The Right Fuel for Optimal
Athletic Performance
My History
 Ran Track in HS but had BAD allergies
 Exercise Induced Asthma
 Heart Murmer
 Food Allergies
Healthy Diet is Supposed to
Be…?
 Low Fat
 Whole Grains
 Olive Oil
 Some Meat and Fish
 Fresh Veggies and Fruit
 BUT…
Gluten, Soy and Corn Issues
 I, and a lot of other people have issues with grains
 Gluten Allergy/Sensitivity
 Corn All...
My Diet Now
 Paleo or Primal Diet, Lower Carbs
 No Processed Foods
 No Grains
 No Dairy
 No Soy
 Few Legumes
 Low S...
Voila!
 Allergies and Asthma Greatly Diminished
 Brain Fog/Lethargy Went Away
 Energy and Endurance Went WAY Up!
 Join...
I, of course, wanted to
research this…
The Athletic Performance Fueling
Question
 Typical Riding/Race Fuel is Often: Carb Load with
Refined White Flour, Grains ...
Carbs for Fuel
 Carbs Converted Into Glycogen in Liver and Stored in
Liver and Some in Muscles
 Used for Short, Intense ...
 Glycogen Has Limited Storage, so Most of it is Burned
Through in About 20-40 Minutes.
 Then What Happens?
 Well, Typic...
When You Burn Through it…
 You May BONK!
 Fatigue
 Soreness
 Lactic Acid Buildup
 Excess Inflammation
But Aren‘t We Supposed to
Burn Fat for Energy?
Two Fuel Systems
 Glucose/Glycogen System
-For Short Intense Efforts
-Easily Accessible
-Lasting Anywhere from 20-40 Minu...
Fat Burning System
 For Longer, Sub-maximal Efforts
 Lasting from 40 Minutes and Beyond
 Has to Be Broken Down, Metabol...
What‘s the Problem?
The Problem is When You Over-Utilize One Fuel
System, the Metabolic Pathway Becomes Fast And Easy
And the Under-Utilized
System Becomes Slow and
Difficult to Access
Is Sugar Evil?
 Most fructose that we eat, whether it is from table sugar
(sucrose), or high fructose corn syrup, or frui...
Twisted Logic
 Most energy and sports drinks use sucrose or high
fructose corn syrup as the primary sweetener.
 Given th...
Carb Loading Theory
 The Beloved Mainstay of Sports Nutrition is the Carb
Loading Theory for High Intensity Performance.
...
One Caveat
 The diets used were from 4-10 days long.
 However, Scandinavian explorers in the Arctic spent
years travelin...
Another Study Fats Vs. Carbs
 In another study, subjects were given low calorie diets
forcing their bodies to utilize sto...
One More Test
 5 lean bicycle racers who were highly trained
 Fed a mod protein and HIGH fat diet
 After four weeks on ...
What Does This Mean?
 Given the proper time to adapt, the body actually gains
more endurance from a high fat/lower carb d...
Another approach to having “extra”
glycogen – train your body to use less
The alternative to maximizing the availability o...
ATP Fuel for Muscles
 Fat exponentially increases the production of a molecule known as
ATP. ATP is the master energy and...
High Fat vs. High CHO
EndurancePerformanceTime
Baseline 2 weeks 7 weeks
p.144
CHO
FAT
What Does Your Body Prefer
to Burn?
 At rest all skeletal muscle prefers fat for fuel, using
glucose only when insulin le...
What About Sprinting?
 Performance in high-intensity exercise like sprinting depends
mainly on two factors that are signi...
What About Lactic Acid?
 Other studies have shown that athletes also produce
much less lactic acid during exercise as wel...
And One More Thing…
 A lower carb diet—
 Reduces levels of small, dense LDL (the worst kind of
‗bad cholesterol)
 Raise...
Lower Carb + Higher Fats
 Explorers Used This Diet to Explore the Arctic
 Diet consisted of a Little Protein and Mostly ...
