Will my athletic performance suffer from a LC diet?

Answered on December 18, 2013
Created December 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Will be starting basketball soon, don't feel good on a high carb diet. What to do?



on December 16, 2013
at 01:10 PM

Ah I couldn't have said it better myself. I eat 2 lbs of said variety a day.



on December 15, 2013
at 11:38 PM

Yes, you want to take in more carbs if you're going to be athletically performing, absolutely. Bake sweet potatoes! Especially Japanese yams--they're delicious and super sweet. More carbs=more muscle energy.

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4 Answers


on December 18, 2013
at 12:03 AM

Elaborate on why High Carb diets dont make you feel well. If you get digestive problems, you should dig a little deeper. There are conditions like SIBO and fructose malabsorption which may be behind it. I found that out the hard way. Going lower in carbs reduced digestive distress and increased feeling of well being.

That being said, low carb diets will definitely effect athletic performance. There are a few ways around it though. SIBO and fructose malabsorbtion are both caused by food "hanging around" in the small intestine, specifically carbs. Therefore, carbs which are slow to digest, resistant starches, most starches in general, fructose, can be removed until things calm down in there. I ordered dextrose (which is pure glucose and is known to be absorbed before it reaches the small intestine) and am waiting on having it delivered before I can comment on its efficacy.

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on December 16, 2013
at 06:29 PM

If you are in high school or middle school you need to stop with the low carb nonsense. IIf anything go gluten free and eat plenty of paleo carbs. I am an endurance athlete and find that going low carb really messes with my performance. Especially when my mileag and intensity ramps up. I've recently been increasing mileage and have been incorporating plenty of sweet potatoes, dates, the occasional bit of white rice, and sometimes black beans. Oh, and fruit. It's all in meal timing for me. I'll usually stick with a low carb breakfast of eggs and such and then hit up the carbs post workout. If my run is really intense or long, however, I'll do a carb base for breakfast before the workout. Everyone is different though. But carbs are an awesome fuel source. Regardless of the people touting low carb for athletes, look at the basis of legit athletes diets. Mimic it with paleo choices. You should be good



on December 16, 2013
at 01:15 AM

What are your goals? How important is basketball to you? Are you where you want to be physically? Endurance sports can do fine without carbs. Sprint sports and power sports don't usually do as well.

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on December 16, 2013
at 12:14 AM

Define high carb. Define low carb. Are you trying to produce ketone bodies? Are you trying to minimize the insulin response?

I would say that with a sport like basketball(essentially low level cardio for over an hour with a couple sprints thrown in) some carbs would definitely be beneficial to replenish depleted glucose stores. I see no sense in making your body go through another step to create glucose when you can just get it straight away. Consider starchy veggies like potatoes, taro, and even white rice if you want.

From a n=1 perspective I make strength gains much faster(increase in weight/reps, progression etc) when I have carbs than when I don't. Whether that is the case for you will require some personal testing on your part. Just don't change things up the day of a game!

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