Fats Before Carbs: The New Rule For Endurance Nutrition?

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Page:  1 Next »
Print
by JENNIFER FISHER

Fats Before Carbs: The New Rule For Endurance Nutrition?

Don’t swear off pancakes just yet. Training day after day on a low-carb diet can leave a runner feeling sluggish and slow because glycogen stores never get topped off.
Before you binge out on pasta dinners and bagel breakfasts, you might want to take a serious look at what researchers are reporting about “carbo-loading” before a marathon or long endurance event. The days of high-carb diets may be over – well, make that modified — for athletes who want to perform their best on race day, or so says the March 2013 issue of Competitor magazine.

New research is suggesting that a low-carb diet may actually have benefits because it trains an athlete’s muscles to be better fat burners. When muscles can access fat as fuel during a race, glycogen stores are spared and saved for use later down the road – this means “hitting the wall” or “bonking” can be delayed and perhaps even avoided completely.

But don’t swear off pancakes just yet. Training day after day on a low-carb diet can leave a runner feeling sluggish and slow because glycogen stores never get topped off. Granted, there hasn’t been any irrefutable, one hundred percent conclusive proof that removing carbs from the diet improves endurance performance. In fact, one study at the University of Birmingham in England found that low-carb runners (41% carbs) reported more fatigue and showed reductions in performance than their high-carb counterparts (65% carbs) during intensive training runs.

Good fat-loading choices on the left. Good carbo-loading choices on the right.

Good fat-loading choices on the left. Good carbo-loading choices on the right.

Worth trying? After a moderate two-hour warm-up, the athletes were able to complete a 20k time trial 4.5 percent faster following the new diet protocol.
A new pre-race nutrition paradigm that combines the two “loading” approaches is being recommended by experts in the sports performance field. Here’s the plan in a nutshell.:

  • About two weeks out from an endurance event, aim to get about 65 percent of calories from fats and continue this high-fat intake for 10 days.
  • This “hall pass” to eat fats doesn’t mean you can pig out on pizza and ding-dongs all day, or really any day. Quality fats from healthy oils, nuts, meats, avocados, whole milk, cheese, eggs, and fatty fish are what should be on the table. During this phase, your body will learn how to tap into fat stores for fuel; and, your training won’t suffer much because you’ll be tapering down anyway.
  • After 10 days of eating low-carb, high-fat foods, switch to a traditional “carbo-load” diet that incorporates 70 percent of calories from carbohydrates for the next three days.
  • This ensures that your glycogen levels are as high as they can be and are raring to go on race day.
  • Stay away from processed carbs and too much sugar. Instead, top off your tank with high-quality, healthy carbs including whole-grain pastas, breads, and rice along with plenty of fruits and veggies (but, of course, cut the fiber intake 24 hours before event).

A study conducted by the University of Cape Town in South Africa implemented this 10-day ‘fat-load’ followed by 3-day ‘carbo-load’ plan on a group of experienced cyclists. After a moderate two-hour warm-up, the athletes were able to complete a 20k time trial 4.5 percent faster following the new diet protocol.

It's certainly worth a try!

Printable Version
Page 1 2 Next »

Looking for a competition near you? Having an event?
Check out our new Event Calendar!

Our event calendar lets you create your own event listing for any type of event - throwdown, adventure race, seminar, you name it. For free. In 2 minutes. It's as easy as writing a Facebook post. And you can embed the calendar right on your website.
Try it today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Most Popular of All Time

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

CrossFit WV shared an image on Facebook

JJ gets a bar muscle on his last day at crossfit wv!!!

CrossFit Rife posted on Facebook

*****reminder there are no 6 or 7pm classes this evening. Please plan accordingly.

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

WOD 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/wod-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

RVA Fit 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/rva-fit-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
cfwhrob published the post 4 Common Kettlebell Swing Errors Made by CrossFitters on Tabata Times
The kettlebell is a common tool in the CrossFit arsenal. Every box has a collection of them, and I...
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CF Teens Spring Break Schedule Mon 4/14- preteens @ 5:30pm, teens @ 6:15pm Weds 4/16- teens @ 6:15pm NO class T/Th! CF Kids class this Sunday 4/13 12pm at Patriot! Hang Snatch 2-2-2-2-2 4 Rounds 10 HSPU 15 Box Jump (24/20) 2 Rope …

North End CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

http://northendcrossfit.com/?p=2118

North End CrossFit posted an article
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Compound CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Chesapeake shared an image on Facebook

A great night with the CrossFit Chesapeake Kids!! Rowing, tire drags, and burpees, oh my!!

CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Don't forget about Yobility at 6am tomorrow morning with a Coach Alicia!

CrossFit Old Town shared a link on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Everyone is invited to join PCFer ML Gilbride's family and friends in a celebration of her life and legacy by participating in a CrossFit WOD in her honor. All are welcome to participate, spectate, or just come out to honor our friend. Registration link and details below. http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2128714

CrossFit WV shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Strong work today

CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Fairfax shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
shortz published the post Is it time to pay judges? on
Is it time to pay judges? CrossFit and CrossFit Competition is big business. There is a lot of...
CrossFit Chronic posted an article
CrossFit Rubicon posted an article
CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Max and Texas working hard this afternoon...

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

New website is live!! Featuring many of our members. What do you think?

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse athlete Sean O'Brien and his wife Angela on the arrival of their healthy baby boy William Cooper O'Brien!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Coach Neal Jamison says an "aerobic finisher" does the body good. What exactly is he talking about?

CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
North End CrossFit posted on Facebook

FREE COMMUNITY CLASSES!!! Saturdays at 10am are now open to our local Community and our NECF Friends and Family! Been wanting to try Crossfit, but been to nervous?!?! Come as a guest to NECF for a great beginner style workout. Coaches will be there to welcome and instruct you through basic Crossfit movements to keep you safe and efficient while you work. Current members are welcome as long as they bring a guest:) We hope this will be a great opportunity for more of our neighbors to get involved and see how NECF and being a part of our family can greatly improve health and daily life. Look forward to seeing you soon!

CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

RunningBrooke hitting the WOD with Team 0915!

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

Last chance to sign up for the mobility and recovery seminar with Svetlana and Brian! You are not going to want to miss out on this!

CrossFit South Arlington shared an image on Facebook

Benchmark week.

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Scores for the WOD "Squat Jumps, Pull Ups and HSPU" on Friday April 4 have been posted

CrossFit Annandale shared a link on Facebook

Sometimes your PR might not seem so awesome compared to big-time CrossFitters, but remember that you are probably stronger than almost everyone you know! Check out this article for some numbers to shoot for at different levels.

Fentress CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK....The only schedule change we will have is....THERE ARE NO 11AM CLASSES ON MON, WED AND FRIDAY! All other classes are ON!

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

AM all finished... What could the wod(s) be?

CrossFit Fairfax shared an image on Facebook

Happy Birthday today to Keya!! Enjoy your special day you beautiful BEAST!!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse Athlete Chassity Martin for her feature on the CrossFit Games website!

Patriot CrossFit posted on Facebook

Effective Monday, April 28th, Potomac will no longer be offering a 7:15pm Class.

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Yoga for Outlaws http://wp.me/p1bPVX-1po

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

BCF - we are expecting our new and improved website to launch today! We may have some downtime during the transition and Thurs WOD may be delayed in being posted.

CrossFit Advance posted on Facebook

Meghan, our new in house sports massage therapist will be in tonight from 5-9. If you are feeling sore, need a little recovery or just want to treat yourself be sure to see her. It's a game a changer!!!

Outlaw CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Outlaws, we are happy to announce a new specialty class we will be offering on Thursdays and Sundays! Check out the flyer below for more info on Yoga for Outlaws! Thursday classes start April 24th and Sunday classes start April 27th.

CrossFit RVA shared an image on Facebook

Deadline for orders is 1pm today! If you haven't tried them, fED meals are a great way to begin improving your diet and getting the most out of your hard work in the gym.

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Download this free app CFC peeps. You're gonna need it today :)

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Ugh, I am a day late, but yay for more birthday wishes. CFC wishes this longtime, dedicated, strong, and beautiful gal a Happy (day late) Birthday! Happy Birthday Teresa!

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

Reppin that Tribe

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

6am just completed the day 3 blackout wod, what is it though?

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

TODAY'S WOD: “Nasty Girls” 3 RFT 50 Air Squats, 7 Muscle Ups, 10 Hang Power Clean (135 / 95). Post experience to comments!

Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Wednesday's Programming: Strength: Dead Lift Warm Up 10x Empty Bar 10x 20% of 1RM 10x 50% of 1RM Strength 3x5 85-90% of 1RM 3xMax Strict Pull-Ups (In between Sets of Dead Lifts) THEN WOD: 5 Rounds 400m run 10 Thrusters 95/65

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV