Most runners feel carbs are essential to running and the recovery process, but new research from Dr. Jeff Volek, professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University, is recommending a low-carb approach over simple sugars.
Back in 1925, researchers saw a decline in blood glucose during the Boston Marathon, which is where an emphasis on carbs originally came from. However, in 1967, when muscle biopsies discovered the real importance of glycogen, the theory of carb-loading was finally laid to rest.
With this new science, we now understand the importance of a high-fat, low-carb diet. Endurance sports, such as running, require a constant supply of high-energy. Once the body adapts to a low-carb diet, which takes about 3-months’ time, many runners see an immediate increase in endurance and overall performance.
The fat oxidation, or fat burning process as it’s often referred to as, is extremely elevated in certain sports and activities. In fact, these individuals burn fat at twice the speed as high-carb devourers do.
Since the body has a limited capacity to store carbs, but an unlimited capacity for fat, it becomes a more reliable source of energy. With less of an emphasis on counting calories and consuming icky carbohydrate gels during strenuous racing, runners can expect quicker race times and less end fatigue. Plus, eating low-carb improves digestion, something most athletes and workout enthusiasts welcome with open arms.
A low-carb diet can also sustain a runner for hours at a time, especially during long distance events such as marathons, but individuals switching over to a low-carb approach need time to adapt. Once the body becomes used to fat-as-fuel, and healthy fats and protein have been identified – organic – normal activity levels can be resumed.
If you happen to already be on a high-carb diet and are having difficulties acclimating, focus on the slower-releasing carbs.
A low-carb diet, such as the Fight Fat with Fat Diet, can maintain endurance activity levels, improve cholesterol, and prevent the risk for heart disease, keeping you extremely fit and very fast – even after the race ends.