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Can endurance athletes perform under beta-oxidation and krebs cycle only without glycolysis? Reaction rates of beta-oxidation and krebs cycle are sufficient for demands from marathon/triathlon?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 02, 2011 at 6:19 AM

Two possible factors for harmful effects of endurance sports are: 1. carbo loading for glycolysis 2. repetitive stress(chronic).

If we isolate these two factors and if we ask whether athletes in marathon/triathlon can perform just with krebs cycle(body fat is sufficient for ironman calorie expenditure:8000 - 10000 calories ). For simplicity of argument, let us worry factor 2 separately. Then problem is reaction rate for krebs cycle is FAST enough to provide required energy expenditure during ironman triathlon? If sufficient, then we can worry factor two. If insufficient, then athletes may experience a number of debilitating difficulties with DNF(do not finish) result. Among nine reaction paths in citric acid cycle, which one is slowest? Or Acetyl-CoA from beta oxidation requires NAD+ in isocitrate , a-ketoglutarate ,and malate dehydrogenase steps of krebs cycle. And can NAD+ be SCARCE to slow down reaction rates?

If we understand principal factors for reaction rates during endurance, what are possible corrections can we make to resolve this problem? Personally I am a paleo practioner and do not found any problem in krebs cycle reaction rates during sprint and other performance(gym rings). But before I experiment my body for continuous endurance requirements, I would like to have theoretical understanding of risks involved.

This is triggered by interesting question by dexter "... endurance athletic competition -- like marathons and triathlons are ok? ...".

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Oh, I've had good running days (back in high school) where I gorged on pizza. I can understand that. I've just never done anything endurance oriented while keto, and thought it was interesting. I've done 2 day business trips fasted because I didn't want to worry about food, but I've never done anything considered exercise before like that.

4e813fcf7266312684862b945c1c3281

(462)

on June 02, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I dont' think I would base anything on one run. I had my best run the day after breaking Paleo and having pizza and a bottle of wine and waking up hung over as hell. I certainly am not going to use that experience as an indicator that is smart, anymore than not training sports specific for a race doesn't make sense.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 02, 2011
at 01:03 PM

Not to mention the nutrient depletion that occurs simultaneously. After marathons runners are often completely depleted of co enzyme q 10 b6 and magnesium on labs. Hence why they need lots of time to recover

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510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 02, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Well, this may not answer your question directly, but it gives you one more data point. Before I started doing Crossfit 100% 3 years ago, I used to run relationally. Now I do no training thats longer than 20 minutes and it's all high intensity stuff. But once a year, my city has a big 10K, so I do that just for fun - no training, no warm-up, just wake up and go to the start line. This year I decided to do it fasted and keto. Usually I do it with some extra (paleo) carbs. I did the 10K in 50 minutes, which is my usual post-Crossfit time (I used to be a 55 minute runner when I actually trained for it), but it was a weird feeling in keto. I felt like I could have gone all day at that pace. I wasn't tired at all at the end, just felt great. But, I couldn't have gone any faster. I tried a few places just to pick up the pace and I just couldn't. It was like I had this endless supply of energy, but the power was locked and I couldn't get any more.

So to your question: I bet you could to a marathon or triathlon keto and go at a good pace all day (I swear I could have), but you probably won't have the any bursts of speed available to you (even the last 100M I couldn't pick up the pace).

4e813fcf7266312684862b945c1c3281

(462)

on June 02, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I dont' think I would base anything on one run. I had my best run the day after breaking Paleo and having pizza and a bottle of wine and waking up hung over as hell. I certainly am not going to use that experience as an indicator that is smart, anymore than not training sports specific for a race doesn't make sense.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Oh, I've had good running days (back in high school) where I gorged on pizza. I can understand that. I've just never done anything endurance oriented while keto, and thought it was interesting. I've done 2 day business trips fasted because I didn't want to worry about food, but I've never done anything considered exercise before like that.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 02, 2011
at 06:45 AM

Athletes can require 10,000 calories per day. Even intense weekend warriors can need 7000 calories. I have a friend that falls in this category. If you are pushing into your anerobic heart rate you are burning more glucose than fat.

You need to replenish the calories in some way. Most folks I know use carbs of any type. However it would be nice to hear from someone if coconut works for them as well.

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