The Case for a High-Carb/Low-Fat Diet

Jeff Roark

Triple-Digit Post Count
I had coffee with my normal whole milk, sorghum syrup, and sugar this morning. Just got back from 3 miles of heavy hands for my aerobic work and just knocked off a protein shake with 5 strawberries, 3/4 cup greek yogurt, 1 scoop of whey and 1 scoop of nestle chocolate powder and some milk along with a bowl of honey nut cheerios and I'm getting ready to eat a nice big ripe peach.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
"Glucose dependent" is not a scientific observation. If you take a person who is eating a full spread of macros and shut off the carbs they'll burn fat no problem.
They might feel sluggish for a few but overall they'll do fine, esp if they exercise regularly. They won't be making ketones immediately, so at a disadvantage compared to keto, but not compared to non-keto low carb dieter.

Compared to someone who's ketogenic, if you shut off the fats and gave them only carbs to survive they might need medical attention before their insulin response normalized.

"Fat dependent" might be a better description than "fat adapted". The non-keto individual is more metabolically flexible.
 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
The Role of Carbohydrates In Recovery

It depends on numerous factors.

1) The sport or activity that you are performing. Which energy system is predominately used?

2) The amount of recover time you have before the next training session, hours or days.

3) Your present diet. Are you Glucose Dependent, Keto Adapted, or Metabolically Flexible?

The Energy System Sports/Activity

Let me reiterate what I have commented on is several previous post...

1) Phosphagen Energy System: ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) drive energy production; not Glucose nor Ketones.

2) Glycolytic Energy System: Glucose driven energy production. A higher Carbohydrate Diet is necessary.

3) Oxidative Energy System: A greater percentage of body fat/ketones is utilized to produce energy. The irony is that research convinced Endurance Athletes decade ago, "Carb Loading" is mandatory. That dogma continues to be perpetuated.

High Carbohydrate Diets make you "Glucose Dependent"; efficient at using Glucose but not body fat/ketones.

The Ketogenic Diet has demonstrated to be an effective method for Endurance Athletes to improve performance; burning ketones while preserving glucose, rather than "Bonking" (running out of glucose).

The Ketogenic Diet makes you efficient at burning body fat/Ketones but not at using Glucose.

The more effective diet for Endurance Athletes appear to be...

Intermittent Fasting

As per Dr Mike T. Nelson's research, Intermittent Fasting elicits "Metabolic Flexibility". You become efficient at utilizing Glucose or Ketones, dependent on the activity.

Thus, Intermittent Fasting allow Endurance Athletes to utilize more body fat/Ketones; perserving Glucose sprints at the end of the race.

Low Carbohydrate Tuesdays

For what purpose?

Kenny Croxdale
Where does ATP replenishment come from? Does the source depend on whether one is glucose-dependent or fat-adapted? Is one source more efficient/effective than the other, and/or yield more ATP for the same input ("higher-octane")?
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Where does ATP replenishment come from? Does the source depend on whether one is glucose-dependent or fat-adapted? Is one source more efficient/effective than the other, and/or yield more ATP for the same input ("higher-octane")?
Haven't been able to find exact specs for ketones, but they are faster than mitochondrial fat and slower than mitochondrial carbs.

A good bit of creatine phosphate is backward restored by freeing the Pi from mitochondrial ATP - doesn't matter if it is lipid or carb based. If you don't have a ready supply of pyruvate, all or most of your mitochondrial ATP recharge will be from palmitate (lipid). Is based on local supplies, so lack of muscle glycogen is a significant factor.

You can improve recharge via steady state aerobics or HIIT, which will help increase number of mitochondria. Their ability to process fats for ATP is pretty much reaction based and doesn't change a lot from sedentary people to athletes, is quantity limited.

Training at higher lactate threshold creates changes in mitochondria that are qualitatively improved relative to processing pyruvate for ATP - the reaction/recharge time shrinks relative to sedentary and folks who don't train at higher intensities. This is why for higher intensity steady state athletics, carb loaded folk tend to dominate
 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Haven't been able to find exact specs for ketones, but they are faster than mitochondrial fat and slower than mitochondrial carbs.

