I spent this weekend at the USA Cycling Level 2 Course. I learned many great things about coaching, like managing my client load and bike handling skills. Something I also learned, they are still teaching the carb garbage information that hurts so many athletes health. Athletes can be Fit but Unhealthy by eating way too many refined carbohydrates at the wrong time. I was one of those athletes.
The two big arguments against a low carbohydrate diet was that it was bad for the immune system. That seems crazy to me since the FASTER Study showed that one of the side effects of the low carb diet better fat oxidation and better recovery. That doesn't sound too damaging to me. Check out some of these interviews about the FASTER Study on Endurance Planet. Last time I checked, sugar depressed the immune system.
The instructor said the body goes into "starvation mode". What does he mean by "starvation mode"? That the body makes ketones? Last time I checked, that was a good thing. World record holder and participant in the FASTER Study, Zach Bitter, agrees with me. The need for less fuel on race day is a good thing. Many athlese have a problem with their stomachs shutting down during races. Burning fat ensures that you can keep going without your stomach shutting down.
In 2005 I bought into the sugar is good paradigm. I was about 25 pounds fatter and felt horrible all the time. My coach told me that was thing to do, and I believed her. I rode in El Tour de Tucson that year and averaged 14.63 MPH. I did the recommended gels every 45 minutes to an hour. I even had my timer sent on my watch. Back then, my mouth would be covered with canker sores after that race, and every race. I felt pretty horrible and bloated 24/7 back then. I had this idea that at some point, if I exercised enough, I would feel good someday.
Fast forward seven years...that someday finally came! I now feel good 24/7! What is the difference? It was taking all those toxic carbohydrates out of my diet! Apparently, "starvation mode" and making ketones does some amazing things to the body and the brain. The fuel for my El Tour de Tucson in 2014 was 3 Rolos, 8 Endurolytes, and 3 Vespa Amino Acids. I got a PR and averaged 17.25 MPH! Apparently, all those carbs were not needed. No more sores in the mouth and feeling horrible either.