember reading something like 8 days without weightlifting or something like that (I could have just made that up).

Oke guys thanx for the reply’s.
I guess i wiil have to fine-tune my plan.

“…read the carb cycling articles by Christian Thibaudeau. …” i will read this stuff.

Ramon

[quote]elusive wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.

Really? Where have you heard this? I ask because bodybuilders and/or just recreational weightlifters that look to fully glycogen deplete weight train for at least three days in order to deplete. If depleting fully was possible by not weightlifting, then why lift weights? I remember reading something like 8 days without weightlifting or something like that (I could have just made that up).[/quote]

I believe I came across i’ve come across it in a lot of discussions about low-carb/keto in general.
It only takes runners an average of 3-4 hours of running in marathons to ‘hit-the-wall’. Thats 3 hours of work. (same for 3 1 hour weight training sessions?)
Lifting weights makes the body more insulin sensitive in muscle so that there is a super-compensatory effect on a carb-up day.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=OzYOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=glycogen+usage+brain+muscle+3+hours&source=bl&ots=wDwuA9kz2X&sig=9Xhr2_u1EshO_AelsR_NzB8UjJQ&hl=en&ei=Viy8SYHbJ4PYMIyRpJMI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

The brain it self will use 120gm of stored glycogen a day. Muscle (at rest) uses ~40gm a day. blood cells require `40 gm a day.
And the average individual stores about 400gm of glycogen. But theres a limit to its depletion, the lowest it will go is 50 or something. Below a certain level (20/30 i think) people end up in the hospital.
so 350gm/160gm = 2.18 days. athletes may store a little more.

Just seems too easy. lol. Well, okay. This is of course assuming a 0 carb diet. However, I would make the arguement that in this situation (0 grams of carbs/day) you’re body will then start producing ketones as it struggles to break down glycogen quick enough. Slowing down the process slightly more. Does that hold any ground?

yeah, eventually…which is why glycogen concentration stops dropping after a while and holds steady at a minimum.
It takes the body a while to realize that it’s not going to be getting enough.
Even with cho intake at around 20gm/day (vegetables/low Glycemic)

[quote]Evil1 wrote:
elusive wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.

Really? Where have you heard this? I ask because bodybuilders and/or just recreational weightlifters that look to fully glycogen deplete weight train for at least three days in order to deplete. If depleting fully was possible by not weightlifting, then why lift weights? I remember reading something like 8 days without weightlifting or something like that (I could have just made that up).

I believe I came across i’ve come across it in a lot of discussions about low-carb/keto in general.
It only takes runners an average of 3-4 hours of running in marathons to ‘hit-the-wall’. Thats 3 hours of work. (same for 3 1 hour weight training sessions?)
Lifting weights makes the body more insulin sensitive in muscle so that there is a super-compensatory effect on a carb-up day.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=OzYOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=glycogen+usage+brain+muscle+3+hours&source=bl&ots=wDwuA9kz2X&sig=9Xhr2_u1EshO_AelsR_NzB8UjJQ&hl=en&ei=Viy8SYHbJ4PYMIyRpJMI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

The brain it self will use 120gm of stored glycogen a day. Muscle (at rest) uses ~40gm a day. blood cells require `40 gm a day.
And the average individual stores about 400gm of glycogen. But theres a limit to its depletion, the lowest it will go is 50 or something. Below a certain level (20/30 i think) people end up in the hospital.
so 350gm/160gm = 2.18 days. athletes may store a little more.

[/quote]

Wouldn’t that really depend on the type of athlete and their development of fast/slow twitch muscle? I had thought (perhaps incorrectly) that the rate of glycogen depletion was one of the differences in the muscle types making one much better suited for endurance than the other.

Does anyone know?

[quote]debraD wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
elusive wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.

Really? Where have you heard this? I ask because bodybuilders and/or just recreational weightlifters that look to fully glycogen deplete weight train for at least three days in order to deplete. If depleting fully was possible by not weightlifting, then why lift weights? I remember reading something like 8 days without weightlifting or something like that (I could have just made that up).

I believe I came across i’ve come across it in a lot of discussions about low-carb/keto in general.
It only takes runners an average of 3-4 hours of running in marathons to ‘hit-the-wall’. Thats 3 hours of work. (same for 3 1 hour weight training sessions?)
Lifting weights makes the body more insulin sensitive in muscle so that there is a super-compensatory effect on a carb-up day.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=OzYOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=glycogen+usage+brain+muscle+3+hours&source=bl&ots=wDwuA9kz2X&sig=9Xhr2_u1EshO_AelsR_NzB8UjJQ&hl=en&ei=Viy8SYHbJ4PYMIyRpJMI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

The brain it self will use 120gm of stored glycogen a day. Muscle (at rest) uses ~40gm a day. blood cells require `40 gm a day.
And the average individual stores about 400gm of glycogen. But theres a limit to its depletion, the lowest it will go is 50 or something. Below a certain level (20/30 i think) people end up in the hospital.
so 350gm/160gm = 2.18 days. athletes may store a little more.

Wouldn’t that really depend on the type of athlete and their development of fast/slow twitch muscle? I had thought (perhaps incorrectly) that the rate of glycogen depletion was one of the differences in the muscle types making one much better suited for endurance than the other.

Does anyone know?[/quote]

Yeah, type 2 fibers rely much more heavily on glycogen than type 1 fibers. So, if a person has more type 2 fibers in their muscle makeup, they should deplete glycogen at a higher rate. I’ve also read that on average, most people’s fiber types are distributed about the same.