A good bit of creatine phosphate is backward restored by freeing the Pi from mitochondrial ATP - doesn't matter if it is lipid or carb based. If you don't have a ready supply of pyruvate, all or most of your mitochondrial ATP recharge will be from palmitate (lipid). Is based on local supplies, so lack of muscle glycogen is a significant factor.

You can improve recharge via steady state aerobics or HIIT, which will help increase number of mitochondria. Their ability to process fats for ATP is pretty much reaction based and doesn't change a lot from sedentary people to athletes, is quantity limited.

Training at higher lactate threshold creates changes in mitochondria that are qualitatively improved relative to processing pyruvate for ATP - the reaction/recharge time shrinks relative to sedentary and folks who don't train at higher intensities. This is why for higher intensity steady state athletics, carb loaded folk tend to dominate
What’s the “explain it like I’m 5” version of this? :eek:

If low-carb, ATP will replenish from lipids, but otherwise it’ll come from pyruvate (by-product of burning carbs)? Is one more potent (takes less input to yield same output)? Does one leave more “residue” than the other (e.g. coal vs solar)?
 

Bret S.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
You can improve recharge via steady state aerobics or HIIT, which will help increase number of mitochondria. Their ability to process fats for ATP is pretty much reaction based and doesn't change a lot from sedentary people to athletes, is quantity limited.
How does one know when or if mitochondria number has increased? Is it the higher lactate threshold that is the tell? And this would be determined by an uptick in performance during a stress test of some design I assume.

Training at higher lactate threshold creates changes in mitochondria that are qualitatively improved relative to processing pyruvate for ATP - the reaction/recharge time shrinks relative to sedentary and folks who don't train at higher intensities
Are the positive changes in mitochondrial pyruvate processing time relative to a qualitative reaction time improvement or only due to the number of mitochondria increasing while the reaction time stays constant?
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
What’s the “explain it like I’m 5” version of this? :eek:

If low-carb, ATP will replenish from lipids, but otherwise it’ll come from pyruvate (by-product of burning carbs)? Is one more potent (takes less input to yield same output)? Does one leave more “residue” than the other (e.g. coal vs solar)?
Whether one might have a higher metabolic pricetag or not is open tp debate, but there is basically zero evidence either way. One produces adaptations in the mitochondria and the other doesn't.

When it comes to providing ATP for the muscles to use, carbs are a good bit faster. When it comes to restoring PCr, the availability of free creatine and passage speed in and out of the mitochondria probably is a bigger factor.
IDK...
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
How does one know when or if mitochondria number has increased? Is it the higher lactate threshold that is the tell? And this would be determined by an uptick in performance during a stress test of some design I assume.



Are the positive changes in mitochondrial pyruvate processing time relative to a qualitative reaction time improvement or only due to the number of mitochondria increasing while the reaction time stays constant?
Muscle tissue sample in the first question.

Second question, it is qualitative - the same rough density improves processing rate.

I am on phone, or I'd link to the study I pulled that from. Multiple studies have observed this.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
https://www.physiology.org/doi/10.1152/japplphysiol.01135.2007


We found that the functional capacity of mitochondria to oxidize FA was not different between SED and ATH.

Thus long-term training at high intensities seems to influence the athlete skeletal muscle profile toward increased mitochondrial capacities to oxidize CHO but not lipids.

There is a ton of research that concludes the same, but this one (believe it or not!) is one of the easier ones to read and understand.

There are also some good ones that explain how HIIT might improve mitochondrial density by signalling that results from depleting muscle glycogen stores - signalling that does not occur with less energetic training. I have to read more about that. Many of these studies are pretty recent.

It was also concluded that higher intensities improved all substrate level phosphorylation (fancy way of describing anaerobic glycolysis). So while glycolysis cannot recharge ATP anywhere near as fast as PCr, the throughput can be improved by...using that pathway more. Everywhere you turn, you see evidence that you get the adaptations you train for as long as you don't scuttle them somehow with lack of nutrition, sleep, recovery, common sense, or conflicting protocols etc.

