Int J Sports Med 1982; 03(1): 22-24
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1026056
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Muscle Glycogen Storage and Its Relationship with Water

W. M. Sherman*, M. J. Plyley# , R. L. Sharp, P. J. Van Handel+ , R. M. McAllister, W. J. Fink, D. L. Costill
  • Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie
* Department of Pharmacology, Medical Sciences Building, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA. # School of Physical and Health Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. + USOTC - 1776 Boulder Street, Sports Medicine Building, Colarado Springs, Colorado 80909, USA.
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


This study examined the relationship between muscle glycogen and muscle water content. Exercise dietary manipulations were used to vary skeletal muscle glycogen levels in four groups of rodents: (1) eight animals were sedentary controls (SC); (2) ten animals were treadmill familiarized and allowed to recover 24 h before sacrifice (F); (3) ten animals were treadmill familiarized and exercised to exhaustion (E); (4) ten animals were treadmill familiarized, exercised to exhaustion, and allowed to recover with food and water ad libitum for 72 h (ER). All animals were sacrificed in a resting state to normalize intracellular, extracellular, and interstitial water compartments; thus, the E group was sacrificed 45 min following their run. The treatments altered skeletal muscle glycogen to values ranging from 10.0 to 30.2 µmol glucosyl units/g wet tissue weight. Neither muscle triglyceride nor protein levels were affected by the treatments. Muscle water content expressed as µmol H2O lost/g wet tissue weight or made relative to protein content showed no consistent relationship to the glycogen content. These data, therefore, do not support the commonly accepted muscle glycogen-to-water ratio of 1.0:2.7 (g:g). Further work is necessary to quantify the exact amount of water that is actually associated with the glycogen complex.