Tim Noakes’s Banting diet is blowing minds for some. People are slimming down and running faster. It makes sense that if you carrying less weight you will but is it just weight loss that will improve your performance or is there something else you could do to push you above your personal best!
In Jeff Volek and Stephen Phoney’s book, ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance’ they mention the following Tips LOW CARB running:
Tips For Low Carb Running:
The process of ketone adaption (the switch from using glucose for energy to using fat) can take from 2 weeks up to a month of preparation. This adaption period affects different processes in your body that you may need to adjust your diet for.
Are you eating enough salt?
A low carb diet increases the loss of sodium and water by the kidneys. Inadequate sodium affects the potassium balance and has negative effects such as fatigue, fainting, headache, and loss of lean muscle mass. Unless you have high blood pressure, An additional 1-2 grams of sodium is required. It is also suggested in the book to have 1g sodium 30 minutes before exercising to banish these side effects.
is affected by a low carb diet especially if your sodium intake isn’t adequate. A consistent intake of potassium is therefore recommended. A good source of potassium is meat but it is easily lost in the drippings or broth.
So make sure you are getting all the nutrition from your food. You can get all the potassium you need, as well as magnesium and zinc, from proper preparation of your food. Minerals are lost in the cooking process especially when boiling your food. So preferably avoid boiling food, eat as fresh as possible, eat what ever you can raw and recycle any lost juices or drippings.
How’s your fluid intake?
As mentioned low carb diets cause a loss of retained water. So when starting a long exercise session its natural to have less total fluid on board then those who carbo-loaded beforehand. Also, in the first 5-10 minutes of exercise its normal to have expansion of the circulation (blood plasma). These factors can lead you to feel inappropriately thirsty and sluggish in the first 5-15 minutes of exercise. A suggested solution in the book would be to drink 1-2 cups of water 5 minutes before starting, thus long enough to be absorbed but not long enough for your kidneys to clear it. For prolonged events, ensure you maintain your hydration by drinking enough water.
OMEGA 3, OMEGA 3, OMEGA 3!
Omega 3 has been shown to decrease muscle soreness and swelling and increase range of motion after running. It may also enhance insulin sensitivity, promote fat burning in muscles, and inhibit fat storage. It also slows muscle loss during periods of disuse such as breaks in training and periods of injury. Eating fatty fish every other day or, if dietary intake isn’t possible, an omega 3 supplement is recommended.
Low carb diets are more complicated then you may have thought…