A diet and exercise regime designed to increase muscle glycogen stores in the body for a particular endurance event. It consists of four stages: (i) depleting muscle glycogen stores by a severe exercise session; (ii) reducing other carbohydrate stores by starving the body for 3–4 days: (iii) further reducing carbohydrate stores by another vigorous exercise session; and (iv) eating carbohydrate-rich food 2–3 days prior to replenish carbohydrate stores. This diet may boost muscle glycogen to double its normal level, but it must be used cautiously because it can cause fatigue and, in a few cases, chest pains, and myoglobinuria which may lead to kidney failure. See also carbohydrate loading.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.