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Want to help design a relative LCHF experiment for Endurance?

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  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Are those grams digestible carbs or what Americans call "total carbohydrates"


    What would you suggest as a better measure?

    60-80 net carbs?
    msf74 wrote: »
    There is no way I see myself living a life without croissants, pasta or bread. Heck, honestly I'm not even yet sure I'm going to do this. :lol:

    Yeah, you're on your own buddy...

    That said, what would be interesting is if expected performance changes differ at all aerobically and anaerobically but where weight stays the same between the different approaches to that which is anticipated.

    LCHF may force people people to work predominantly aerobically where they may have spent more time working at a pace which was too high and stagnating. This means they get a performance benefit not necessarily because of diet but a better overall approach to their training. Therefore matched workouts for length and intensity should be performed with weight being the same to see what effect the differing diet has on performance.

    Weigh will be dropping as I won't be in maintenance. But I'm doing it as a crossover.
    Baseline NCNF - LCHF - return to NCNF.

    Good point in bold. Currently about 3/4 of my runs are in the moderate effort range (<80% HR) so I don't expect that I'll be shifting training significantly but certainly a consideration.
  • ryry_ryry_ Posts: 4,966Member Member Posts: 4,966Member Member
    I've been reading some of the threads here and recently finished Natural Born Heroes and article like these...

    http://www.runnersworld.com/diet/can-eating-more-fat-make-you-a-better-runner?cid=soc_runnersworld_TWITTER_Runner’s%20World__Nutrition_MarathonTraining

    where the argument of such people like Timothy Noakes is that adjusting diet to Low Carb High Fat may lead to performance improvements.

    I'm willing to run a little experiment at 50-80g carbs (and maybe others want to join in) and as inconclusive as n=1 experiments may be, it really is all that matters in the end: what works for me?

    Hence, my question to the people in this forum. How would we design a nice little experiment to evaluate beyond weight loss and also include exercise performance.

    As I see it, I should have at least a 4 week baseline period. Logging food, workouts, mood, sleep, weight. Blood work?

    Then say a 12-16 week "LCHF" period? Followed by a "re-carb" intro period?

    There is no way I see myself living a life without croissants, pasta or bread. Heck, honestly I'm not even yet sure I'm going to do this. :lol: But here is an opportunity to influence or participate in a test.

    I can tell you from my own N=1 experience that low carb had a lot of benefits for me personally with appetite suppression, improved blood work, reduce cravings, etc. The main reason I stopped doing low carb was because of how much my performance suffered in both strength training and cardio based activities.

    Performance wise, low carb was a net negative and its not even close. Aerobic energy expenditure is a little better than anaaerobic but still not even close to be carb fed. If you start low carb and begin training at the same time its going to be even worse.

    I think the biggest benefit you'll gain is how downright beastly you'll feel in the gym when you return to carbs.
    I'm sure there some people out there that thrive aerobically on it but it seems that it would not be the norm
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    moe0303 wrote: »
    Would body fat percentage be a factor to track?

    Not really. I'm not doing this as a weight loss effort.

    My diet during the entire period will be slightly below maintenance and I'll try to continue to lose weight. As a fat loss protocol it would make sense to track bf% but I don't see an interesting end point comparison as I'll lose little bf during the 4wk period (maybe 1%?) and I won't be able to have a reasonable comparison with n=1. Particularly since FFM weight loss with these diets requires some expensive tools to measure since the induction period results in water weight loss.

    And @yarwell, I don't have access to portable respiratory gas analysis or a treadmill rig. That would be cool. Anyone got an extra $28K sitting about?

    I was thinking more along the lines of body fat percentage being a factor in terms of energy potential. Is it possible that someone with more fat would have better energy levels for endurance LCHF exercise vs someone with a lesser percentage? It's just something I have been curious about. I would hypothesize that it would matter, but probably only when you start getting into the lower ends of the body fat percentage spectrums.

    Ah, it might, certainly at very low low bF%.

    In my case, not a worry @ 23-25% BF. Assuming a max fat oxidation rate of around 0.5 g / min (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14598198) I think I can theoretically run forever until my knees fall off before I need to worry about not having enough fuel. It's getting to the oxidation that is will be the test.


  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 9,714Member Member Posts: 9,714Member Member
    First, I am going to say I have type 1 diabetes (I also have type 2 diabetes, but not really a factor here as it is a metabolic issue affecting efficiency where as a type 1, I don't produce insulin - treatments are somewhat different as well) so I manually manage insulin intake. Many people who don't understand type 1 will argue that my body is totally and completely different than all other humans as a result... that isn't really true. Differences come mostly as a result of incorrect insulin dose or time, and the results are hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia - which can cause various other things to happen. Having said that, I have an incredible awareness of how food affects BG compared to those who do not have more than 250 measurements daily of interstitial glucose and 5-10 daily measurements of blood glucose.

