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Navy Seal Diet ** High Carb for Endurance

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 07, 2011 at 12:41 PM

http://www.scribd.com/doc/14782799/US-Navy-SEAL-Nutrition-Guide http://www.navysealteams.com/warning.htm

The Navy Seal Diet is around

60-70 Carbs 10-15Protein 10-20 Fat

They say high carb is the best for endurance.

Is this a big argument against Paleo? Is Paleo on the wrong way if the Navy Seals thrive with such a diet?

NUTRIENT INTAKE

Carbohydrates 50-70% of calories

Protein 10-15% of calories

Fats 20-30% of calories

You want to reduce cholesterol intake, found in animal fats and even fish. You need at least 3500-4000 calories per day.per day.

per day.

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on May 07, 2011
at 09:59 PM

hit the nail on the head...antiquated, lowest common denominator stuff. If anything, endurance athletes need higher fat for the calories burned, carbs are merely for the muscle glycogen repletion...the heart prefers to run on ketones...

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on May 07, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Everything the military does when it comes to nutrition is how to get the most calories for the least amount of money that the troops will actually consume (good taste). They employ many scientists to come up with the right formula for MRE's etc. I think that high carbs fits this bill perfectly.

6b6e18a5986397b202e53019d77419bd

on May 07, 2011
at 12:54 PM

You won´t compare the standart workout regime of the average paleo joe with that of a navy seal, won´t you? So why do you compare the diets?

A912ff969107d3eda04ee78c683a6bc5

(178)

on May 07, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Be sure to train at the Seal level of activity. I have a full time job and other stuff to do, so I don't have time for that.

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5 Answers

6
F7b7d2287035249b7fe3e41f2a31acb0

(60)

on May 07, 2011
at 01:51 PM

That's some old, official navy (conventional dietary wisdom) guide that doesn't really reflect the way many SEALs eat. Students going through BUD/S (SEAL candidate training) inevitably have a higher carb intake because the days are really long and hard. A lot of SEALs eat Paleoish, with a lot more fat / protein and less carbs than reflected in that "nutrition guide". Paleo is very popular in the teams, in fact we have Robb Wolf coming down this month to give a Paleo nutrition seminar. We also have nutritionists on staff now, and from my discussions with them, I doubt they would endorse the view expressed in that guide.

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on May 07, 2011
at 09:59 PM

hit the nail on the head...antiquated, lowest common denominator stuff. If anything, endurance athletes need higher fat for the calories burned, carbs are merely for the muscle glycogen repletion...the heart prefers to run on ketones...

3
89e6ee4796cc4b4fba5dc573618aa6f5

on May 07, 2011
at 02:17 PM

"They" say alot of things, doesn't make it so. If you want a dangerous terrorist taken care of go to the Seals. If you want nutritional advice based on historical fact and scientific evidence go to someone that specialises in that field (usually a well informed bio chemist with a healthy understanding of anthropology :}). If you generalise every seal and tell me they all follow that "high Carb" nutri-programming I would love to see the report. If you think seals or anyone else for that matter "thrives" on that diet, you need to re-evaluate your definition of the word. BTW do "they" mention what sources the carbs are obtained from?

Don't forget Paleo diets do not rely on stringent macro nutrient percentages. We "thrive" on a calorific excess of beneficial foods.

How did we ever survive before we learnt how to divided our diets into nice tidy percentages? lol

I'm a CrossFit coach, I'm 40yr old 5'8" 77kg. I eat when I'm hungry and my meals are predominately fat and meat. I supplement with fish oils and some times creatine on the run up to a comp. I've just finished a cycle ride from Jon O Groats (Scotland) to Lands End (England) in four days, that's 980 miles. I managed an average speed of 17mph. I kept to my paleo diet through out, with the addition of glucose gel packs and honey for post ride fuel and coconut water for on the bike hydration. The rest of my diet stayed the same, high levels of fat, protien, veg for evening meals and breakfast. I suffered no cramps, unusual muscle fatigue or drop in my anticipated performance. Oh and the best bit was that I didn't change my daily training at all apart from the introduction of 3 ten min sprints on training rollers twice a week for the 3 weeks running up to the trip. Not one long distance training ride.

You could take this as a fact that Paleo works...or you could see it for what it is, an individual experience of an everyday guy doing really well on a diet that has his future health sewn up as well as his performance today.

Darren.

3
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 07, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I don't think its an argument against paleo at all. Rather, its simply more evidence that looking at food, macronutrients in particular, as tools we can use depending on whatever goals we have, is a smart idea.

Like others on this thread have said, these people are BURNING CALS hardcore, they need big fuel (especially carbohydrate). Its more inline with certain highlevel athletes in being seriously carb-based. Generally speaking though, even for us laypeople, as the activity level increases (especially the glycolytic pathway) the carbohydate-intake can be increased without detriment.

Also (and this is something I've heard from professional athletes in the swimming world, powerlifting world, and the bodybuilding world), if the daily calorie-requirement is high enough then the percentage of the diet that comes from carbohydrate has to increase. This is simply because people can not eat enough protein or fat in such large quantities - either they will not because they have such an aversion, or even if they do get it down their throats they can not properly digest it.

An extreme example of this would be someone akin to a Michael Phelps - someone taking in something like 10,000cals. I know its high but follow me for the point. If at 10,000 you still want something like 30% protein or even higher like 40% it becomes very difficult. Same for fat-intake, and that would probably be an even higher percentage of that 10,000. Thus the percentage of carbohydrate goes up at those threshold caloric-intake levels.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 07, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Remember what Robb Wolf says about trying to optimize on three orthogonal axes: health, longevity, and performance. I would say that during BUDS or when out on a mission the only thing that matters to a SEAL is performance.

1
Aa6f94d373424b9f7333e27695ad0d2e

(10)

on May 07, 2011
at 01:21 PM

SEALs opporate at the upper end of human physical and mental endurance levels. The number of calories a BUD/S candidate burns through in a day couldn't be acquired without eating calorie dense carbs. Look at cordain's take on endurance atheletes... SEALs need more. Also, they are on a time crunch. Somedays the men need to eat a few thousand calories in 10-1t minutes. Carbs are handy that sort of way. What your percentages don't specify are the sources. A high level paleo endurance athelete could get those carbs from paleo sources. In the SEALs that's not an option.

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