Feel like a failure on carnivore, i need more carbs

(April Harkness) #1

So in June i switched to carnivore. Physique is best it has ever been. No more bloat. But…my performance tanked. I am competing in a weightlifting comp in August. Now carnivore was ok while just lifting for fitness. Now that i switched to competition prep training, the workouts are more intense. Again…carnivore keto was fine for just my regular workouts. But comp prep training is another animal. I am thinking of ingesting 5 to 10 gms of glucose 20 to 30 min prior to my Olympic lifting sessions and then just eating regular keto carnivore after. I know ppl will tell me to give it time to get adapted to carnivore keto ( reg keto for a year). . But i dont have months.i have 4 weeks until competition and im not willing to risk it. Last time i took 5 mg if glucose before my kb comp after keeping carbs at 20 and below, i felt like i was taking drugs and lifted like an animal! Prior to keto this would not gave happened. But now? I am very sensitive to just small amts and i am hoping this gives me a competitive edge especially since i am almost zero carb now. But i also feel like a carnivore keto failure if i do this. But i really want to do well at my competition.

Adding Carbs to a workout
(Old Baconian) #2

Be sure you are getting enough protein, especially meat containing BCAA’s. The essential ones are leucine, iso-leucine, and valine.

(April Harkness) #3

I eat alot of protein. But lifting heavy weight and not just heavy…with speed…i am gassed with olympic lifting. Oly lifting is just a different animal than a typical bodybuilding routine. It is very anaerobic and carnivore isnt doing it for me currently. I can make it through my training session. I never quit…but performance is not there. With kettlebell sport sessions i was actually ok on carnivore. But oly lifting? Not so much.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #4

It sounds like you have a decision to make. You’ve already done the N=1 and determined that the glucose spike prior to the event gives you better performance. I would personally rather win an actual championship than a mental carnivore contest in my head. Do what works best for you and keep a close eye on things. Good luck at the competition!

(Susan) #5

Since you tried it before and it worked well, then I would do it again. I don’t see the harm, since it is not a daily thing you are doing. If it gives you that extra edge you need, then I would go for it. Best wishes for the competition, I hope you win =). Keep us posted!

(hottie turned hag) #6

Girl who cares, the way you look you should feel like a winner no matter what you’re eating. :smile:

(Erin Macfarland ) #7

@April_Harkness why do you care if you don’t feel good on carnivore- like you’re a “failure”? One of the things I dislike most about the people that advocate eating that way is how self important and judgmental they can be. Like vegans…lol…as though if you want to be the epitome of keto perfection you have to go carnivore. Same with all the pressure to fast. It’s ridiculous. Everyone does what’s right and sustainable for them. I tried carnivore out of curiosity last year and felt ok, despite a decline in my energy levels when I’d go on a run. And then I had crazy cravings for broccoli…so I went back to a more diverse LCHF template. And honestly, after reading posts in some carnivore forums I was so irritated at the tone of the moderators- they were condescending and would humiliate people for wanting to eat non animal foods. Well screw that. The best thing about the ketogenic forums is how down to earth and open minded everyone here is. I have been with this group for a long time, since it’s inception, and having eaten LCHF for five years, I’ve seen a lot of changes. And one of the biggest take aways is that you have to figure out what approach is most appropriate for you- for your goals, for how you feel, what’s sustainable. Go easy on yourself! And don’t feel like a failure- this isn’t a contest for who is the most “hard core.” I eat vegetables and steak and some nuts and chocolate and that’s what makes me happy and how I feel my best. And it might change over time. That’s ok too. Because we don’t stay the same forever :blush:


100% agree with the n=1 comment! No failure, just information.
I just started working with a trainer to learn the basics of Olympic lifting, literally using a broomstick: still brutal!!! Go for it!

(Ken) #9

Up your glucose/glucose-d/dextrose to 20 g before training and 40 g afterwards. It’s standard protocol for TKD for about 20 years now. It works well, I’ve done it myself for many years when I was training heavy. An inexpensive source is the candy Smarties, three rolls before and six afterwards, pure dextrose.

Don’t count the carbs taken around training in your daily carb count. I’d try that for a couple of weeks, if your performance doesn’t’ improve, you can try a full 36 hour glycogen recompensation like called for on a CKD.

Stay carnivore the rest of the time. CKD and TKD were developed for Bodybuilders and strength trainers. There’s lot’s more info about both over on the Keto subforum of Bodybuilding.com.

(hottie turned hag) #10

@Emacfarland I want to give that post a standing ovation. :orange_heart:
Heartily agree with all.

