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Storing Carbohydrates (Part 2)

Glycogen is the storage molecule of glucose in animals, similar to how starch is the storage form of carbohydrate in plants. It is a large molecule with a pinwheel orientation centered around a protein core, and it can range from 100 to over 30,000 glucose units. It is significant to notice that only glucose molecules are needed to create glycogen; fructose is absent.

Its extremely branching shape enables enzymes to quickly disassemble the molecule during glycogenolysis into smaller units known as glucose.

The formation of glycogen, glycogenesis, occurs under action of glycogen synthase, an enzyme that is most active immediately after meals and after exercise.

Location of carbohydrates in the body

Muscle glycogen storage

Carbohydrates storage in muscle cells is approximately 15 grams per kilogram of muscle tissue. Considering muscle comprises about 30% of a women's body mass and 40% of a males body mass, this averages to about 250 to 600 grams in muscle tissue. A muscle can form glycogen, but it cannot release it. Once glycogen is formed in a muscle, it is trapped.

Liver glycogen storage

Blood glycogen storage

Overview of carbohydrates from and structure

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