    We already know from studies that have been published that non-diabetics see spikes in BG when eating carbs. The difference is that synthetic insulin delivery is not as fast for type 1's as for non-diabetics who make their own insulin (assuming no metabolic conditions, including type 2 diabetes). So a type 1 who takes insulin with a meal will spike higher and take longer to return to a normal BG afterwards.

    I've been eating low carb for 2 months now (with the exception of 3 consecutive days of high carbs and high calories). In addition to having more stable BG's (as expected, because there are little or no carbs to create a BG spike), I've noticed an additional change when exercising. When eating a high carb diet, I would often become hypoglycemic when doing cardio exercise. Now, I am less likely to become hypoglycemic during the same exercise duration and exertion.

    It is certainly possible that since gluconeogenesis started long before exercising, that process continued during exercise at a slightly faster rate in order to supply glucose into my blood stream as it was being taken out. The other possibility is that somehow, my muscles are using less energy for the same activity. The latter would be detrimental to weight loss, but the former would be valuable particularly if I've fasted for 12-14 hours prior to exercise. In that amount of time, all dietary fat (and protein and carbs) would have been fully converted and the only way to create glucose is from body fat and body protein (muscles).
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    @midwesterner85

    I'd suggest you look into glycogen muscle storage - depending on the exercise duration and type, it remains an important fuel even in an adapted low carb dieter (switching from 95% to perhaps something around 25%).

    Rather than the two possibilities you state, glucose supply improvement or improved muscle efficiency, what you are also seeing is also the use of fat as fuel. Oxaloacetate binding with the metabolites of fat is occurring in the liver, if your type 1 diabetes is controlled. Along the way, it is also partially diverted into the gluconeogenic pathway due to the low insulin levels.

    Not a criticism, because I love this stuff, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the experiment at hand? Are you planning endurance training and want to participate within your specific condition?
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    ryry62685 wrote: »
    I've been reading some of the threads here and recently finished Natural Born Heroes and article like these...

    http://www.runnersworld.com/diet/can-eating-more-fat-make-you-a-better-runner?cid=soc_runnersworld_TWITTER_Runner’s%20World__Nutrition_MarathonTraining

    where the argument of such people like Timothy Noakes is that adjusting diet to Low Carb High Fat may lead to performance improvements.

    I'm willing to run a little experiment at 50-80g carbs (and maybe others want to join in) and as inconclusive as n=1 experiments may be, it really is all that matters in the end: what works for me?

    Hence, my question to the people in this forum. How would we design a nice little experiment to evaluate beyond weight loss and also include exercise performance.

    As I see it, I should have at least a 4 week baseline period. Logging food, workouts, mood, sleep, weight. Blood work?

    Then say a 12-16 week "LCHF" period? Followed by a "re-carb" intro period?

    There is no way I see myself living a life without croissants, pasta or bread. Heck, honestly I'm not even yet sure I'm going to do this. :lol: But here is an opportunity to influence or participate in a test.

    I can tell you from my own N=1 experience that low carb had a lot of benefits for me personally with appetite suppression, improved blood work, reduce cravings, etc. The main reason I stopped doing low carb was because of how much my performance suffered in both strength training and cardio based activities.

    Performance wise, low carb was a net negative and its not even close. Aerobic energy expenditure is a little better than anaaerobic but still not even close to be carb fed. If you start low carb and begin training at the same time its going to be even worse.

    I think the biggest benefit you'll gain is how downright beastly you'll feel in the gym when you return to carbs.
    I'm sure there some people out there that thrive aerobically on it but it seems that it would not be the norm

    Which is part of the n=1 test. A lot of people that I consider scientifically solid are investigating low carb endurance fueling and, as a skeptic, I want to see what this does to me. If I'm miserable and can't perform endurance type work - well, I'll know that it isn't for me.

    I fear I'll end up with the same results as you but at least it will get me logging and tracking and following a protocol for 3 months. :wink:
  • andysport1andysport1 Posts: 512Member Member Posts: 512Member Member
    I've been on a LCHF diet for the last year. I've ran my first full marathon on this and last month I completed my second Ironman 70.3 on nothing more than one packet of almond butter. That's 5,000 calories I burned and 7 hours of work with about 200 calories in. I've raced with high carb prior and would have the "crash" during my races. With LCHF I feel like I could go forever. Check out the book "Primal Endurance".

