T Nation

GU and Anabolic Diet

I’ve been on the AD for a year and a half (excepting the holidays!) with good results. I’m looking for a way to increase my energy levels on DL days where I do 25 min. of mobility, DL, then do supplemental back work for a total of about 2 hours. After the DL I am drained.

If I understand the physiology, I’ve depleted muscle glycogen and am burning body fat for fuel - good for fat loss but detracting from maximal lifting. I used to do a lot of trail running and GU provided an incredible energy boost taken every 30-45 minutes.

Although this would reduce bodyfat burning, I’m wondering if it would improve my strength gains without getting stored as bodyfat. I’m thinking that I would fully burn the carbs in the GU in the workout.

Any thoughts?

Are you happy with your current muscle mass? If not I’d consider incorporating carbs into your diet. Perhaps carb cycling, or perhaps just around your workout time. It depends on your BF%. 10% seems to be some magic number that is often referred to regarding the point where insulin sensitivity becomes good enough for people who previously had an issue.

Do you want to increase your DL? If you just want to increase your strength, then carbs are not necessarily mandatory IMO, but would def help through increased muscle mass.

As for sustained energy for lifting, I’d use the following carbs and supps:

Carbs - palatinose, malto and glucose (with hydrolyzed protein throughout your workout - those are some of the main ingredients in Surge Workout Fuel and Surge Recovery coincidentally)
Other Supps - Depends on intensity and particular goals, but Beta-7, citruline malate, caffeine & Power Drive come to mind.

BTW to answer your question about GU, it looks like an okay product. I suggest trying my suggestions and seeing if you like that better.

I agree with BulletproofTiger pretty much. Basically, you are likely to be NOT able to use GU, as if I remember correctly 1 sachet is ~20gCHO - 2/3rds of your daily intake right there. If you want to be VERY strict during the day, you could have 1… but once you’re fat adapted it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Make sure that you refeed properly, and if you are having problems still try putting your mobility/deadlift day shortly after your refeed (so glycogen levels are still topped off).

Or, as above, carb cycle or something if it’s really worrying you. But adding in a few GU packs is no longer the AD.

EDIT: For clarity

I would suggest trying out Pemmican as a replacement.
you can get unsweetened and sweetened ones from here:

If you have depleted glycogen and do work that demands glycogen, your body will break down protein, not fat, for glucose (gluconeogenesis). If I understand correctly, gluconeogenesis is a slower and much less efficient way of producing fuel, so your work output will suffer. So try suitable carbs before training, and if you feel much more energy and strength in your training, you’ll know that’s what’s going on.

Personally, on the AD and a similar fat-adapted diet, my body never got that thrifty with glycogen, so I can’t reload just once a week.

To clarify, I am DLing withing 24 hours of my weekly carb load on the AD. However, I still find that the volume and intensity of that long workout is depleting my muscle glycogen stores. I used to experience the same “hitting the wall” feeling when I did long trail runs. I think that in both cases what I experience is a depletion of muscle glycogen stores. When I was running I always had plenty of carbs but still experienced it. Now, due to the AD my body is looking to convert fat (or protein?) to fuel but the process is too slow after depleting the muscle glycogen. Even if I have just completed my weekly carb load I experience the same thing (just like when I ran).

Once you deplete your muscle glycogen, whether your body is programmed and fueled to get energy from carbs, fat, or protein, it seems it can’t produce enough energy to keep up the training pace.

-Will GU (or some other simple carb) be converted more quickly/easily into muscle glycogen?
-Having adapted to the AD will my body not be as good at using the simple carbs for quick energy?
-If my body is still able to convert simple carbs for quick energy, is there a way to make sure that the carb source I am using gets fully burned in the workout and not converted to bodyfat?

I understand that the carb grams from any such source will break the basic concept of the AD (outside the weekly carb load period). But if I can fully burn those carbs shouldn’t I be able to maintain my adaption to the AD?

How do you determine if a simple carb source can be fully burned during a workout?

Hope this clarifies what I am trying to learn, thanks for the input.

[quote]dbutkus wrote:
-Will GU (or some other simple carb) be converted more quickly/easily into muscle glycogen?[/quote]

The ingested carbs will provide energy faster than your body can strip it from protein, based on my experience. Once again, it is very simple to try it and see how you feel.

Oh, your body will know how to use the sugar all right. However the fructose in GU will not replenish muscle glycogen.

Yes, very simply. It’s not the AD that burns bodyfat, it is a calorie deficit. With the carbs, as with fat, it’s all about amounts. Don’t consume way more than you need and you won’t get fat.

For example, this morning I did some low-intensity cardio (hiking) for about an hour. 30 minutes before, I drank a serving of Surge Workout Fuel which contains 85 calories. The hiking burns a lot more than 85 calories. So I’m not worried about the SWF carbs converting to fat. And fwiw I have found that I actually burn more calories during training (e.g. 25% more) when I drink SWF beforehand. So it pays for itself calorically, plus I get the benefits of training more intensely and the adaptations that will result.

Yes. Look, in his later Metabolic Diet, Mauro DiP states that the carb intake should be tailored to your individual training needs and metabolism. See

Notice if you lack energy in training, you add carbs around the workout.

By the way, you should not think that when you eat carbs, you can’t burn fat. People can burn off bodyfat even when carbs are the dominant macro. You burn bodyfat when you burn more calories in a period of time than you consume.

[quote]How do you determine if a simple carb source can be fully burned during a workout?

Hope this clarifies what I am trying to learn, thanks for the input.[/quote]

As in my example above, I know that I will burn more than the 85 calories of a scoop of Surge Workout Fuel in an hour of hiking.

I obviously don’t know the bigger picture of your training and goals, but maybe the volume and intensity of your deadlift session isn’t the best fit for your desire to lose bodyfat.

Also keep in mind that the workout window is your greatest opportunity to shift your body comp in favor of muscle over fat. Your body is ready to elevate protein synthesis and replenish glycogen in muscle much more than any other time. The fatigue you feel is an indicator you are not taking advantage of that window.