First! the proverbial disclaimer. We are not Registered Dietitians or Certified Nutritionists. We’ve considered playing one on TV, but that was another time and place. But we do eat and work out, and people always ask questions about how to fuel the body for exercise. So this page is dedicated to some of our favorite products and eating habits. The decision is yours as to what you do with it 🙂
Both of us at The FitnessEDGE has adopted and endorses a low-carb, ketogenic diet. That’s right people. We eat fat and have lost weight. We have learned from extensive study of the subject that you don’t need any sugary fueling gels or bars, Recoverite or (God-forbid) Gatorade to maintain your performance. Watch for more on this or read through past blogs… we will be updating as we go.
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement on fluid replacement, the recommended intake is 17-20 oz., 2 hours before exercise, with 7-10 oz. for every 10-20 minutes of exercise performed, and 16-24 oz. for every lb. lost during the workout. However, newer studies suggest that drinking this much fluid can be counterproductive and even dangerous. Dr. Timothy Noakes in his book Waterlogged makes a strong case for drinking only when thirsty. Over-hydrating can reduce electrolytes and in extreme cases cause hyponatremia and death.
This can be a little tricky, but common sense will serve you well here. Regardless of what time of day you work out, you’ll want to avoid big meals immediately before exercise. You’ll feel weighted down, it could restrict your movement, result in cramps and a frantic search for a bathroom. Before my 7AM bootcamp class, I have 1 cup of coffee with a level scoop of Whey Protein Powder and often 1-2 hard boiled eggs. I eat this 60 minutes before the class. For an evening workout, you can do the same. It’s easy to keep hard boiled eggs on hand for a healthy snack anytime.
An athlete that has opted for a low-carbohydrate (low-carb) or ketogenic diet has become “fat-adapted.” That is, their bodies burn fat as a primary fuel. Even the most lean athlete has twice the energy stored in fat as stored as glycogen (carbohydrates). I wrote about this in an earlier blog post. Since then there have been several studies and even athletes winning ultra races in record times on low carb diets. Carbs only seem to be required as “rocket fuel” for those quick sprints. I suggest that you read “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” by Volek and Phinney, an excellent book by two doctors who have been studying low-carb diets and performance for more than 15 years. In my (Glen) experiment-of-one, I have found that I do not need gels or other supplements on rides of 30-50 miles. A bottle of water will suffice and I am strong through the entire ride. The added plus is the easy weight loss and/or maintenance on a low-carb diet. Remember—- two lose one pound of body fat you have to ride 70 miles.
Recovery / Post Workout
We recommend that you eat a good meal of protein and fats post exercise. Make sure that you have plenty of protein to support recovery and muscle building. It has been shown that you must eat 30 grams of protein at a meal to initiate the anabolic muscle-building response. If you eat less, you will not recover quickly. How much protein should you eat per day? See this article. Keep the carbs very low and you will lose fat and build muscle. What could be better?
Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diet References:
“The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” 2011, by Jeff Volek, M.D., Stephen Phinney M.D. The science and practice of Low Carb Ketogenic diets, 2011
“The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance,” 2012, by Jeff Volek M.D., Stephen Phinney M.D. The affect of Low Carb Ketogenic diets on athletic performance, 2012.
“The New Atkins for a New You,” 2010, by Eric Westman M.D., Stephen Phinney M.D. and Jeff Volek M.D.,
“Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health,” 2014, by Dr. William Davis. Why we should avoid all wheat products in our diets.
“Grain Brain,” 2013. by Dr. David Perlmutter. Another discussion of the affect of modern grains on the human brain.
“Death By Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined our Health,” 2014, by Denise Minger. A very critical and scientific analysis of the state of nutrition research and government diet recommendations. Well analyzed and well written, a must read for those concerned about their health.
“Cholesterol Clarity,” 2013. by Jimmy Moore with Eric Westmann, M.D.
“Keto Clarity,” 2014. by Jimmy Moore with Eric Westmann, M.D.
“A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Manual: No Sugar, No Starch Diet,” by Eric Westmann M.D.
“Low Carb High Fat Food Revolution, Advice and Recipes…,” 2014. by Andreas Eenfeldt M.D. Swedish doctors analysis and recommendation on LCHF diets.
“Ketone Power: Superfuel for Optimal Mental Health and Ultimate Physical Performance,” 2014. by Cristian Vlad Z0t
“Maggie’s Exquisite Ketogenic Cookbook: 44 Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Recipes for Weight Loss,” 2014. by Maggie Fisher.
The Big Fat Surprise “Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fats is wrong. She documents how the past sixty years of low-fat nutrition advice has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.”
DietDoctor.com Real food for your Health blog
Original Eating.org Prof. Timothy Noakes diet support site. Great reference for LC diets.
Jimmy Moore’s Livin La Vida Low Carb blog Author of Cholesterol Clarity and Keto Clarity books. Jimmy Moore lost 180 pounds on a low carb diet.
Cristi Vlad’s blog on keto, etc. Author of Keton Power.
Prof. Timothy Noakes website: Real Meal Revolution
Facebook pages: (there are many! Just beware that each has it’s own focus.
Optimal Ketogenic Living (OKL) Probably the best LC group on FB. Scientifically based and well organized. My favorite. Well organized and indexed. The rule of the group: moderate protein to support lean body mass, carbs limited, and fats to satiety. Raymund Edwards is a wealth of information and responds to everyone.
Ketogains Keto website for weight lifters and others wishing to build muscle.
Keto Saved Me Jamie Moskowitz and Jeff Cyr Facebook group. Jeff has made a full recovery from obesity and liver disease using the ketogenic diet. Jeff’s writings are a wealth of information on the physiology of carbohydrates, fats, hormones and obesity.
LCHF Discussion group on LCHF diets. Moderated.
Principia Carnivora Zero carb group. Yes there are folks that only eat meat, and eggs.
Dr. Robert Lustig, PhD video: “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”
Sugar Coated (2015)
That Sugar Film (2014)
Fed Up (2014)
Catalyst: The Heart of the Matter ” In October 2013, Catalyst aired Heart of the Matter – a two part program dealing with statins, cholesterol and heart disease. ”
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