Its a pretty complex picture, lots of factors go into improving mitochondria and how they function, let alone VO2 max, stroke volume etc...

I'm not here to argue for or against anything, but there are definitely times when the studies explain observable training adaptations very elegantly.
 

Bret S.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Yes, this does confirm what we already know to a degree, my takeaway from the study is
increased mitochondrial capacities to oxidize CHO but not lipids.
that fat for fuel utilization is not improved with HIIT type training. But through mitochondrial increase we see improvements in glycolysis. (just restating here, more for my own benefit)
So there goes some proof that aerobic training in different modes (possibly several) could be more beneficial than 1 or 2.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Yes, this does confirm what we already know to a degree, my takeaway from the study is

that fat for fuel utilization is not improved with HIIT type training. But through mitochondrial increase we see improvements in glycolysis. (just restating here, more for my own benefit)
So there goes some proof that aerobic training in different modes (possibly several) could be more beneficial than 1 or 2.
The old 80/20 split sounds like a good one for aerobic endurance. If you do less LSD, you might actually benefit from a little more higher intensity, at least when it comes to mitochondrial density.

LSD for the CV changes which just don't happen otherwise, HIIT for the metabolic improvements, both help mitochondrial density. In addition to HIIT, some of the protocols just cycled at higher HR with longer work duration/less rest - similar to higher intensity circuit training a la Steve Maxwell.

If you do LSD or HIIT you'll see an improvement in both fat and alactic glycolysis just by increase in mitochondrial density. The higher intensity you train, the mitochondria become more efficient burning carbs, so another boost over baseline and improves lactate threshold.

Presumably if you did less LSD and more higher intensity you'd still improve your lactate threshold and pyruvate throughput, but would be lacking at low intensity endurance compared to athletes who specifically train it (bringing to mind criticism re Crossfit that they lose endurance at longer distances).
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I'll willingly race a keto adapted sprinter any day of the week.
This Make No Sense

Sprint energy production has to do with ATP, not glucose nor ketones. Thus, neither diet will have an impact of the outcome of a Sprint.

Willing To Race...

So, if Usain Bolt went on a Ketogenic Diet, was Keto Adapted, you could beat him or come close due to the fact that Bolt had become so slow (your word in a previous post) on the diet.

Antonio Palio Research

Palio research determined there was no decrease in performance with Gymnast (Explosive Athletes) on a "very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKD)".

I am not sure how you come up with this stuff.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
All muscle uses ATP for contraction - it is the substance that supplies potential energy for muscular contraction.

Phosphagen (PCr)
Glycolytic (lactic and alactic)
lipid aerobic

all recharge ATP, the difference is in how long each recharge reaction takes, and how long it can be sustained. Sprinters are definitely not using only PCr...
 
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ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I am not sure how you come up with this stuff.
Not wishing to sound sarcastic but what is your point here?

You've said yourself many times, keto is not for everyone. You are right, it isn't. And come on, some of my comments are tongue in cheek.
To say if the fastest man on the planet went keto I or someone else would beat him is just childish and I never made any comparison to the fastest man on the planet, anyway....what I said was:

"Theoretically you can sprint or do any sport without carbs. You'll just be slow. Great."

and

"I'll willingly race a keto adapted sprinter any day of the week. Champagne for me!! I don't know any though, bit of a shame."

And I stand by that. Can't see anything controversial with that. Ok, maybe not as funny as I had intended, a bit of a crap joke but nowhere did I mention Bolt.
I just do not know any sprinters who eat low carb. None.

Rather than me making stuff up, I'll let someone else make things up.....

Re-Examining High-Fat Diets for Sports Performance: Did We Call the ‘Nail in the Coffin’ Too Soon?

Re-Examining High-Fat Diets for Sports Performance: Did We Call the ‘Nail in the Coffin’ Too Soon?

