I’ve edited this post – it seems I made a math error in my haste to get this posted.  Thanks to Bob McC for pointing this out. 

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A pattern is starting to develop:  Athletes can function on a Low Carb Diet. The latest Study comes from Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. 

Researcher Will O’Connor reported:

Participants in the study were restricted to 2 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight per day for four weeks, with an emphasis on eating fat instead, so a typical day might consist of coffee with cream, eggs with bacon, limited fruit, meat and a high volume of vegetables.

Four weeks is just barely sufficient to adapt your body to a Low Carb diet. Still the results were in line with other research coming out.

2 grams of Carbs per kg of body weight per day results in approximately 160 grams for a 180+/- pound (81.6 kg) guy.  That is well above the bounds for putting your body into Ketosis.   Still – the results showed a change in the body’s functioning and fat burning ability.  Is it because those tested are athletes – or – just not suffering from a metabolic dysfunction?  I wish they had published a link to the underlying study.

“The body can only store so much carbohydrate in the liver or in the muscles. If the body’s relying on carbs during exercise, these stores get used up quickly and that’s when athletes hit the wall,” said O’Connor.

Previous estimates of an athlete’s fat-burning ability had peaked at 1 gram per minute, but his study had measurements of up to 1.97 grams per minute.

“This research shows that changing your diet can totally change how your body runs. You can literally increase your fitness by changing your diet,” he said.

Slowly but surely – the mythology of carb loading for endurance athletes is fading.

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