    Thanks for this post I have my 1st half in 8 weeks, I've just switched from LCHP to LCHF

  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 9,714Member Member Posts: 9,714Member Member
    Not a criticism, because I love this stuff, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the experiment at hand? Are you planning endurance training and want to participate within your specific condition?

    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. Here is my point:

    We know that glucose is the primary energy source. In order for muscles to use any type of energy source, that energy must be converted to glucose first. Carbs are often used as a quick energy source by those consuming lots of glucose in a short period of time (with cardio exercise) because carbs convert to energy quickly after consumption.

    The idea behind the proposed experiment is to identify whether getting glucose primarily or solely from fat and protein helps improve performance of an exercise. Because the process of converting fat and protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis) takes more time to become glucose (available energy) than carbs regardless of whether it is dietary fat/protein (what you eat) or body fat/protein (muscles and fat on your body).

    From personal experience of monitoring glucose changes with exercise for years eating high carb and for 2 months of eating low carb, I've found that glucose is added (either from glycogen or from gluconeogenesis) much more readily while exercising on a low carb diet than on a high carb diet. That leads to my prior point:
    It is certainly possible that since gluconeogenesis started long before exercising, that process continued during exercise at a slightly faster rate in order to supply glucose into my blood stream as it was being taken out. The other possibility is that somehow, my muscles are using less energy for the same activity. The latter would be detrimental to weight loss, but the former would be valuable particularly if I've fasted for 12-14 hours prior to exercise. In that amount of time, all dietary fat (and protein and carbs) would have been fully converted and the only way to create glucose is from body fat and body protein (muscles).

    I think that is a more clear explanation of my point, but not sure it is clear enough. Let me know if you need more explanation.
  • jacksonptjacksonpt Posts: 10,464Member Member Posts: 10,464Member Member
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.
    edited May 2016
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    Would body fat percentage be a factor to track?

    Not really. I'm not doing this as a weight loss effort.

    My diet during the entire period will be slightly below maintenance and I'll try to continue to lose weight. As a fat loss protocol it would make sense to track bf% but I don't see an interesting end point comparison as I'll lose little bf during the 4wk period (maybe 1%?) and I won't be able to have a reasonable comparison with n=1. Particularly since FFM weight loss with these diets requires some expensive tools to measure since the induction period results in water weight loss.

    And @yarwell, I don't have access to portable respiratory gas analysis or a treadmill rig. That would be cool. Anyone got an extra $28K sitting about?

    They're a lot less than that but I was hoping you had somewhere local that could do it - we have a sports shop that does tests for more like $50 a pop which would at least allow you to know you were fat adapted.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    Not a criticism, because I love this stuff, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the experiment at hand? Are you planning endurance training and want to participate within your specific condition?

    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. Here is my point:

    We know that glucose is the primary energy source. In order for muscles to use any type of energy source, that energy must be converted to glucose first.

    More research required here - muscles can be fuelled by fatty acids too, to name but one. That's the whole point really. Muscles contain fat reserves - intramuscular triglycerides - too.

    So the whole fuelling cycle emphatically does not have to go through glucose.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Are those grams digestible carbs or what Americans call "total carbohydrates"


    What would you suggest as a better measure?

    60-80 net carbs

    I was asking that we define terms. If using American "Total carbohydrates" (by subtraction) please call them that so we know what you're doing.

    Is there a level of carbs that most of the recent work clusters around, or is that just personal preference ? Here's Volek's FASTER food intake :-

    jv1avdsk8j0z.png

    I do hate the statistics in small nutritional studies, what does 82g +/- 62 sd even mean (other than that it's not a normal distribution).
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    I vote for using German carbs. I hear they're all the rage these days.

    I have no actual input on design, it seems there have been lots of good suggestions. I'm just following and being a smart *kitten*. As I do.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    Matching Webster & Noakes might take a bit longer though -
    Therefore, we studied 7 well-trained male cyclists that were habituated to either a LCHF (7% carbohydrate, 72% fat, 21% protein) or mixed diet (51% carbohydrate, 33% fat, 16% protein) for longer than 8 months
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Matching Webster & Noakes might take a bit longer though -
    Therefore, we studied 7 well-trained male cyclists that were habituated to either a LCHF (7% carbohydrate, 72% fat, 21% protein) or mixed diet (51% carbohydrate, 33% fat, 16% protein) for longer than 8 months

    But it didn't take that long to adapt to burning fat, correct?

    We see posts all the time on these forums about people off their meds two weeks after going keto.

    So while I agree that looking at long term objectives like losing weight, I would assume that the average person could determine how a particular way of eating affects them (with careful note taking since obviously people tend to remember a particularly bad day/run easier than 5 where they felt fine but not remarkable).

