I am a distance runner and cyclist, and have been keeping under 100 grams of net carbs (veggies add alot of fiber) for probably about a month now. I slowly phased out from about 200-150 grams per day to 100 grams per day...I became bored of potatoes. There are only so many combinations of postworkout potato, avocado, and meat. I haven't felt a decrease in my performance, even though I added p90x (touted to burn glycogen like nobody's business, burns enough glycogen to warrant 40g of sugar in a recovery drink postworkout). I've never tested for ketosis but when I wake up in the morning and during a bike ride, my breath starts to smell absolutely horrid. My sweat also smells worse after a run compared to after a hike. Sorry for the dirty details but I want solid answers so need to give solid evidence.
Despite pseudo-maybe-ketosis and endurance work, I haven't lost anything but water weight. I actually gained a little more muscle (2lbs) after doing probably 500 pushup variations one day followed by 500 one legged squats and lunges the next. P90x is kind of a home butt-whipping in preparation for joining a crossfit box and getting my butt whipped by other people.
This is a rambly post but here's the question: Do I need more carbs? If my performance has not suffered, are they really necessary for us heavy duty "glucose machines": endurance athletes and weight(ish) lifters? I'll start this question and add more info if needed later on. Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson have jump started me pondering this question as Mark knows alot about endurance and Robb's paleo podcasts refer to circuit trainers (crossfitters) and their carb needs.
asked bymaryeeclarkisouthunting (1373)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on August 22, 2011
at 01:10 PM
I am with Cliff, I noticed a real drop in performance when I was too low carb <100gr. I think I generally eat 125-200gr per day, mostly vegetables and fruit. I usually try to eat sweet potatoes the night before a long run. But I'm not working out nearly at your level. I'm just prepping for a marathon.
I do think the bad smell is a common side effect of ketosis.
But if you don't need to lose weight, what is your purpose/intention for eating low carb? As an endurance athlete, I'd definitely recommend you try upping the carbs a bit and see if it changes your performance. Remember, self-experimentation is the game!
on August 21, 2011
at 03:08 PM
It probably depends on the individual. I personally notice pretty significant performance declines if I under eat on carbs or in general but I burn a pretty absurd amount of calories.
If you are feeling good I would stick to what your doing, if weight doesn't start to come off soon maybe try to tweak some variables(more carbs, less/more exercise etc.)
p.s. I personally don't get how potatoes could get boring, I could easily live on nothing but spuds, butter and salt :)