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Low carbohydrate, high fat diet impairs exercise economy.

13 / 06 / 17

Professor Louise Burke and colleagues from the Australian Institute of Sport investigated the effects of adaptation to a ketogenic low carbohydrate high fat diet (LCHF) during 3 weeks of intensified training on metabolism and performance in elite race walker endurance athletes. When compared to a high carbohydrate diet (HCHO) throughout training; and a periodised alternating high carb and low carb diet (PCHO), the LCHF diet was associated with increased whole-body fat oxidation but also increased the oxygen cost at real-life race velocities. Oxygen uptake was reduced in the HCHO and PCHO and remained the same in the LCHF group.  HCHO and PCHO groups improved times for a 10km race walk, while LCHO did not improve. In summary, adaptation to the low carb high fat diet negated performance benefits, in part due to reduced exercise economy.

Read previous feature on this topic here.

Burke, L. M., Ross, M. L., Garvican-Lewis, L. A., Welvaert, M., Heikura, I. A., Forbes, S. G., Mirtschin, J. G., Cato, L. E., Strobel, N., Sharma, A. P. and Hawley, J. A. (2016), Low Carbohydrate, High Fat diet impairs exercise economy and negates the performance benefit from intensified training in elite race walkers. J Physiol.