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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

Open Access

Impact of glycogen resynthesis on lean mass

  • Jacob A Ormes1,
  • Ryan P Lowery1,
  • Jeremy E Silva1,
  • Jacob T Rauch1,
  • Sean A McCleary1,
  • Matthew H Sharp1,
  • Kevin A Shields1,
  • John I Georges1 and
  • Jacob M Wilson1Email author
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201411(Suppl 1):P43

Published: 1 December 2014


Body CompositionResistance TrainingLean MassMuscle GlycogenKetogenic Diet


It has frequently been demonstrated that resistance training has a negative effect on muscle glycogen content. Additionally, the rate of resynthesis seems to be dependent upon the degree of depletion. However, the impact of glycogen resynthesis on lean mass in a resistance trained population consuming a very low carbohydrate diet has yet to be examined. This has important implications for athletic populations as body composition appears to be related to performance]. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of glycogen resynthesis on body composition in resistance trained individuals consuming a ketogenic diet.


Thirteen experienced resistance trained males volunteered to participate in this study (mean ± SD, age: 23.5 ± 3.3, weight: 187.6 ± 32.6) and were instructed to consume a ketogenic diet consisting of 5% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 70% fat for eight weeks. Additionally, subjects were engaged in a monitored, periodized resistance training program for the duration of the study. On week nine, carbohydrates were gradually reintroduced to the diet at a rate of 1g/kg. This rate increased by 1g/kg at two day intervals for a total of 3/kg throughout the week. Body composition (Hologic Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry) and ultrasonography determined muscle thickness were measured at Week 0, 8, and 9. Consent to publish the results was obtained from all participants.


Total Mass, LBM, and quadriceps thickness significantly increased (p < .05) from week 8 to week 9 by 4.81 kg ± 2.8, 2.9 kg ± 2.1, and 0.2 ± 0.2 cm, respectively, meanwhile fat mass significantly decreased by 1.8 kg ± 1.3.


The primary finding of this study is that the reintroduction of carbohydrate for one week in a depleted population significantly increases DXA determined lean body mass.

Authors’ Affiliations

The University of Tampa, Tampa, USA


© Ormes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.