Carb Increase For Running

(Benjamin Grew) #1

Hello, what are other runners, or endurance athlete’s experience with adding more carbs into the diet once going Keto? I listen to a lot of Ben Greenfield and Zack Bitter and they both have re-feeds of carbs at certain points of the day. I had (still have) a hard time getting fat adapted so I have to be careful not to get out of ketosis otherwise I get a major slump and the keto flu. I do 5 - 6 running sessions a week. One or two of them are hard and fast, the others low n slow. I also do two gym sessions a week strength training. Should I just try and stay low carb or add some more in? Keen to hear some thoughts on this… Ben

(Old Baconian) #2

Once you are fat-adapted, you probably won’t need carbohydrate at all for endurance running. And even for sprinting, your glycogen store should eventually (six months to a year, I believe) return to pre-keto levels.

“Keto flu” is more likely the result of not enough sodium and/or a bit of dehydration. Dr. Phinney recommends that athletes drink a cup of bone broth about 45 minutes before an event, to get their salt and blood volume up. The doctor says that Prof. Volek was having trouble with the athletes in one of his studies because they were somewhat hypovolemic at the beginning of the tests, and Dr. Phinney’s bone broth idea took care of the problem.

(Scott) #3

I had a lot of trouble getting fat adapted. Base on my running energy levels it took about three months before I no longer needed walk breaks but I was recovering from a torn ankle ligament so I was not in good running form as well. I say stay low carb. I am at the one year mark and my energy level is still improving. I always run fasted and prefer it that way. I am usually at a 12 minute pace so not speedy at all but I am in it for fun and fitness. My current routine is 4.5 miles M-W-F with a Nautilus set on the way back. 6 miles on T-T and an 8 mile on the weekend Saturday or Sunday. Hoping to attempt a keto fueled half marathon soon.

(Benjamin Grew) #4

Thanks Paul. So once I’m fully fat adapted my glycogen store would be back to pre keto… Thats cool. Any idea where I could find some more info on that?

Ok great, yes if I’m feeling a bit crap I pump up the bone broth and salt. One keto pro doctor takes 10 grams for pink salt a day!

(Benjamin Grew) #5

Thanks Scott, in terms of running energy I haven’t really had a problem with this unless I do two big days back to back. I just feel more drained on everyday life stuff, but when I think about it I had this back on my old carb heavy diet! Cheers for the help and keep up the running!

(Scott) #6

I have also found that if take in some salt via salt grinder into my palm and pop it into my mouth to melt it helps. This usually is when I feel the urge to snack and my snack of choice is almonds or macadamia nuts, both salty. The salt hit without the nuts cured my snacking problem and I just feel better. I do this about four times a day in addition to salting my food heavily.

(Old Baconian) #7

@beng73 I believe this is the study:

(David Cooke) #8

Sorry to revive this thread, but maybe better than starting the new one I was going to write.
I am looking at it from the view of a marathon runner: these guys can maybe stock up with 2000 to 2200 grams of carbs before a race (is that possible?) but this is going to run out after about 17 miles. Licking on goo isn’t going to replace the missing glucose, which is why these races get won in the last few miles.
If you are fat adapted, your body should be capable of producing glucose for as long as necessary.
My conclusion: pre-race carbs may be of more utility for running shorter distances / so called ‘explosive’ sports.

I generally do my early morning runs on a stomach empty of anything but bullet proof coffee, and my preferred pick me up during the run is a small dose of coffee about half way through. Carbs before a 10 Km race? I am very hesitant to try that, and as far as I can tell, most electrolyte drinks here contain a lot of sugar.
Anyway, I try not to lose sight of the fact that I am running for my health, with actually finishing a second goal, winning isn’t going to happen.

(Old Baconian) #9

I believe that Volek’s FASTER study shows that fat-adapted endurance athletes continue to burn fat long past the point where carb-adapted athletes are struggling to continue on mostly glucose. No matter how lean you are you still have tens of thousands of calories worth of fat on hand to burn. You can make your own electrolyte drink from bone broth, if you want to avoid sugar (which I happen to think is a great idea).