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Low Carb Diet (Read 2771 times)

    I'm doing a diet low in carbs and high in fat and protein right now. I've noticed my heart rate has gone up significantly. I have to slow down to stay in the right zone. I've also noticed I get much less lactic acid during higher effort. Also I've noticed I don't need to drink as much during running. Another thing is that the day after a long run, I feel just fine (no muscle sorness, I used to have that when eating more carbs). I know I'm running slower in training - painfully much slower. But what I would like to know is wether I'll be able to run faster in races.

     

    According to some Swedish study your training is more effective to develop fat burning on a cellular level during if you are on a low carb diet. I believe Stu Mittleman is also a proponent of low carb, high quality carb diet. As is Dr. Phil Maffetone. The Biathlon Olympic gold medlaist Björn Ferry swears by a low carb diet. So does two time ultraman world champion Jonas Colting. Rumor has it that the Norwegian Cross Country Skiing Team is experimenting with low carb dieting. It seems like this trend is growing also in the endurance sports community.

     

    Traditional sports nutrition tells you to load up on carbs and to stay low on fats. So what do you guys think? Some experiences with low carb diet and running, anyone?

    Running Blog: On my two feet

      I have never been on a low carb diet, but I cannot sustain any kind of running or happiness without a healthy amount of breads, cereals, etc.

      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

        I have used a low carb diet when I'm intentionally trying to lose weight. I do it mostly because it is easy (in the sense that I can look at some food item and quickly know not to eat it, e.g., pizza). I have not tended to run with very high intensity but had to be even more careful of avoiding it while eating low carb as I just could not sustain any kind of speed without the fuel for it. Of course, I didn't eat this way long term so I never found out whether or not I could adapt.

        DoppleBock


          It takes much more oxygen to burn fat then glycogen - So you must slow down and then you even will struggle with HR

           

          I am not sure of the science behind Ketosis ... but

           

          The main side effects of ketosis are bad breath and sluggish mobility. Bad breath is caused due to a change in the bacteria and enzymes throughout the digestive system, and slow movement because fat is much harder to use for energy production, making you low on energy. Neither of these are likely to be harmful.

          However, if you are diabetic, ketosis can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis, which results in the blood becoming more acidic. This will then cause symptoms including confusion, vomiting, and can even go as far as causing comas and death

          I have used about every mainstream diet and they all work to some degree if you follow them.  I choose not to do a low carb diet because I do not feel eating lots of red meat and fat is healthy long term.

           

          I'm doing a diet low in carbs and high in fat and protein right now. I've noticed my heart rate has gone up significantly. I have to slow down to stay in the right zone. I've also noticed I get much less lactic acid during higher effort. Also I've noticed I don't need to drink as much during running. Another thing is that the day after a long run, I feel just fine (no muscle sorness, I used to have that when eating more carbs). I know I'm running slower in training - painfully much slower. But what I would like to know is wether I'll be able to run faster in races.

           

          According to some Swedish study your training is more effective to develop fat burning on a cellular level during if you are on a low carb diet. I believe Stu Mittleman is also a proponent of low carb, high quality carb diet. As is Dr. Phil Maffetone. The Biathlon Olympic gold medlaist Björn Ferry swears by a low carb diet. So does two time ultraman world champion Jonas Colting. Rumor has it that the Norwegian Cross Country Skiing Team is experimenting with low carb dieting. It seems like this trend is growing also in the endurance sports community.

           

          Traditional sports nutrition tells you to load up on carbs and to stay low on fats. So what do you guys think? Some experiences with low carb diet and running, anyone?

          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

           

          Scout7


          CPT Curmudgeon

            I'm doing a diet low in carbs and high in fat and protein right now. I've noticed my heart rate has gone up significantly. I have to slow down to stay in the right zone. I've also noticed I get much less lactic acid during higher effort. Also I've noticed I don't need to drink as much during running. Another thing is that the day after a long run, I feel just fine (no muscle sorness, I used to have that when eating more carbs). I know I'm running slower in training - painfully much slower. But what I would like to know is wether I'll be able to run faster in races.

             

            First question...  How do you know that you have much less lactic acid during higher effort?

             

            Second thing...  You're running slower in training (which can be read as "easier effort level"), and note that you feel fine after long runs (no sore muscles).  And you contribute this improved feeling to diet?  I'd say the bigger culprit in feeling good after long runs is the fact that you are running them easier than you were before.

             

            As to running faster in races...  I think that you're going to see race improvements at some point, but those will come more from better training than a low carb diet.


            Needs more cowbell!

              I have never felt healthier than I did while doing low-carb...lost weight (60#s) without feeling ravenous, too.  I've tried to go relatively low-carb while running and cycling, but it's hard.  It takes a good deal of experimentation to find a level of net carbs that won't have me bonking.  100-150 net seemed to work pretty well.  Much less than that and any aerobic exercise really suffered.  I could probably make it 3 miles, but that would be about it.