    Besides which, if people are recommending 3 arms, at 8 months each, this becomes a 2 year study.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,093Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,093Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    auddii wrote: »
    yarwell wrote: »
    Matching Webster & Noakes might take a bit longer though -
    Therefore, we studied 7 well-trained male cyclists that were habituated to either a LCHF (7% carbohydrate, 72% fat, 21% protein) or mixed diet (51% carbohydrate, 33% fat, 16% protein) for longer than 8 months

    But it didn't take that long to adapt to burning fat, correct?

    We see posts all the time on these forums about people off their meds two weeks after going keto.

    So while I agree that looking at long term objectives like losing weight, I would assume that the average person could determine how a particular way of eating affects them (with careful note taking since obviously people tend to remember a particularly bad day/run easier than 5 where they felt fine but not remarkable).

    Besides which, if people are recommending 3 arms, at 8 months each, this becomes a 2 year study.

    And I am pretty sure that KH's study suggested keto adapated within the first week.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 9,714Member Member Posts: 9,714Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Not a criticism, because I love this stuff, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the experiment at hand? Are you planning endurance training and want to participate within your specific condition?

    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. Here is my point:

    We know that glucose is the primary energy source. In order for muscles to use any type of energy source, that energy must be converted to glucose first.

    More research required here - muscles can be fuelled by fatty acids too, to name but one. That's the whole point really. Muscles contain fat reserves - intramuscular triglycerides - too.

    So the whole fuelling cycle emphatically does not have to go through glucose.

    Could you expand on that? Maybe I am missing something, but my understanding is that fat (dietary or body) is converted into glucose first, then that glucose is used by muscles (or glucose from carbs, protein, or glycogen).
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    moe0303 wrote: »
    Would body fat percentage be a factor to track?

    Not really. I'm not doing this as a weight loss effort.

    My diet during the entire period will be slightly below maintenance and I'll try to continue to lose weight. As a fat loss protocol it would make sense to track bf% but I don't see an interesting end point comparison as I'll lose little bf during the 4wk period (maybe 1%?) and I won't be able to have a reasonable comparison with n=1. Particularly since FFM weight loss with these diets requires some expensive tools to measure since the induction period results in water weight loss.

    And @yarwell, I don't have access to portable respiratory gas analysis or a treadmill rig. That would be cool. Anyone got an extra $28K sitting about?

    They're a lot less than that but I was hoping you had somewhere local that could do it - we have a sports shop that does tests for more like $50 a pop which would at least allow you to know you were fat adapted.

    I'll take a look around.

    What I've seen here are 60€ tests that are currently criticised as ineffective tests for lactate threshold. I'll read up.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    yarwell wrote: »
    Are those grams digestible carbs or what Americans call "total carbohydrates"


    What would you suggest as a better measure?

    60-80 net carbs

    I was asking that we define terms. If using American "Total carbohydrates" (by subtraction) please call them that so we know what you're doing.

    Is there a level of carbs that most of the recent work clusters around, or is that just personal preference ? Here's Volek's FASTER food intake :-

    jv1avdsk8j0z.png

    I do hate the statistics in small nutritional studies, what does 82g +/- 62 sd even mean (other than that it's not a normal distribution).

    German carbs :smiley: like @auddii suggests.
    So like in the UK, we don't use "Total Carbs" but "Carbs", so I won't be subtracting.
    Grams digestible carbs.

    So, I'm looking at <80 g of digestible carbs (whatever is on German packaging not US).



  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.

    6 month total? I'm not going to last that long. I need to keep this also as realistic as I can to assure adherence too.

    Looking at 4 weeks baseline.
    6 weeks LCHF.
    6 weeks NCNF.

    I'll try to define what these mean and also put together my exercise and eating plan. I don't plan to eat the same thing or eat at the same time throughout - as meaningful as consistency might be, being able to live through this as normally as possible is also important. I'll try to stick as closely as possible to an exercise regimen but that too might take a few hits.

    Weigh-in: high frequency, morning, first thing, the day of the week doesn't actually matter for me - my weekdays are similar to weekends with regards to life pattern, food, etc.

    Workouts: as much as possible, consistent routes and locations - weather and temp are uncontrollable but will be recorded. Bike, run, gym are the core activities.

    Nutrient timing is a good question - I'm going to leave it as an open variable. I do not want to force myself to a specific eating schedule as that lead to bad places for me. I could record time between meal and exercise, but frankly, given the variability of food prep I'm usually going to be doing stuff 1 hr after a meal at least or fasted.
    Anyway, parameter to track.
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