KER.Equinews.com - Full Article
By Dr. Bryan Waldridge · January 24, 2010
Glycogen is a large, highly branched sugar molecule that is stored in muscle and the liver, and is used by the body as an energy source. Made of long chains and branches of glucose, glycogen is used for quick, high-intensity exercise. Depleted muscle glycogen and buildup of its end products, lactate and pyruvate, contribute to muscle fatigue.
Horses produce glycogen two to three times slower than humans and other animals. In contrast to humans, horses are not able to accelerate muscle-glycogen replacement by consuming large amounts of digestible carbohydrates or sugars. Horses that are worked frequently, therefore, can have decreased stores of muscle glycogen that cannot be replaced before the horse is asked to work or perform again...
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