Athletes, for years, thought carb-rich foods were necessary for high performance activities, but new science shows that consuming starchy foods can lead to weight gain and metabolic issues.
As the debate rages on, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has suggested that athletes lower their carbohydrate intake, and eat more nuts and fatty-rich foods to boost performance.
According to a new article published in The European Journal of Sport Sciences last year points out, we are all genetic end products of fat consumption by nature, meaning our bodies already contain ample amounts of adipose tissue reserves. These reserves are designed to contain enough fuel for long bouts of exercise and are broken down into fatty acids.
Through metabolic adaptation, much like the early humans and hunter-gatherers diets acted, the body becomes an efficient fatty fuel burning machine.
This extremely fatty way of eating, combined with other sources of organic protein, sparks ketosis, a condition where the body creates ketones from the breakdown of fat. When the blood doesn’t contain enough sugar, these ketones are used as fuel. Recent studies also show that ketones reduce inflammation, muscle damage, recovery time and fatigue commonly associated with many popular endurance activities.
Metabolic flexibility, a term coined by Dr. Louise Burke, head of sports nutrition at the Australian Sports Commission, affects sports performance, and using fat for fuel can greatly influence peak activity levels and aide in matters of weight loss.
Endurance athletes looking to switch over to a high-fat, low-carb diet should aim for at least 80 percent fat, which should include organic meats, full-fat cheeses, butter, healthy oils, eggs, and nuts.
When used correctly, a high-fat, low-carb diet can add tremendous amounts of energy to your day-to-day routine and easily improve your quality of health in ways other diets cannot.