2

votes

Should I not be IFing/LC as an athlete?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 04, 2012 at 6:43 AM

I'm beginning to wonder if this is seriously affecting my performance. I'm also wondering if IF/LC combined with full time college life and athletics is too much stress on my body. I'm not overweight but at home if I ate this way I'd be 5-10lbs less, not to mention before I fasted so much I had a more defined stomach. Last semester I was closer to my goal when I fasted about 14 hours overnight into the next day consistently.

I'm slightly confused about how the whole cortisol thing works but I don't know if its starting to affect me...

Any advice? I don't have access to 100% paleo food here. I think my lack of fat is making me hold on to fat?

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 04, 2012
at 10:20 PM

You are totally correct Joshua. I should have added IMO at the start.

F514c59692c45189d46cc01c34961153

(375)

on March 04, 2012
at 08:57 PM

I apologize for the lack of info. Female / 20 / 5'6 / 140lbs I typically eat around 1300 - 1900 calories per day in 2 meals I've been primal since July 2011, more paleo recently. I exercise 5-6 days per week. I run and row crew. moderately lifting weights 2-4 days per week.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:44 PM

Agreed that neither is simply about weight... but for a young athlete who doesn't even want to lose weight, combining them may be too much stress. For an athlete in a sport where they need to make weight or their weight is hindering performance, the calculus might be different.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Neither IF or LC are simply about weight.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Yup, how low is low. And of course, the fewer carbs you eat, the better your body is at generating what it needs. Seems it has to be one or the other though.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

IDK, Dallas of Whole9 made the point on twitter last week that *some* carbs are needed for glycolytic/anaerobic activity. But that may also be affected by how you define "low" carbs VS. very low carbs, and by your personal metabolism. If your body is somehow very good at obtaining the carbs you need by converting protein and you take in plenty of protein, then no problem.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:22 PM

Endurance is a classic low-carb territory. The tricky part is more with being an elite sprinter. But then there's only so many calories you can burn in a 10 second race.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 04, 2012
at 11:44 AM

That's a blanket statement, and therefore makes me quite nervous. In my experience LC is fine for throwers, olympic lifters, powerlifters, etc... swimmers, runners, etc might need something a bit more. I know this, because I've been an athlete in several sports for 10 years and spent much of that time LC.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:47 AM

You don't mention what you're eating, or how much; what you do for exercise, how much exercise you do per week; what you do by way of fasting, or how long you've been doing it; your height/weight, and your goals. Otherwise, how's life?

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6 Answers

1
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 04, 2012
at 05:02 PM

Why are you IFing and LC if you're a young athlete who's happy with their weight? That seems like flogging a dead horse... where the horse is literally your poor body. I would say that moderate carbs and IF is probably a better deal. Athletics are always going to require some carbohydrates, your body can make them from protein, but then you're using up available protein for muscle repair to feed your carb needs. Not smart.

The IF schema you're doing may also come into play. If you're skipping breakfast and calling it "intermittent fasting", but have morning practice 5 days a week, that's not going to be ideal. If you're taking a 24 hour fast once or twice a month on an easy workout or rest day, that may work better.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:44 PM

Agreed that neither is simply about weight... but for a young athlete who doesn't even want to lose weight, combining them may be too much stress. For an athlete in a sport where they need to make weight or their weight is hindering performance, the calculus might be different.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Neither IF or LC are simply about weight.

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 04, 2012
at 11:50 AM

It totally depends on your sport. Non-endurance strength sports (Olympic Lifting or Throwing) you should be just fine with LC, and IF for that matter. It may just take some tweaking around your feed times to get optimal... as well as cycling carbohydrates around to "have your cake (heh) and eat it too".

I have little-to-know experience with a real endurance sport (although some strongman events tend to be fairly taxing on conditioning), so that might be different for you. I've been a low-carb strongman and besides dealing with a lower lactic acid threshold I stayed strong... cycling carbs around my heavier "saturday workouts" was the magnum opus for me to lose weight while still keeping my strength endurance and power.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:22 PM

Endurance is a classic low-carb territory. The tricky part is more with being an elite sprinter. But then there's only so many calories you can burn in a 10 second race.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

IDK, Dallas of Whole9 made the point on twitter last week that *some* carbs are needed for glycolytic/anaerobic activity. But that may also be affected by how you define "low" carbs VS. very low carbs, and by your personal metabolism. If your body is somehow very good at obtaining the carbs you need by converting protein and you take in plenty of protein, then no problem.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Yup, how low is low. And of course, the fewer carbs you eat, the better your body is at generating what it needs. Seems it has to be one or the other though.

1
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:08 AM

If you are an athlete, you will be doing yourself no favours by going LC. LC may be good to lose weight but not for anyone doing moderate-high amounts of exercise. It will be seriously affecting your performance.

As Dorado Galore said, it will help to know what you are doing exercise & food wise.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 04, 2012
at 11:44 AM

That's a blanket statement, and therefore makes me quite nervous. In my experience LC is fine for throwers, olympic lifters, powerlifters, etc... swimmers, runners, etc might need something a bit more. I know this, because I've been an athlete in several sports for 10 years and spent much of that time LC.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 04, 2012
at 10:20 PM

You are totally correct Joshua. I should have added IMO at the start.

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 04, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I think it is a good thing to be able to IF ... to me, it means you're not so dependent on carbs in your diet that you are compelled to eat every few hours. But Robb Wolf said it and I agree: low carb is not always best.

I'm all for moderating carbs (I do), but if it were me, at a minimum I would be doing some post-workout carbs. You wanna stay true to paleo, keep those carbs to fruits and tubers. Or walk on the PHD side and throw in some white rice.

I think you absolutely can do LC as an athlete, but you need to consider your situation and decide if that's for you. I don't think you need to force it now as a college student with everything that's going on.

0
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 04, 2012
at 11:36 AM

I don't think it's actually settled as to LC and activity - it's not even decided what LC means. A lot of people within paleo seem to be working hard to reinvent CW. The reality is that many people struggle to cope without carbs, but there are people who manage perfectly well and are quite capable of performing.

I'd say, remember it's a lifestyle. There's no guarantee that you can combine college life and elite athleticism with a healthy diet and specific weight goals. You certainly can't if you get stressed overthinking it. Almost certainly you'd benefit more from getting more sleep. Decide what your priorities are, and don't be afraid to change things to try and achieve what you want.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 04, 2012
at 08:00 AM

You could IF once or twice a month for two meals (away from practice and workouts).

I agree on the no need for LC.

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