Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gender Differences in Carbohydrate Metabolism

One of the things that is not discussed that often with respect to nutrition at least, is that men and women are different. (Of course they are, I've noticed) Hormonally and in terms of their broader physiology there are significant differences.

Lyle McDonald talks about this a bit in his Stubborn Fat book but I've not seen it addressed much elsewhere.

Anyway, this is an interesting study - the full text of which is available - it is mainly about carb loading for endurance events (a topic also discussed here recently strangely in the context of intermittent fasting) but there is good stuff there about how carbs are actually burned and how men and women differ in this respect.

The abstract is below

Gender differences in carbohydrate metabolism and carbohydrate loading.

Prior to endurance competition, many endurance athletes participate in a carbohydrate loading regimen in order to help delay the onset of fatigue. The "classic" regimen generally includes an intense glycogen depleting training period of approximately two days followed by a glycogen loading period for 3–4 days, ingesting approximately 60–70% of total energy intake as carbohydrates, while the newer method does not consist of an intense glycogen depletion protocol. However, recent evidence has indicated that glycogen loading does not occur in the same manner for males and females, thus affecting performance. The scope of this literature review will include a brief description of the role of estradiol in relation to metabolism and gender differences seen in carbohydrate metabolism and loading.

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