Glycogen Depletion, Exhaustion and Oreos

Glycogen Depletion, Exhaustion and Oreos

I messed up… I got heavily knocked out of Ketosis, and boy did I suffer for it! I learnt about Glycogen depletion the hard way.

After my short camping trip, I was exhausted and had a very bad cheat day. You can read about my camping trip here. 

I have been in ketosis over a year at this point now, and believe I am fully fat adapted. I no longer crave carbs, sugary things or anything bad.

My “cheat” food is a larger piece of steak or salmon with extra butter. What a life hey!

glycogen depletion

What a cheat meal, hey?

Things have been going so well, and then all of a sudden I get a bit tired and grumpy and resort to food –sugary carby food.

This was after my hiking trip, and after a lot of research I think perhaps my glycogen stores were depleted which made me reach for …. OREOS!

We don’t even usually have this sort of devil food in the house (or anything that bad really) but these came as a free sample with something else.

They’ve been staring at me for weeks, calling me to eat them.

Well, I devoured an entire packet. Within 15 minutes, I had a shocking head ache, my stomach started gurgling and I thought I was going to throw up.

The next morning I felt like I had the worst hangover ever. I had the shakes, I looked pale, and I was definitely out of ketosis.

The difference in how I felt was like a punch in the face, and it was a big wake up call. Keto is for me, away of life – not something you can jump in and out of.

The pain I felt for the next few days was NOT worth those Oreos and now, 5 days after the Oreo-binge, I am just starting to feel normal again. I went into ketosis again yesterday afternoon and felt so much better.

glycogen depletion



Glycogen Depletion & Recovery

So, what should I have done to avoid this binge but recover after hiking on keto?

After digging deeper into the research and science, when you have exercised to exhaustion your MUSCLE glycogen can be depleted (ketosis is when your LIVER glycogen is depleted).

And after even further digging, I should’ve just stuck with keto safe foods but had more of them!

I worked out (thanks to my trusty Fitbit) that I was burning 3000 – 3500 calories a day while hiking, possibly more because I had a 15kg pack on, but only eating about 1500 – 2000 so I just wasn’t consuming enough fuel. Here’s a helpful article that talks more about Glycogen Depletion.

No wonder those Oreos looked so damn good, but I essentially undid all my hard work hiking 30kms.

Lesson learnt – eat more, but eat well!