Every Athlete knows that carbs are important for performance. Especially as strength and power athletes, and team sport athletes we need to have full carb stores in our liver and muscles during competition to unleash our maximum performance.
But for our carbs to have the maximum effect on game day, we need to reduce carb intake during preparation! Reducing carb intake in preparatory phases trains our bodies ability to generate energy and power from other sources like fats and proteins. Just like muscles, these biochemical pathways to turn fats into power need to be trained. If we do not use them we lose them!
We get the maximum result when we train our ability to burn fat and protein during preparation (train low carb) and add the carbs around 36 hours before key competitions (compete high carb). One could call this model „train low, compete high“ and I have been using this model with my athletes at least the last 8 years.
We get the maximum result when we train our ability to burn fat and protein during preparation (train low carb) and add the carbs around 36 hours before key competitions (compete high carb). Click To Tweet
As with most things, dogmatic „either/or“ thinking will get you stuck. The question is not fat OR carbs. That is the completely wrong question. Go away from „either/or“ thinking to „if->then“ thinking. In terms of carbs and fats this means : „IF I am in preparation period, THEN I want a fat-based diet, and IF I am competing, THEN I need carbs to perform at my best“.
Dogmatic thinking is for the mediocre and only a Sith deals in absolutes. For every task there is the right tool, and sometimes FAT is the right tool, and sometimes CARBS are the right tool.
May the FLOW be with you brothers and sisters!
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.