Oh happy day! I have finally come to understand (more deeply) the relationship between carbohydrates, water, glycogen, liver functions etc etc. And with a simply Google search on “how long before glycogen depletion”. So, you are going “Glyco-WHAT?!” What is she on about?
If you’d like to read first what this gentleman says, go right ahead : http://www.justinowings.com/understanding-bodyweight-and-glycogen-de/ – well worth the read. Otherwise, this is what I have discovered.
I have been researching carbohydrates and the quality thereof, the types and its molicular structure (how it functions and its function as an energy source) for quite some time (remember, I am an Arts major and NOT a science one, so indeed, it’s been well over a year) and finally I have made this wonderful discovery. The ingestion of carbohydrates (in gross amounts), water retention, fat storage are all linked together, for a number of simple reasons.
Nutrition (as in food) is divided into three groups : protein, carbohydrates and fat. Of course that is then divided into different types and forms and goods and evils (which I won’t get into now). We will solely have this post about carbohydrates and what happens to them in the body, the roll of the liver and where all the weight comes from!
So, we ingest carbohydrates, I am talking pastas and breads, cookies and rice and cakes and wonderfully starchy vegetables and baked goods. The carbohydrates are turned into glycogen, which is the main source of energy for both the brain and the muscular systems. Glycogen are stored in the muscles and liver (an excess) and used for energy when needed. Excesses of glycogen is stored as fat eventually. Now, for every gram of glycogen in our muscles, an amount of water is needed to store it. When we diet, we deplete our muscles of glycogen, thus getting rid of water in the process too…simply put. When we give in to cravings for sweets etc (simple carbs), back comes the water that held the glycogen in the first place…when we overindulge, even more is added on.
So, if anyone at the beginning of a diet program claims to have lost up to 5 pounds, no actual fat loss (the ultimate goal right?) has in fact occured. Only significant water loss.
Not to dishearten anyone, but isn’t this just super interesting? 🙂