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Couple months ago I did a little experiment to see how I would look after 7-8 days on straight keto – not for any other reason than to see what I would look like at that level of glycogen depletion.

Most of you will know that the longest I would go on a keto diet is 5 days max before carbing up (MANS gain diet and TSPA shredding diet – though TSPA doesn’t go as low as keto, strictly speaking).

So here is a the carb-depeted pic followed by a “fully-carbed” pic

img_20160708_164455 screenshot_20161025-123216


Click here to see the difference between a glycogen-depleted body and a fully carbed one Click To Tweet


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So I am posting this just to show you that we all lose water weight when our carbs are low and that nothing unusual is occurring.

I did, of course keep up my regular THT Training.

NOTE: I was sick a few days before the experiment and lost weight – I think this is making the difference seem a little greater than it really is. So it’s not usually this dramatic; just take that into account.



Glycogen is a stored sugar inside the muscle that is used up when training. Eating carbohydrate will replace the lost glycogen.

When you take your carbs very low, you don’t replace most of the glycogen and the water that chemically bonds to the glycogen is also not replaced.

For every gram of glycogen lost, you also lose 3-4 grams of water from the muscle.

For every gram of glycogen lost, you also lose 3-4 grams of water from the muscle Click To Tweet


So this is why bodybuilders need a carb-up period if they’re on a low-carb diet. Not merely for the cosmetic reason, but intra-muscular water and glycogen helps training performance.

So there you have it! Just wanted to share it with you.

Mark McManus

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