If You Think You Need To Eat Carbs For Performance Read This

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #1


I may have missed something, but I’ve seen LCHF all over it. I have missed the “no carb”, or “ZC”.

In real life, the athletes I’ve found who do LC still eat a lot of carbs when they exercise, like Froome, for instance.

(Kenny Croxdale) #3

[quote=“Corals, post:2, topic:105451”]
In real life, the athletes I’ve found who do LC still eat a lot of carbs when they exercise, like Froome, for instance.[/quote]

Energy Systems and The Keto Diet

The Energy System is one of primary factors that determine the sport the where the Ketogenic Diet will work.

With that in mind, lets look at which Energy System is the dominate one for certain sports or activities.

1) Phosphagen Energy System

The energy for this system predominately utilized ATP, Adenosine Triphosphate.

Maximum Strength, Power and Speed Sports need ATP. ATP metaphorically the gas that enable athlete in the sports to function at optimal levels.

When ATP is depleted, Maximum Strength, Power and Speed drop like a rock.

The majority of ATP is depleted with these high intensity types of strength in around 15 second or less.

In the Phosphagen Energy System, neither glucose (from high carbohydrate intake) nor ketones are used.

Thus, athletes on a Standard American Diet (high carbohydrate intake) or those on a Ketogenic Diet (ultra low carbohydrate) perform equally,

2) Glycolytic Energy System

Athletes in sports that utilize this Energy System, appear to use and need to consume a higher carbohydrate (glucose) diet.

The time frame for the Glycolytic Energy System is when an event is longer than 30 seconds and less than about 2 minutes; like a 400 meter sprint, etc.

With that said, some research has demonstrated that once “Keto Adapted”, athletes in the Glycogenic Energy System Sports, may be able to perform just as well as those on a high carbohydrate diet.

A Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet Combined with 6-Weeks of Crossfit Training Improves Body Composition and Performance

As someone who is on a Ketogenic Diet, I found the research article interesting and would like to believe it. However, I am not able to buy into it.

3) Oxidative Energy System

Research indicates that the Ketogenic Diet works well for Endurance Athletes; a higher percentage of body fat (ketones) are used, sparing glycogen reserves until needed.

One of the benefits is that “Bonking” minimized or eliminated. That since “Bonking” is usually due to the body running of glucose.

Now let’s look at another type of Strength Training that is more dependent on carbohydrates (glucose) and how to “Game The System”.


This type if Strength Training falls more into the Glycolytic Energy System; moderate to high repetitions. As research and anecdotal data have demonstrated, higher repetition trigger an increase in muscle mass,

Research by Dr Jonathan Oliver allows “Ketogenic Diet Athletes” to elicit the hypertrophy muscle building effect with…

Hypertrophy Cluster Set Training

Cluster Set amount to small rest taken between repetition in an Exercise Set, The short rest periods of 10 to 45 seconds allow restoration of ATP; you refuel your “Muscle Gas Tank”.

A Cluster Set Bench Press Example

Let say you are going to perform 10 Repetitions in a Bench Press.

A Cluster Set could be something like this…

Set 1: Preform 2 Reps

Rest Period 1: Rest 15 seconds.

Set 2: Preform 2 Reps

Rest Period 2: Rest 15 seconds.

Set 3: Preform 2 Reps

Rest Period 3: Rest 15 seconds.

Set 4: Preform 2 Reps

Rest Period 4: Rest 15 seconds.

Set 5: Preform 2 Reps

Rest Period 5: Rest 15 seconds.

This type of Cluster Set Hypertrophy Training amount being the same as High Intensity Interval Training; short sprints followed by short rest period between each sprint.

Oliver Cluster Set Protocol

Oliver’s Cluster Set Training was developed as a means for Phosphagen Energy System Athletes being able to increase muscle mass while increasing and/or maintaining Strength, Power and Speed in their respective sports,

Traditional Hypertrophy-Bodybuilding is effective at increasing muscle mass. The downside is that it if it is the only protocol employed in a training program, it comes at the expense in a decrease in Maximum Strength, Power and Speed.

Oliver’s Hypertrophy Cluster Set Protocol is effective for “Keto Adapted Athletes”; enabling them to train in the Phosphagen Energy System to increase muscle mass.

Kenny Croxdale

(Robin) #4

I’ll just read the title and go no further. I will assume the answer is yes and be happy. I don’t need any performance anxiety! LOL


What’s “low” for one isn’t low for another. Somebody with a ton of physical activity can get away with many more carbs with no pushback. When I still did things like checking ketones once my workouts and cardio were ramped up I could eat almost 100g/day and still show ketones most of the time. I was very active physically but no where near what a real “Athlete” could pull off


Read your own reference: it’s also about LOW carb!

“low” isn’t “no”


Yes. Froome’s low carb, for instance, involves his porridge and sometimes even rice for breakfast, as well as Haribo sweets. The thing about 20g doesn’t apply to athletes.

I’ve read a lot about their diets before deciding to up my net carbs from 20 to 30g. Coincidence, or not, it worked wonders to almost completely solve my muscle cramps. 82 km mountain bike ride today with no cramps! I’m a happy bunny! Performance, though, is still much worse than it used to be, but I can live with that.

(Bob M) #8

A 40 mile mountain bike ride? Yikes.

I’ve been trying a TKD where I eat one higher meal of carbs the first meal after my body weight training (about 50 minutes) or a shorter body weight training but higher intensity biking. About 30-40 grams. I’m going to start an N=1 post, but I think it helps.


I’ll be looking forward to your thread! I love your threads, always rich in data. Thank you for sharing!

(Kenny Croxdale) #10

There is no such thing No Carb. I never stated low is no.

Kenny Croxdale

(David Cooke) #11

It’s a fact in my case that after two years Keto, 18 months running (half marathon) I can improve my performance if I take carbs before and during a race. I don’t do it often, and it’s also a fact that my sugar cravings increase exponentially when I do this.