Got caught up in a debate on book face all about keto and fat adaption the other day.
Now I love to chat.
I’ll happily get involved when it comes geeking out on performance nutrition, the when’s, the whys and should you even do’s…
BUT it all got a bit face palmy when some hard core proponents in the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) and keto camps pitched their tents.
I know where they’re coming from, I understand (for the most part) the science and physiological adaption of these nutritional strategies.
You see performance nutrition is a big part of what I do, talk about and teach to our clients so that they can get the best from their training and recovery, so that they can continue to train and prepare for their racing with maximum effect.
Do any of these so called performance ‘diets” like fat adaption and keto give you an advantage AT ALL???
Ok so the answer to that is….
It depends. <= Yeah I know… you hate that answer.
It depends on your training demands, training outcomes, metabolic health and so much more.
Way too many athletes think that LCHF and Keto are THE only way and often I think they are missing a few CRUCIAL points’ that matter MORE when it comes to performance.
Your lifestyle, stress, sleep,
hydration and recovery strategies.
Don’t matter how fat or keto adapted you are. If your neglecting that priority list I’ve just mentioned, performance nutrition is all just a bit…well…..pointless.
Let’s start with a TOP Trump FACT.
Training is THE way to get FASTER!
Doesn’t matter how much fat black coffee you chug down or coconut oil you cook with, if your training isn’t up to speed, periodised and progressive you won’t get the results you are looking for.
Fact No2: Mobility and flexibility matters
No amount of avocado or chai seed pudding can make you run fast off the bike if your hip flexors are as tight as hell and have over active quads. Sorry but mobility magic stuff happens on the floor rolling and stretching, you can’t keto your way toward suppleness.
Fact No3: Rest and sleep is just as important as No1 and 2.
If you’re constantly tired because you’re staying up late to watch Game of Family Guy or celebrity something or other, I can guarantee you can’t put the required effort in the next day.
You have to consider that fatigue limits your ability to put it on the line when asked to in training. Most athletes ride TOO hard when their supposed to ride easy which means they never have the energy to ride hard enough when it matters. A year of training like that means you’re always off the bullseye.
Fatigue affects critical thinking, ability to concentrate, perform technical skills and drills. That can all lead to breakdown of focus and technique and the chances of common injury.
Fatigue and lack of sleep messes with your body’s stress hormones which messes with your ability to handle blood sugars. That’s why when you’re super tired you shove chocolate in your face…..and can’t stop….but that’s ok its 95% or higher.
Fact No 4: Dehydration is a killer to recovery and performance
Being hydrated not just in training but on a daily basis is critical to get on point so that your body functions perfectly.
Just 2% dehydration can cause a drop of performance, increase cellular stress and heart rate, which adds excess stress on the CNS. I can guarantee you won’t train well like that.
So you see
All these things are CRITICAL for performance FAR more so than keto supplements and fat adaption.
Now I’m not saying fat or keto adaption doesn’t work but let’s look at it this way.
Putting NOS into a Ferrari will make it launch out of the grid super-fast. Put that super charged mix into a Fiat panda and it’s still just a Fiat panda.
Actually I bet you
When it comes to performance nutrition what you probably only really want to know is that the food you eat will make you healthier, give you energy and help you look just a bit more pro in your race kit without worrying that you went over 20g of carbohydrates.
So here’s a really straightforward, very un-sexy way to get performance, drop body fat and recover quick.
Eat real whole food the majority of the time, know your caloric needs, have variety, practice moderation not limitation, have patience and be consistently persistent.
That’s far more flexible and simple to follow. Now you can go out to dinner and relax.
Thanks for reading
Simon de Burgh
Level 2 British Triathlon Coach
2 X Winner of Best Gym Based PT