What is Glycogen?

What is Glycogen?

What is glycogen you ask?  Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is a storage form of glucose.  We store glycogen in our muscles and liver.  Glycogen is what we use as energy.  Our bodies will metabolize the stored glycogen and turn it into glucose when we need energy.  Hence, why carbs are good for us. Read more about why carbs are good for us here.  So the next time you want pasta with dinner, go ahead and eat it! Carbs equal energy!

Our bodies store glycogen in our muscles, which provides more glucose when we are exercising.  We need this so we can get the most out of our workouts.  I mean, who thought that carbs were bad for you?  Why would they think it was a great idea to eliminate as many carbs as possible?  What did carbs ever do to them?

The problem comes from fad diets such as the Atkins’ Diet and Sugar Busters.  The idea was that the body prefers to use fat and protein for energy.  Well, news flash!  Our bodies prefer carbs and fat for energy.  I like to think of it like this – carbs and fat are the interstates and freeways and protein is the scenic route.

Another misconception is that fat is bad for you.  Did you know that fat is the predominant energy source used at rest AND during low-intensity workouts.  Also during resting periods, our brain and red blood cells rely on glucose. Remember, glycogen turns into glucose.

So whenever you look at a piece of bread or pasta and think it’s bad for you, remember it is good for you.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  Yes, they are carbs!  Yes, they have calories!  But, it gives you the energy you need to live and exercise.  So, enjoy your food guilt free!

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