Key to Adaptation
It Takes the Body 3-4 Weeks to
Adapt to This Fat Burning
Process and to Build Up an
Accessible Fat Burn...
FAT!!!!?????
 Add
 Fats are essential for our
body to function properly,
Let‘s Talk About Fats
 All Fats are not the same!
 Some of the fats we‘ve been
told are healthy are NOT
healthy!
 Some ...
What‘s Wrong With Vegetable Oil?
 An overabundance of
Omega 6 fats compared to
our intake of Omega 3 fats
creates inflamm...
Some Saturated Fats Are
Actually Very Good for You
 Coconut Oil—This Medium Chain Triglyceride is
Immediately Metabolized...
Fat is good...
 Fats are important for many metabolic processes:
 Energy production
 Transporters of fat soluble vitami...
Too little fat...<10%
 Risk of becoming deficient in essential fatty acids and
fat soluble vitamins.
 Could affect fat m...
The Downside of Fat
 Fat is slow to digest and be converted into a usable
form of energy (it can take up to 6 hours).
 C...
So Burning Fat for Energy for
Longer Efforts Will Bring
Increased Endurance
 Your Body Will Become More Efficient at Burn...
Because Riding or Racing
Demands We Have Full Tanks
 I like to LAYER on my fuel.
 Start with healthy fats for a base, pl...
 And don‘t forget protein and complex carbs within an
hour after a long ride or race.
 Use REAL food as opposed to conco...
You’ll have the energy needed to get
through a race or a ride and have
enough for the finish!
Summary
 Fueling ONLY with Sugar, Grains and Energy
Drinks, Gels, Chews, Candy Bars, Energy Bars means
your body only use...
Summary
 Fat in an athlete‘s diet will NOT make you fat, it actually
helps your body learn to access it‘s own fat stores ...
Conclusion
 I do not know everything there is to know about this.
This is an ongoing science.
 I have experimented with ...
 We athletes are in some stage of recovery almost
continuously during periods of heavy training. The key
to optimum recov...
References
 Stephen Phinney MD, Phd, Jeff
Volek, Phd, RD, “The Art and Science of Low
Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guid...
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Find the Right Fuel for the Best Performance

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Fat vs. sugars and gels for best Athletic performance. Which works best?

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Find the Right Fuel for the Best Performance

  1. 1. The Right Fuel for Optimal Athletic Performance
  2. 2. My History  Ran Track in HS but had BAD allergies  Exercise Induced Asthma  Heart Murmer  Food Allergies
  3. 3. Healthy Diet is Supposed to Be…?  Low Fat  Whole Grains  Olive Oil  Some Meat and Fish  Fresh Veggies and Fruit  BUT…
  4. 4. Gluten, Soy and Corn Issues  I, and a lot of other people have issues with grains  Gluten Allergy/Sensitivity  Corn Allergy  Dairy Allergy  Soy Problems  Which Led to…
  5. 5. My Diet Now  Paleo or Primal Diet, Lower Carbs  No Processed Foods  No Grains  No Dairy  No Soy  Few Legumes  Low Sugar
  6. 6. Voila!  Allergies and Asthma Greatly Diminished  Brain Fog/Lethargy Went Away  Energy and Endurance Went WAY Up!  Joint Aches Went Away  Muscle Soreness and Achiness Down  Less Burning During Riding  Less Blood Sugar Highs and Lows  NO BONKING
  7. 7. I, of course, wanted to research this…
  8. 8. The Athletic Performance Fueling Question  Typical Riding/Race Fuel is Often: Carb Load with Refined White Flour, Grains and Sugar, i.e. Pancakes, Pasta, Pizza, Cookies, etc.  Fuel During a Race/Ride is Often Sugary Substances Like Gu, Shot Blocks, ―Energy‖ Bars, Candy Bars, Gatorade, and other Energy Drinks  What Happens to All This Stuff In Your Body?