Well I have been doing this carb depletion thing now for about a week. And actually it’s a bit harder to find food replacements and/or low carb foods here in Holland. But anyway it’s been only a week, but it’s less difficult than expected. I thought me body would protest because of the depletion but it’s not that bad actually.

Question: Is there a rialable website for low-carb foods you guys/gals can advice? I will order form Europe but that should not be a problem I quess.

^i’ve been on a keto diet for 12 weeks and have lots of good recipes i can share if you’re interested.

[quote]elusive wrote:
debraD wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
elusive wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
And yes, your body will run out of glycogen in about 2-3 days even without any workouts, if you don’t provide it from vegetables.

Really? Where have you heard this? I ask because bodybuilders and/or just recreational weightlifters that look to fully glycogen deplete weight train for at least three days in order to deplete. If depleting fully was possible by not weightlifting, then why lift weights? I remember reading something like 8 days without weightlifting or something like that (I could have just made that up).

I believe I came across i’ve come across it in a lot of discussions about low-carb/keto in general.
It only takes runners an average of 3-4 hours of running in marathons to ‘hit-the-wall’. Thats 3 hours of work. (same for 3 1 hour weight training sessions?)
Lifting weights makes the body more insulin sensitive in muscle so that there is a super-compensatory effect on a carb-up day.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=OzYOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=glycogen+usage+brain+muscle+3+hours&source=bl&ots=wDwuA9kz2X&sig=9Xhr2_u1EshO_AelsR_NzB8UjJQ&hl=en&ei=Viy8SYHbJ4PYMIyRpJMI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

The brain it self will use 120gm of stored glycogen a day. Muscle (at rest) uses ~40gm a day. blood cells require `40 gm a day.
And the average individual stores about 400gm of glycogen. But theres a limit to its depletion, the lowest it will go is 50 or something. Below a certain level (20/30 i think) people end up in the hospital.
so 350gm/160gm = 2.18 days. athletes may store a little more.

Wouldn’t that really depend on the type of athlete and their development of fast/slow twitch muscle? I had thought (perhaps incorrectly) that the rate of glycogen depletion was one of the differences in the muscle types making one much better suited for endurance than the other.

Does anyone know?

Yeah, type 2 fibers rely much more heavily on glycogen than type 1 fibers. So, if a person has more type 2 fibers in their muscle makeup, they should deplete glycogen at a higher rate. I’ve also read that on average, most people’s fiber types are distributed about the same.[/quote]

^ that is interesting. I never knew that happened. Does it then mean that a person with largely ST fibers will store less glycogen as well?

[quote]NederPolska wrote:

Question: Is there a rialable website for low-carb foods you guys/gals can advice? I will order form Europe but that should not be a problem I quess.[/quote]

www.netrition.com - delivers internationally

forum.lowcarber.org - find others who are doing low-carb

I don’t know enough to say if this determine glycogen storage. Im not sure if fiber types relate to glycogen capacity. However, I do know that type 1 (slow twitch) fibers rely more on beta-oxidation and aerobic pathways for energy, where as type 2a & 2b (fast twitch) fibers rely almost completely on glycolysis with the break down of glycogen.

It would be great if someone else can add their knowledge in here on the subject (Bill Roberts). From all the glycogen studies I’ve seen, the studies are not too helpful. They’re either mostly done with endurance athletes (which doesn’t exactly carry over to weightlifters) or they’re done with leg extensions on weight lifters with varying results. Lyle McDonald has wrote in some detail about glycogen storage and depletion and he makes reference to the lack of solid data on the subject.

[quote]elusive wrote:
I don’t know enough to say if this determine glycogen storage. Im not sure if fiber types relate to glycogen capacity. However, I do know that type 1 (slow twitch) fibers rely more on beta-oxidation and aerobic pathways for energy, where as type 2a & 2b (fast twitch) fibers rely almost completely on glycolysis with the break down of glycogen.

It would be great if someone else can add their knowledge in here on the subject (Bill Roberts). From all the glycogen studies I’ve seen, the studies are not too helpful. They’re either mostly done with endurance athletes (which doesn’t exactly carry over to weightlifters) or they’re done with leg extensions on weight lifters with varying results. Lyle McDonald has wrote in some detail about glycogen storage and depletion and he makes reference to the lack of solid data on the subject.[/quote]

until then; the best path would be to mix endurance type lifting with HIIT etc to make sure of depletion?

[quote]Evil1 wrote:
elusive wrote:
I don’t know enough to say if this determine glycogen storage. Im not sure if fiber types relate to glycogen capacity. However, I do know that type 1 (slow twitch) fibers rely more on beta-oxidation and aerobic pathways for energy, where as type 2a & 2b (fast twitch) fibers rely almost completely on glycolysis with the break down of glycogen.

It would be great if someone else can add their knowledge in here on the subject (Bill Roberts). From all the glycogen studies I’ve seen, the studies are not too helpful. They’re either mostly done with endurance athletes (which doesn’t exactly carry over to weightlifters) or they’re done with leg extensions on weight lifters with varying results. Lyle McDonald has wrote in some detail about glycogen storage and depletion and he makes reference to the lack of solid data on the subject.

until then; the best path would be to mix endurance type lifting with HIIT etc to make sure of depletion?[/quote]

What are you trying to achieve with depletion? I mean, wouldn’t an excess of depletion contribute to a loss of muscle?