"The current interest in low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) diets for sports performance is based on enthusiastic claims and testimonials rather than a strong evidence base. Although adaptation to a LCHF (whether ketogenic or not) increases the muscle’s capacity to utilize fat as an exercise substrate, there is no proof that this leads to a clear performance advantage. In fact, there is a risk of impairing the capacity for high intensity exercise."

Sprint energy production has to do with ATP, not glucose nor ketones. Thus, neither diet will have an impact of the outcome of a Sprint.
So where does fast ATP come from, if not glucose, during maximal sprinting and high/maximal intensity training? Neither diet will have an impact of a sprint?

Care to elaborate?
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
"I'll willingly race a keto adapted sprinter any day of the week. Champagne for me!! I don't know any though, bit of a shame."
The Underlying Message

The underlying message from this is, if you can out sprint a Keto Adapted Diet individual, that means a High Carbohydrate Diet is superior.

On the flip side, based on your statement, that would mean if a Keto Adpated Diet individual beat you, it would mean the a High Carbohydrate Diet is inferior.

That type of reasoning is overly simplistic; a tunnel vision view.

This concludes our discussion on this.

Good luck with your training.

Kenny Croxdale
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
No, I'm not saying that at all or anything of the sort and don't understand how you could think so (my rubbish tongue in cheek remarks perhaps need some clarification).... speed, technique, training, power to weight ratio and recovery matter. For recovery, higher carb is favourable for sprinting and maximal intensity. As per the thread 'the case for high carb'.....rather than let's compare diet beliefs, which I never started nor really wanted to.

for the record, not tabata, HIIT , crossfit wods or bootcamp training, no, just so that is clear. Long and very long rests are necessary, just so that is clear. Nor does my case for higher carb mean 'go on a glycogen depletion rampage for fat loss', no. It is just that maximal intensity can rip glycogen stores to shreds in a few sprints because, er, they do. Managing fatigue to minimise injury is important, I would hope you could at least agree. Use carbs and protein for recovery. That's all.

My concluding statement, too.
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Does any have suggestions, resources, links or other ideas for meal choices for high carb/low fat diet? if so could you please share?
 

Dekapon

Triple-Digit Post Count
Does any have suggestions, resources, links or other ideas for meal choices for high carb/low fat diet? if so could you please share?
Don't know if anyone has patented and made a religion out of "High Carb/Low Fat"-diet yet, but to me it's just "good old fashioned food with no fatty gravy". Basically food I got in school growing up or food my grandmother used to make.
Meat and potatoes
Chicken and rice
Vegetable soup with wholewheat bread

Just don't use any cream, butter or gravy and use healthier wholegrain flour and brown rice and piles of vegetables.
My grandma ate boiled potatoes several times a week to everything. Potatoes and fried fish, potatoes and meatballs, potato soup, potato and eggs (spanish omelet), baked potato with shrimp, dill, sour cream and red onions (on special occasions) .

Potatoes are cheap, local, non processed and environmentally friendly food that you can grow yourself and are very filling. Contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. High carb, low fat.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I just avoid processed foods and avoid fat. The default winds up being high carb/low fat and whatever protein I can scrounge up. Fruits, veg, oats, potatoes, rice, high on the list, pasta and wheat grain products low on the list. Go after low fat versions of whatever - chicken breast over beef, bagels over bread with higher fat content, if eating pasta use the stuff that is protein enhanced.

Shrink or eliminate mayo, butter, oils, etc. Fats mixed with good protein such as in eggs or PB are OK as long as you don't kill it. I also use skim milk, low fat soymilk. The only added sugars I use are honey and occasionally maple syrup. Really if you eat mostly whole foods and avoid fat, the diet takes care of itself for the most part. And I don't eliminate fats, I just avoid adding any more than is needed to make certain foods palatable. A little butter in my rice or potatoes is a welcome thing.

The only source of refined sugar I eat regularly is what is included in the soymilk, and a couple of cookies for desert, I'll chop these if I'm feeling like I need to lean out. On rare occasions I have a milkshake.
 
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