  9. 9. Carbs for Fuel  Carbs Converted Into Glycogen in Liver and Stored in Liver and Some in Muscles  Used for Short, Intense Bursts of Energy Primarily  The Rest is Stored in the Body As Fat, Which Also Raises Triglycerides and LDL (BAD) Cholesterol  Blood Sugar Ups and Downs
  10. 10.  Glycogen Has Limited Storage, so Most of it is Burned Through in About 20-40 Minutes.  Then What Happens?  Well, Typically Your Body Is Supposed to Start Burning Fat  What Happens Though When Your Body is Lazy From Easy Access to Glucose From Sugary, Starchy Snacks….?
  11. 11. When You Burn Through it…  You May BONK!  Fatigue  Soreness  Lactic Acid Buildup  Excess Inflammation
  12. 12. But Aren‘t We Supposed to Burn Fat for Energy?
  13. 13. Two Fuel Systems  Glucose/Glycogen System -For Short Intense Efforts -Easily Accessible -Lasting Anywhere from 20-40 Minutes -Think Sprint Intervals
  14. 14. Fat Burning System  For Longer, Sub-maximal Efforts  Lasting from 40 Minutes and Beyond  Has to Be Broken Down, Metabolized  If Not Frequently Utilized, Body is Not as Efficient in Using This Energy Source
  15. 15. What‘s the Problem? The Problem is When You Over-Utilize One Fuel System, the Metabolic Pathway Becomes Fast And Easy
  16. 16. And the Under-Utilized System Becomes Slow and Difficult to Access
  17. 17. Is Sugar Evil?  Most fructose that we eat, whether it is from table sugar (sucrose), or high fructose corn syrup, or fruit juices gets made into fat instantly in the liver.  Our bodies cannot convert fructose to glucose (the usable source of suger in the body), so fructose is sent to the liver to be turned into fat.
  18. 18. Twisted Logic  Most energy and sports drinks use sucrose or high fructose corn syrup as the primary sweetener.  Given that the average exhausted athlete still has TENS of THOUSANDS of fat calories in their body‘s energy reserves, but is running out of glycogen (from carbs), why would you add a sugar that cannot be burned for energy,  And will be stored as FAT?
  19. 19. Carb Loading Theory  The Beloved Mainstay of Sports Nutrition is the Carb Loading Theory for High Intensity Performance.  From two Danish Scientists in 1939 who gave athletes either a diet that was high fat, high carb or mixed for 7 days.  Then they rode bicycles to exhaustion. The finding—the more carbs the longer they could pedal.  This was followed by a study that showed muscles held more glycogen with carb loading diets.
  20. 20. One Caveat  The diets used were from 4-10 days long.  However, Scandinavian explorers in the Arctic spent years traveling through the Arctic consuming a diet of mostly FAT.  The key is that it takes between two to three weeks to adapt to the higher fat diet.  Then endurance IMPROVED.
  21. 21. Another Study Fats Vs. Carbs  In another study, subjects were given low calorie diets forcing their bodies to utilize stored fats.  They were tested on a treadmill before the diet, after one week and after six weeks.  Average times on the treadmill were: 168 min before the diet, 130 min one week into the diet, and 269 min after 6 weeks.  AND both the pulse rate and O2 consumption showed they were working LESS hard on the last test!
  22. 22. One More Test  5 lean bicycle racers who were highly trained  Fed a mod protein and HIGH fat diet  After four weeks on this high fat diet, their peak aerobic power was unchanged and duration at the same power output was the same.  The big change was muscle glycogen. On the test at the four week point, the riders had HALF as much glycogen in their muscles and used only a QUARTER as much glycogen in their exercise!
  23. 23. What Does This Mean?  Given the proper time to adapt, the body actually gains more endurance from a high fat/lower carb diet, AND  The body actually uses LESS muscle glycogen.  So there really isn‘t a big connection between muscle glycogen and work performance in this case.
