Glycogen is primarily stored in the liver and muscles in the human body. Here’s a breakdown of where it’s stored and its respective roles:
- Liver: The liver stores glycogen as a readily available source of glucose for the body. When blood sugar levels drop, the liver can break down glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream to maintain stable blood sugar levels. This is essential for providing energy to the brain and other organs, especially between meals or during fasting.
- Muscles: Muscle cells also store glycogen, but the glycogen stored in muscles is primarily used as a local energy source for muscle contraction during physical activity. Muscles break down glycogen into glucose to generate ATP, which fuels muscle contractions during exercise.
The amount of glycogen stored in the liver and muscles can vary among individuals and is influenced by factors like diet, physical activity, and overall health. Athletes, for example, may have higher muscle glycogen stores to support their training and performance. In contrast, individuals with conditions like diabetes may have impaired glycogen storage and regulation.