Glucose and glycogen are two different forms of sugar that the human body uses as energy source. What is the difference between glucose and glycogen, how do they work?
Glycogen and glucose are two different forms of sugars needed by the human body as an energy source. Glucose is used by the body for immediate processing into energy, glycogen is used for energy storage. Glycogen stores are stationed in the muscles and liver, the body uses it as needed. The human body is designed so that it cannot use glycogen as a direct source of energy, also the body cannot store glucose.
When you eat balanced eating normal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, your body converts carbohydrates and of proteins in energy reserves. The body constantly strives to maintain a stable level of glucose in the blood. If the concentration of glucose in the blood becomes too high, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin to convert glucose. Part of glucose is converted into glycogen, stored in muscle tissues and liver for later use.
In the reverse situation, when the level of glucose in the blood gets too low the pancreas produces glucagon, this peptide hormone plays the opposite role to insulin. Glucagon stimulates the liver to convert a number of glycogen into glucose, then glucose is released into the bloodstream.
Glucagon only affects liver stores the glycogen in muscle tissues may not come back into glucose, these reserves can only be used by the muscles.
The liver of an adult human able to accumulate from 90 to 110 grams of glycogen, this supply will be enough for 3-4 hours of activity. When glycogen stores are full, but the level of glucose in the blood remain high, the liver starts converting glucose to fat stores. This happens when excessive intake of food, excess of simple sugars in the diet. The conversion of glucose to fat stores naturally, the body need to keep at least a little fat to sustain life.
If you miss a meal or get hungry between meals, the body will start to use as a source of glycogen from the liver. About three hours before all glycogen from the liver is depleted, then the body will begin to draw energy from fat reserves. A healthy human body will continually replenish the glycogen stores from glucose and a small amount of fat reserves. When the proper functioning of the body and nutrition fat reserves will not be more than is required.