Tag Archives: ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diets and physical performance

Both observational and prospectively designed studies support the conclusion that submaximal endurance performance can be sustained despite the virtual exclusion of carbohydrate from the human diet. Clearly this result does not automatically follow the casual implementation of dietary carbohydrate restriction, however, as careful attention to time for keto-adaptation, mineral nutriture, and constraint of the daily protein dose is required. Contradictory results in the scientific literature can be explained by the lack of attention to these lessons learned (and for the most part now forgotten) by the cultures that traditionally lived by hunting. Therapeutic use of ketogenic diets should not require constraint of most forms of physical labor or recreational activity, with the one caveat that anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitive athletics.

Ketogenic diets and physical performance, Stephen D Phinney.
Read the full article here


Why high carb diets don’t make any sense even for athletes

The GB Pair (Toby Garbett & Rick Dunn) rowing at Henley Royal Regatta 2004.

If you’re an athlete, 50 to 60 percent of your diet should be made up of carbohydrates.


For endurance athletes, the bulk of calories in the diet should be coming from foods that contain complex carbohydrates to fuel workouts.

Source: http://www.running-advice.com

I could go on and on, you’ll find this kind of advice everywhere, even the government and your doctor, but as I wrote in a post the other day none of this makes much sense. I won’t go into the mechanics of this in detail today because you can read the piece here, but the point is that even for trained endurance athletes the most glycogen they can store is around 1,200 calories worth, so why would you want to consume more carbs than you can store as glycogen? Continue reading

Why don’t we all weigh 1200 lbs?

Manuel Uribe, the worlds heaviest man at 1,200 lbs, getting married in March 2006.

Earlier to day I posted a link to a talk Gary Taubes gave a couple of years ago while promoting his book Good Calories, Bad Calories. This is one of the most popular books amongst the low carb/paleo online community.

Now I would like to say from the outset, that I’m not anti paleo or anti low carb. In fact my own diet is pretty much paleo most of the time. This is because it works great for me, I thrive on it and over 20 years struggling with high carb diets has taught me what works best for me. But I also know a lot of sportsmen that thrive on a diet with lots of carbs. So what’s going on? Continue reading

Do athletes really need a high carb diet?

High carb diet for sports

We hear time and time again, “you need lots of carbs to fuel sports activity”. On the face of it this seems like reasonable advice, particularly for high intensity activity, but the amount of carbs that is often quoted doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. Personally I know my body does not deal with carbs very well. So I’m interested in training on a low carb diet.

What piece of the jigsaw puzzle am I missing. Why does nearly every expert recommend a very high carb diet for athletes.

Anyway, here’s the way I see it. Continue reading