  24. 24. Another approach to having “extra” glycogen – train your body to use less The alternative to maximizing the availability of CHO is to conserve CHO by maximizing the capacity to oxidize fat. The essential theory underlying this strategy is the reciprocal relationship between FAT and CHO in terms of providing energy for exercise. TCA (Krebs) cycle Glycogen Glucose Pyruvate Acetyl-CoA Triglyceride Free Fatty Acid Fatty Acyl CoA
  25. 25. ATP Fuel for Muscles  Fat exponentially increases the production of a molecule known as ATP. ATP is the master energy and strength producing molecule within the body. The more you have, the better you perform. A single fat molecule can produce a whopping 129 molecules of ATP !!  In contrast, if you are not consuming enough healthy fat the body is forced to utilize an inferior source of ATP production - carbohydrates.  A single carbohydrate molecule produces a paltry 38 molecules of ATP!  Do the math – fat yields more than three times the energy as a carbohydrate!
  26. 26. High Fat vs. High CHO EndurancePerformanceTime Baseline 2 weeks 7 weeks p.144 CHO FAT
  27. 27. What Does Your Body Prefer to Burn?  At rest all skeletal muscle prefers fat for fuel, using glucose only when insulin levels are high and blood sugar needs someplace to go.  During sustained exercise, fat is still the preferred fuel at intensities up to 60% of max effort.  Above 60% glucose is preferred, although this is less preferred if adapted to a low carb diet.  Glucose is broken down into lactate and released back into the bloodstream after it is metabolized.
  28. 28. What About Sprinting?  Performance in high-intensity exercise like sprinting depends mainly on two factors that are significantly affected by diet: oxygen and fuel.  Obviously on a lower carb diet, the primary fuel will be fat rather than glucose.  Fat wins over glucose because of its energy density - it yields more ATP than glucose.  Since it's more energy-efficient, it's more oxygen-efficient, because more energy is produced per unit of oxygen.  So Fat Wins, but it‘s Harder to Access…
  29. 29. What About Lactic Acid?  Other studies have shown that athletes also produce much less lactic acid during exercise as well, or it is utilized better.  What is noticeable is that there is much less muscle soreness and burning from this type of diet, whether it creates less lactic acid, or more likely,  Less INFLAMMATION which makes the muscles not as sore and speeds recovery.
  30. 30. And One More Thing…  A lower carb diet—  Reduces levels of small, dense LDL (the worst kind of ‗bad cholesterol)  Raises HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), and that biomarkers of inflammation are reduced by a well- formulated low carbohydrate diet.‖  And Triglycerides are also greatly reduced.
  31. 31. Lower Carb + Higher Fats  Explorers Used This Diet to Explore the Arctic  Diet consisted of a Little Protein and Mostly Fat  = ENDURANCE
  32. 32. Key to Adaptation It Takes the Body 3-4 Weeks to Adapt to This Fat Burning Process and to Build Up an Accessible Fat Burning Metabolic Pathway
  33. 33. FAT!!!!?????  Add  Fats are essential for our body to function properly,
  34. 34. Let‘s Talk About Fats  All Fats are not the same!  Some of the fats we‘ve been told are healthy are NOT healthy!  Some fats are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and some are high in Omega 6 fatty acids.  We get far too much Omega 6 fatty acids in our diets
  35. 35. What‘s Wrong With Vegetable Oil?  An overabundance of Omega 6 fats compared to our intake of Omega 3 fats creates inflammation in the body.  Omega 6 fats come from vegetable oils, vegetable oils from grains (corn oil) and seeds (canola oil).  Olive oil is high in Omega 6 oils, but it has many other beneficial properties.
  36. 36. Some Saturated Fats Are Actually Very Good for You  Coconut Oil—This Medium Chain Triglyceride is Immediately Metabolized and Usable for Energy  Grass Fed REAL Butter Which Contains Tons of Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients You Cannot Get Anywhere Else  Fats from Grass Fed Beef (grain fed is high in Omega 6 fats), Whole Eggs, Avocados, Nuts, Grass Fed Cheese, etc.
  37. 37. Fat is good...  Fats are important for many metabolic processes:  Energy production  Transporters of fat soluble vitamins  Important in the synthesis of Vitamin D, cholesterol, and steroid hormones.  Structurally important in cell membranes  Fat can be classified by its structure:  Unsaturated: contain double bonds between carbons  Saturated: single bonds between carbons
  38. 38. Too little fat...<10%  Risk of becoming deficient in essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins.  Could affect fat mobilization and oxidation, important in energy production  Lower circulating levels of hormones (insulin, testosterone...important ones if you want to build lean body mass)  Higher Inflammation, Longer Recovery Times
  39. 39. The Downside of Fat  Fat is slow to digest and be converted into a usable form of energy (it can take up to 6 hours).  Converting stored body fat into energy takes time. The body needs to breakdown fat and transport it to the working muscles before it can be used as energy.  Converting stored body fat into energy takes a great deal of oxygen, so exercise intensity must decrease for this process to occur.
  40. 40. So Burning Fat for Energy for Longer Efforts Will Bring Increased Endurance  Your Body Will Become More Efficient at Burning Fat-- Both Dietary and Body Fat  Decreased Lactic Acid  You Burn Less Glycogen, so Glycogen is Spared in the Muscles  Your Energy Stays More Stable
  41. 41. Because Riding or Racing Demands We Have Full Tanks  I like to LAYER on my fuel.  Start with healthy fats for a base, plus healthy proteins  Add in a good supply of non-grain carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, white potatoes and other starchy vegetables.  Don‘t forget a big serving of vegetables, which are also a healhy complex carbohydrate.  PRE Race and POST Race
  42. 42.  And don‘t forget protein and complex carbs within an hour after a long ride or race.  Use REAL food as opposed to concoctions and powders and mixes. My favorite quick post race/training ride for protein is grass fed natural beef jerky, if you cannot sit down and have a good meal.  Be generous with salt. Most of us athletes, especially if you eat lower carbs, need SALT. This helps with reduction of cramps and heat tolerance as well.  Drink plenty of water! Other Stuff
  43. 43. You’ll have the energy needed to get through a race or a ride and have enough for the finish!
  44. 44. Summary  Fueling ONLY with Sugar, Grains and Energy Drinks, Gels, Chews, Candy Bars, Energy Bars means your body only uses the most accessible energy system, but  It Also Means you Burn through it Faster.  Raises Blood Sugar (which falls later)  Stores Body Fat  Generally Don‘t Easily Access Stored Fat for Energy
  45. 45. Summary  Fat in an athlete‘s diet will NOT make you fat, it actually helps your body learn to access it‘s own fat stores more efficiently  It prevents bonking  It provides a long lasting energy source  It improves endurance  It helps reduce inflammation, and speeds recovery time
  46. 46. Conclusion  I do not know everything there is to know about this. This is an ongoing science.  I have experimented with diet ad ways to fuel my body over the last four years I have been riding/racing, and I notice I feel much better, and race better on a lower carb, higher fat diet that includes some complex carbs right before racing.  While some principles of diet hold true for everyone, we are all individuals and there is NO cookie cutter approach that works.
  47. 47.  We athletes are in some stage of recovery almost continuously during periods of heavy training. The key to optimum recovery is rest and diet.  While I believe that a primitive/Paleo style diet is best for health, I also know that athletes need to modify their diets to meet the high demands of training.  Listen to your body and give it what it needs.  Most of all, eat REAL food.
  48. 48. References  Stephen Phinney MD, Phd, Jeff Volek, Phd, RD, “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable  Lauren Cordain and Joe Friel, “Paleo for Athletes”  Shane Ellison, MS, The People’s Chemist
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