|Low Carb, Slow Carb|
Teach your body to burn fat when you work out
By Jessica Glowacki
For years, coaches and researchers have recommended that endurance athletes maintain a high carbohydrate intake during training and racing to ensure optimal performance.
Activities such as cycling, running and even high-intensity weight training rely on carbohydrates to replace the glycogen depleted from muscles during these activities. However, some recent studies have some people rethinking these recommendations, saying that depletion of glycogen can be an effective way to teach your body to metabolize fat more efficiently.
Just as muscles can adapt to training load, your body can adjust to low levels of glycogen by becoming more efficient. Runners hit the dreaded “wall” because their bodies aren’t used to burning fat as a fuel source. But, by weaning themselves off carbohydrates during training, they discover they can make better use of their muscle glycogen when they need it in the final push of a long race. While low-carbohydrate training can be an effective training tool, it should be undertaken in moderation.
An overall low-carbohydrate diet can make it difficult to accomplish high-intensity training since it requires glycogen through carbohydrates, almost exclusively. The same holds true for training more frequently, such as twice daily or every day.
Plan your training and diet so that high intensity exercise sessions are done with high glycogen and long, slow endurance training is done with low glycogen. It is important to understand that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, oats, vegetables, and beans are digested slowly and provide the body with a more sustained energy supply.
It’s a healthy strategy to eliminate your intake of white bread, refined breakfast cereals, fruit juice, processed foods and other concentrated sugars, whether or not you’re not undertaking low-carb training.
I’ve included two recipes that are both low in simple, refined carbohydrates. The quinoa is high in complex carbs that are slowly absorbed and good for longer endurance activities. Use them as a replacement for refined store-bought products you might otherwise indulge in, and feel healthy doing it!
Flourless Hemp Chia Cookies
Cinnamon Quinoa Oatmeal
May/June 2012 Edition