If you're going to be using an intermittent fasting protocol, one thing that you need to take into account is how this will impact your muscle glycogen levels.

If you're someone who likes to sustain regular physical activity, especially doing workouts that are higher intensity in nature, you simply cannot be going low on muscle glycogen for long or your performance is really going to suffer.

Low levels of muscle glycogen are quite common, especially on low carbohydrate diets, but the good news is that when structured properly, the intermittent fasting protocol can actually increase the amount of muscle glycogen you have.

Let's have a look at the key things that you need to know.

Time Your Fasting And Eating Properly

The very first thing that you need to do to ensure that you aren't going to run the risk of having very low muscle glycogen while doing an intermittent fasting protocol is to make sure that you time your fasting and eating properly.

Immediately after a hard workout session your muscles will be extra sensitive for storing muscle glycogen so this is when you really want to overload on the carbs.

Place your eating window immediately after the workout session and then take in at least 100 grams of carbs in the coming two hours.

This ensures that you replace what you used up during the workout and will help to restore yourself for your next workout session as well.

Make Sure You Get In Your Carbs

The second thing to note is that you should not be using a very low carb approach with the diet in general. If you want to sustain higher muscle glycogen levels, a higher carb diet plan is what will help you achieve this.

This means using a slightly lower fat content, since protein will typically stay constant across all diet approaches as it's based on your body weight.

Higher carb diets in general do tend to make people hungrier, but since you're using the intermittent fasting protocol which is designed for maximum hunger control, you'll overcome this problem.

Don't Do High Volume Workouts

Finally, the last thing that you want to be sure you're doing if you plan to maintain higher muscle glycogen levels is to make sure that you move away from higher volume workout sessions. High volume workouts will naturally deplete muscle glycogen levels faster as this will use up those stored carbohydrates.

Remember, you don't have to do hundreds of sets each workout for it to be effective. A few intense sets is all you really need to stimulate the muscles and see strength gains occurring.

So keep these points in mind. Maintaining muscle glycogen is relatively easy when using an intermittent fasting protocol especially given that you are more insulin sensitive when using this approach.

Choose your foods wisely and time your meals well and you'll feel great while using the diet and still be able to sustain the workouts you enjoy so much.

About the author: Shannon is a fitness trainer and freelance writer who has written for Bodybuilding.com.


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