               

              I always find it interesting that the USRDA for carbohydrates is something like 300 total grams/day (though I think they may have shifted this down a bit, recently).  I know of very few people who truly require that much.  We didn't evolve sitting around eating bread and cereal.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              DoppleBock


                We also did not run for pleasure

                 

                I also do not believe that we do not canabalize some muscle - I know a serious weight lifter that is low carb (Very low) and he will not get his HR over 110, do elitpical etc, because that is near the threshold were we start canabalizing muscle in a low carb diet.

                 

                I did not lose strength on a nice balanced low calorie (Low fat) diet - (Not low carb) It was back when I was a weight lifter and I would do 40-60 minutes of stairclimber or eliptical per day.  I was lifting 6 days a week ... 3x each muscle group per week and I lost a bunch of weight, but I did not get weaker or stronger in weight lifting over 3 months.  I ate normal after that and muscle went on in chuncks - I went from a 270 bench to a 335 bench in the next 3 months with a nice balanced diet.

                 

                Before that I had done an Atkins type diet - not weight lifting as I never had the energy to get a decent session in.  I was doing 90-150 minutes of Eliptical per day.  It really sucked as I was always at a high heart rate and never felt like I had energy.  I felt like I did not need as much h20, but found myself often dehydrated - light headed and cramping.  I forced the aerobic workouts ... I lost 87 pounds in 90 days.  Because it was not a way of eating I planned to maintain the rest of my life - It was a yo-yo and I put on the weight again afterward.

                 

                I will always struggle with weight - But consistent exercise and a balanced diet seem to keep the peaks from being near as high -

                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                 

                  I just read this dated article yesterday, which acknowledges some of the benefits of a low carb diet during low intensity training, but questions the performance benefits at higher levels of intensity (ie racing).  Interesting read (see section: WHICH DIET IS BETTER: HIGH FAT OR HIGH CARBOHYDRATE?).

                   

                  http://www.marathonguide.com/training/articles/MandBFuelOnFat.cfm

                   

                   

                  >> Quote:

                  Initially, studies found that high-fat diets, where fats supply 60 percent or more of the calories, showed promise as a means to better endurance. Fat burning is increased on high-fat diets, even at rest. Exercise tests showed higher endurance in subjects who had been eating high-fat diets in comparison with high-carbohydrate diets.

                   

                  At issue, however, was the intensity of exercise used for the tests. High-fat diets improved endurance at relatively low-intensity levels. When the intensity was increased to mirror race situations, the advantage disappeared. The higher- intensity exercise required more carbohydrate, and the subjects simply lacked adequate glycogen to continue for extended periods. The lesson is that you can reduce your reliance on carbohydrate, but you can't eliminate it.

                   

                  We now know that both high-carbohydrate and high-fat diets cause fatigue and poor performances. The best diet is probably somewhere in between: one that supplies enough fat to stimulate fat metabolism and maintain production of testosterone and estrogen and also supplies enough carbohydrate to keep the brain and nervous system happy and the glycogen stores filled. Many sports scientists are recommending a basic diet that supplies 50 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat, and 20 percent protein, with additional carbohydrates after hard or long-duration training.

                  2014 goals:   •  1st Marathon  •  3,000 miles


                  Oh roo roooo!

                    I have never felt healthier than I did while doing low-carb...lost weight (60#s) without feeling ravenous, too.  I've tried to go relatively low-carb while running and cycling, but it's hard.  It takes a good deal of experimentation to find a level of net carbs that won't have me bonking.  100-150 net seemed to work pretty well.  Much less than that and any aerobic exercise really suffered.  I could probably make it 3 miles, but that would be about it.

                     

                    I always find it interesting that the USRDA for carbohydrates is something like 300 total grams/day (though I think they may have shifted this down a bit, recently).  I know of very few people who truly require that much.  We didn't evolve sitting around eating bread and cereal.

                     

                    Thanks so much for posting this!  I've been making a move to lower carbs also as I have just had this creeping weight gain for the past 3 years in spite of gradually running more and more and eating "healthy."  Unfortunately, a lot of the lower-carb forums (primal/paleo) are full of folks going "yeah, I eat Paleo and I didn't train for my marathon AT ALL and I still was able to finish in 7 hours, isn't that GREAT?" so there's not a lot of useful info there for anyone who sets the bar a little higher than that......  I have seen the numbers you mention that seemed to work pretty well recommended on various forums for athletes doing a lower-carb approach, so it's good to hear it from you too!  Thanks again.


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Thanks so much for posting this!  I've been making a move to lower carbs also as I have just had this creeping weight gain for the past 3 years in spite of gradually running more and more and eating "healthy."  Unfortunately, a lot of the lower-carb forums (primal/paleo) are full of folks going "yeah, I eat Paleo and I didn't train for my marathon AT ALL and I still was able to finish in 7 hours, isn't that GREAT?" so there's not a lot of useful info there for anyone who sets the bar a little higher than that......  I have seen the numbers you mention that seemed to work pretty well recommended on various forums for athletes doing a lower-carb approach, so it's good to hear it from you too!  Thanks again.

