Glycogenesis, Glycogenolysis, and Gluconeogenesis

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Protein Synthesis in Cells: Process & Importance

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Glucose
  • 0:49 Glycogenesis
  • 1:51 Glycogenolysis
  • 2:55 Gluconeogenesis
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your body uses processes to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range. Learn how your body decreases blood glucose levels through glycogenesis and how it boosts glucose levels through glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in this lesson.


There's nothing like Thanksgiving dinner to fill your belly. That one day of the year, people all over America are gobbling down tons of carbohydrates as they treat their taste buds to stuffing, potatoes, and, of course, a big piece of pumpkin pie for dessert. All of those carbohydrates enter your digestive tract where they are broken down into simple sugars, known as glucose. These glucose molecules are small enough to move out of your digestive system and into your bloodstream.

As you can imagine, eating a big Thanksgiving meal dumps a lot of glucose into your blood. What your body does with this excess of glucose and what your body does when all of this blood glucose is used up is what we will discuss in this lesson.


Your bloodstream is closely monitored and regulated by your hormones, so it never has too much or too little of any compound. When we consider blood glucose, or blood sugar levels, your body likes to keep the amount between 70 to 100 mg/dL, which is considered normal for a fasting sample.

If your blood glucose level rises, your body springs into action to sweep out the excess sugar. It does this by promoting a process called glycogenesis, which is the creation and storage of glycogen. This term is easy to remember if you recall the suffix 'genesis' means creation; so, glycogenesis is literally the creation of glycogen, which is the name we give to the stored form of glucose. You have glycogen storage in your liver and in your muscles, so you might want to think of these structures like a pantry, where you store bags of sugar to use later.


After gorging yourself on all the delicious foods at your Thanksgiving meal, you'll probably not feel like eating again for many hours. This gives your blood glucose level time to return to normal, but if you continue your fast, your blood sugar level could actually drop too low. This is because your body cells are constantly taking glucose from the blood to use as energy.

But before blood glucose levels get too low, your body springs into action again; however, this time it wants to add glucose to your blood, not sweep it away. One way to do this is through glycogenolysis. Now, if we look closely at this term, we see the word 'glycogen' and the word 'lysis.' Lysis means to break down, so it's easy to see that glycogenolysis is simply the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Now that the glucose molecules are free, they can move back into your bloodstream and maintain the normal blood glucose level.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account