(Erin Macfarland ) #11

I@BlueViolet well thank you…I think it’s important to keep some perspective- why strong arm yourself to do something just to appear like you’re super human or to get approval from people that are probably just insecure and cling to these identities because it gives them the validation they need. It’s helpful to educate yourself about a variety of approaches, and maybe try some of them to see how you respond. But forcing yourself to adhere to an unnecessarily restrictive regimen is ridiculous. Life is not about living a joyless, robotic existence…yes it’s wonderful to pursue goals and work hard and get out of your comfort zone. But our identities shouldn’t revolve around our ability to punish ourselves :heart:

(Old Baconian) #12

“What sense does it make to be constantly coaxing the body to keto-adapt and then jerking it back to deal with the disposal of high carbohydrate loads? Given that blood beta-hydroxybutyrate levels characteristic of nutritional ketosis reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, why would you want to shut down this beneficial effect even part of the time?” —Stephen R. Phinney, M.D., Ph.D.

(Ken) #13

Sounds like a great way to rationalize talking someone into a one year stall.

Bodybuilders and other extreme type athletes who make heavy use of type II muscle fibers are different. It’s hard to convince people to break with their Dogma, especially if they’ve never experienced either the lifestyle or the negative effects themselves.

(PJ) #14

Well, I think people should do what works for them. Sometimes that is different at different times. And the only measure of that is how someone feels – and what their plans are. I mean… I think Phinney’s comments are specific to:

a/ people changing it up solely for holiday or laziness, or
b/ people who are, at that moment, MORE concerned with “oxidative stress and inflammation.”

If I’m in a physical competition, the only way I give a crap about “oxidative stress and inflammation” in the period leading up to it is if I can almost directly track it to hurting my performance.

If my health is less ideal for a couple months – but I’m better able to do well at the competition – I would care about that more.

I mean – seriously does anybody think competitive athletes would do half the crap they do for competitive prep if their primary concern was anything but winning or succeeding at the competition? :rofl:

There’s what sounds good on paper, and what is most “reasonable for optimal health” – and then there’s “do what you gotta do.” …which is why competitive athletes spend their off season recovering. :smiley:

(Wendy) #15

Totally this! ^ Thank you Erin.

(April Harkness) #16

Thanks! I will try tkd keto and eat carnivore rest of the time. I am finding out what works for my runner friends or non competitive lifting friends does not necessarily work for me.

(Bob M) #17

As someone who is not competing (too old and too many injuries for that), but is still lifting, I do find some targeted carbs help with recovery and strength. For instance, while our kids were away at camp, my wife and I went and had a few higher carb meals, including even sharing a dessert. I went to the gym that week and cranked through stuff, including increasing my reps (I lift every set to failure, but only work out once per week on a body part).

As a non-competitor, I try not to do this often, but it does seem to help.

I am also not carnivore. I haven’t been able to make the switch to all meat, though many of my meals are all animal (might eat some cheese for K2). I still eat some veggies, though.

(April Harkness) #18

So started off slow. Read that most Targeted keto people do 15 to 20 gms of carbs preworkout. I also watched a podcast on Tkd that Siimland did and he rec’d 5 grams. I did below typical TKD but slightly above Siimland’s rec. took 8 gms since my dextrose tabs were 4 gms each. Felt a huuuuuge difference. I am 100% sure that prior to keto and even keto carnivore this would not impact me. Now my body responds extremely well to a few carbs. I lifted like a beast today. Was it hard? Yes. Because training is hard and weights are heavy. But i was speedier and not gassed. Now back to regularly scheduled omad carnivore!

(April Harkness) #19

Thanks so much for your response. I have endurance athlete friends who are thriving on carnivore. oly lifting is anerobic and I just need that glucose before lifting. In the whole scheme of things… I am practically zero carb now sans the 8 grams of carbs I took pretraining. Heck it is still lower carbs than standard keto which is 20 grams of carbohydrate. Yet the blowback is real amongst carnivore ketos. It’s as if I am crucifying Jesus to the Cross, sacrificing babies,etc. Some in the community do remind me of militant vegans. I did a genetic test with 23andme, and found I am predominately type 2 muscle fiber. This is probably why I have leaned towards more strength sports and in the few times I run, I am better at sprinting than long distance. The kind of keto or other low carb approaches that works for endurance athletes just may be different for those of us who do anaerobic sports. Thank you for your response. I am going to do what works for me to reach my goals. And currently that goal is to perform well at my competition in August.

(April Harkness) #20

You took the words out of my mouth! The kind of keto that works for me while I train to compete will be different than someone who exercises just for health reasons. Training for competition is VERY different. It’s not always healthy. I am training to win. After comp my approach will be very different and will be more on , as you said, recovery and health focused…until I start comp training again! Thanks for your response!