To achieve optimal athletic performance by controlling factors directly or indirectly associated with the intake, knowledge of how to control the metabolic processes associated with muscle glycogen and protein intake are highly important. Recovery of glycogen stores after exercise is a slow process, and complete recovery may take 24-48 h after exercise has ceased, depending on how much glycogen has been lost. The maximum rate of glycogen resynthesis occurs in the first 2 hours after the workout. The rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis could be accelerated through simultaneous intake of carbohydrate-proteins or carbohydrate-amino acids, effective combinations after the workout being sucrose or table sugar (1 g/kg) and whey protein (0.5 g/kg). Glycogen supercompensation or carbohydrate loading aims to raise glycogen storage above physiological levels to increase the duration of carbohydrate availability to exercising muscles, thus enhancing performance. The stored glycogen is accompanied by water, which increases muscle volume and definition, and consequently this strategy is frequently used by bodybuilding competitors. There are three supercompensation methods: the Astrand, the Sherman/Costill, and Fairchild/ Fournier techniques. Both methods are equally effective but the last option is the quickest and easiest way. Protein intake is essential for athletes but should account for no more than 15-20% of the daily calorie intake because protein loses its anabolic profile when consumed in quantities higher than this threshold. Thus, athletes aiming to acquire new muscle mass should increase total calorie intake by following a balanced diet and should not aim to increase calories from protein alone.
Pérez-Guisado, J. (2008). Rendiment esportiu: Glucogen muscular i consum proteic. Apunts Medicina de l’Esport. Ediciones Doyma, S.L. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1886-6581(08)70090-2