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Ann Nutr Metab. 1987;31(2):126-32.

Effects of glucose or fructose feeding on glycogen repletion in muscle and liver after exercise or fasting.


In athletics, muscle and liver glycogen content is critical to endurance. This study compared the effectiveness of glucose and fructose feeding on restoring glycogen content after glycogen was decreased by exercise (90-min swim) or fasting (24 h). After 2 h of recovery from either exercise or fasting there was no measurable glycogen repletion in red vastus lateralis muscle in response to fructose. In contrast, glucose feeding induced a similar and significant carbohydrate storage after both depletion treatments (8.44 mumol X g-1 X 2 h-1). In the liver, following 2 h of recovery, the rates of glycogen storage were similar after either glucose or fructose ingestion, but fasting caused a greater rate of repletion (83 mumol X g-1 X 2 h-1) than exercise (50 mumol X g-1 X 2 h-1). After 4 h of recovery fructose-fed exercised animals had the highest glycogen concentration (165 mumol X g-1) followed by the glucose-fed exercised group (119 mumol X g-1). These values were 50 and 36%, respectively, of that measured in the normal-fed liver (327 mumol X g-1). In contrast, liver glycogen values in the fasted group decreased between the 2nd and 4th hour of recovery in response to both feeding regimens. From these results we conclude that fructose is a poor nutritional precursor for rapid glycogen restoration in muscle after exercise, but that both glucose and fructose promote rapid accumulation of glycogen in the liver.

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