                       

                      No prob!  Now that my "training" season is pretty much over I need to get back to actually tracking things, again, myself.

                       

                      I read some on a Canadian LC board (lowcarber.org) where there were a couple of people who ate very low-carb (I think in the neighborhood of something like 30-40 net) and still ran very respectable marathon times...ie <4.  Either they are freaks of nature or they're pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.  Or maybe some people really can adapt to fast marathon performances on minimal carbs, but it seems that it would be a very difficult thing to study, since most of us wouldn't be willing to endure the training necessary to adapt.  I'd think it would require months of bonking on a regular basis.

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                      Oh roo roooo!

                        Yeah, "everyone is an experiment of one" and so on...which I do believe is true, but as you say, that would be a brutal experiment!


                        A Saucy Wench

                          Having tried a pretty wide range I do better with MODERATE carb than with either lowcarb or highcarb/lowfat combination. 

                           

                          Will you carb up for races?  then maybe.  But overall I did not train well on very low carb.  I also didnt lose any more weight on it beyond the initial water drop.

                          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                           

                          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                          DoppleBock


                            I was thinking of this on my lunch run

                             

                            The diet I am going to try is a nice mix of healthy food with an eye to total calorie intake.  I think where we fail on a low fat diet is something like peanut butter - Low fat = highfat as far as calories as they put in so many carbs in the low fat.  So when ever faced with a decision on something like this - I would take the high fat.

                             

                            Something like salad dressing - Were low fat = 35-50 calories and high fat = 130-170 calories - Low fat is a good choice.  I do think I can use a bit more fat and less carbs in my diet.  But with running 100+ miles per week - I do need a fair amount of carbs - But not near as many as I take. 

                             

                            For me personally sub 4 marathon on low card diet is not a freak of nature.  If you can run  3 hours = 6:52 pace - 4 hours 9:09 pace would be pretty easy on a low carb diet.  Run a sub 2:30 without glycogen - That would be a freak of nature.

                            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                             


                            Happy Camper

                              I read and went on the Primal Blueprint way of eating July 5th.  The first month was just the suck as far as running goes.  Pace slowed and perceived effort was high.  I had to cut mileage.  I went to running 2 interval days and 4 - 5 easy run days for an average of 50 - 60 miles per week.  I lift weights 4 x per week. My weight has dropped from around 180lbs to 162 lbs in just over 2-months. (I'm 5'9") My resting heart rate has lowered and my average heart rate for easy runs is much lower than before.  Some of this is  due to the temperature dropping but my average heart rates are much less than September last year.  I set a 5k PR in late August of 21:44.  I had only been under 23:00 a handful of times in the past 6-years.   The intervals have helped but again I think the diet is much better for me.  I still eat fruits including bananas, blueberries, peaches cherries and apples.  I have not had any grains, potatos, beans or sweets since July 5th.  FWIW I think it makes low hr training and training to burn more fat than glycogen much more effective eating this way, since you're relying on fat's for fuel much more than high glycemic index carbs. 

                              Determination: The feeling you get right before you try something incredibly stupid.

                                I read and went on the Primal Blueprint way of eating July 5th.  The first month was just the suck as far as running goes.  Pace slowed and perceived effort was high.  I had to cut mileage.  I went to running 2 interval days and 4 - 5 easy run days for an average of 50 - 60 miles per week.  I lift weights 4 x per week. My weight has dropped from around 180lbs to 162 lbs in just over 2-months. (I'm 5'9") My resting heart rate has lowered and my average heart rate for easy runs is much lower than before.  Some of this is  due to the temperature dropping but my average heart rates are much less than September last year.  I set a 5k PR in late August of 21:44.  I had only been under 23:00 a handful of times in the past 6-years.   The intervals have helped but again I think the diet is much better for me.  I still eat fruits including bananas, blueberries, peaches cherries and apples.  I have not had any grains, potatos, beans or sweets since July 5th.  FWIW I think it makes low hr training and training to burn more fat than glycogen much more effective eating this way, since you're relying on fat's for fuel much more than high glycemic index carbs. 

                                 

                                Spot on! Thank you for this comment! That kind of improvement is what I'm expecting from the change in my eating habits. I'm in the first month now - and it's tough. I'm going to add fruits and other high quality carbs slowly, as long as it feels good - to find my personal balanced diet. I eat bluberries now, but no apples, no bananas, no sweet fruit.

                                 

                                I'll have to check out the Primal Blueprint, seems quite sound to me - better than the "load up on carbs"-philospohy. Right now my main influence is from Maffetone and some Swedish LCHF-sources.

                                Running Blog: On my two feet

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