Chromium Picolinate Does Not Enhance Glycogen Synthesis

guy doing curlsChromium Picolinate is often used for its ability to aid in blood glucose diposal. This would lead one to believe that supplementation with chromium picolinate would aid in glycogen storage, especially when an excess of carbohydrates are being consumed. One particular study examined the effects of chromium picolinate during a carbohydrate depletion and loading protocol to see if it enhanced glycogen synthesis, and found that it actually had no effect at all.

16 men participated in the study, all overweight. The men concumed either 600 mcg chromium picolinate or a placebo supplement daily. They supplemented this way for four weeks straight, and then went throught carbohydrate depletion by cycling followed by a 24 hour carbohydrate load. After examining the muscle biopsies, the researchers found no significant difference in glycogen storage between the chromium picolinate group and the placebo group.

This data suggests that chromium picolinate might not be all that effective for carbohydrate partitioning. It is possible though, that if the dosing protocol was different that the results may have been different as well. Had they done away with the 4 week supplementation period and more strategically timed the chromium picolinate intake around meals during the carbohydrate loading period, the results might have shown chromium picolinate to be more effective for enhancing glycogen synthesis. Chromium might have some use along with other ingredients for enhancing glycogen storage, but there are probably better options available.



Volek JS, Silvestre R, Kirwan JP, Sharman MJ, Judelson DA, Spiering BA, Vingren JL, Maresh CM, Vanheest JL, & Kraemer WJ. (2006). Effects of chromium supplementation on glycogen synthesis after high-intensity exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 38(12), 2102-9.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

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