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Old 02-14-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
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Endurance Athletes Please Reply!

I just signed up to this service today. I also just started Atkins on Feb. 1st. I've been a competitive athlete for almost 4 years now and have completed plenty of triathlons, duathlons, half marathons, etc. but never on Atkins. I start training this month for my first full marathon. How do I meet my hydration and nourishment needs without my usual carb filled sport gels and drinks on my long runs?! I'm still obviously in the Inducation Phase. Please help! I've already emailed the Atkins organization to see if Dr. Trager, who's a chairperson and who's done plenty of Ironman triathlons, can offer assistance. I need to find some low-carb endurance athletes who have been there and done it! Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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Stuart Trager consumes sports drink and perhaps other carbohydrate during his events, at least that's what he wrote a few years back. Atkins is pretty light when it comes to something like an endurance athlete. In his original book he call a heavy exerciser someone who exercises more than 6 hours a week, can eat 125 grams of carbohydrate or more.

You might want to check into the book 'The Paleo Diet For Athletes' written by Joe Friel. You might be faimilar with the author since he trains endurance athletes. Below is his blog and scroll down and he talks a little about taking in carbs, what kind and when. He's pretty specific about recovery level carbs.

Joe Friel's Blog: April 2007

The book is worth reading and you may be able to accomplish the same weight loss goals without being on induction level carbs. Actually, the diet in most ways is similar to Atkins but it's specific for athletes, endurance athletes.

And come by the weekly thread 'Tearing up the Trail, Track and Treadmill'.

Last edited by westside; 02-14-2008 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Westside! This is exactly what I was looking for! I'll also check out 'Tearing up the Trail, Track and Treadmill'. I really appreciated all your info. Can't wait to read about it and incorporate it into my training!
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:28 PM   #4
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Yes, I second that. The Paleo diet for athletes book is good for what/how to eat, I also recommend the book "the performance zone" it has great guidelines for how to fuel up DURING EXERCISE. Just ignore the general diet advice in both books for your non-exercise eating needs, and you should be fine!
I have experimented during workouts extensively over the past year, and for me, I do much better when I take extra carbs before/during/after exercise. The guidelines that I follow are from the 2 books mentioned above. Basically both recommend taking a mix of 75% carb/25% protein starting 30 min before exercise, until 30 minutes after. It should not effect your weight loss, as you will be using these sugars for your workout efforts, not storing them as fat. My experiments have found that it is quite possible to eat low carb during cycling (ie, eating almonds, for example) - if it is not high intensity. Running is harder though, at least for me it is. I like to take the 4/1 sugar/protein mix during exercise, take a smoothie with some coconut, whey protein and lots of fruit and some honey after a workout, and otherwise I eat a regular low carb type diet all the time. This concept is called "targeted nutrition", and I find it very effective. Now, if you're just jogging 25 minutes a few times a week, you do not need extra carbs! This is only for serious athletes!!! I have a great workout drink recipe that I use every day on my blog, "low carb endurance". Good luck! - Gary
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
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I know this article is old, but I've been trying to cut for a while now too. From personal experience, the only time I've ever felt carbs help my performance were before a race shorter than a half marathon. I usually eat a power bar before a race and it helps me get my legs moving faster with less warm-up time. I did a 20 miler a few days ago with only a couple slices of toast and some nuts and was fine with just water during it, but that was only 7 min / mile so it's not a fast pace where carbs would be necessary since fat metabolism / muscle catobolism counts for about 95% of a long run.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:23 AM   #6
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I'm not an athlete "yet," but working on it. First Triathlon this Sunday.

I ordered the Paleo for Athletes a few days ago. It hasn't arrived yet, but I think it will have the answers we're looking for.

A product called Nuun (for electrolyte hydration) can replace high carb sports drinks. No sugar.

nuun | portable electrolyte hydration

Also would love to have you visit the Triathlon thread. A few of us are beginner triathletes and would love to have an experienced person join us!

Anyone do a Triathlon?

Last edited by Maria527; 08-05-2009 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:27 AM   #7
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The Paleo Diet For Athletes is a lot about timing high glycemic carbs into your diet and around workouts and racing. For instance, rasins, are highly recommended right after a workout. Veggies, fruit and protein sources make up most or a lot of the diet. I've been following it loosly for a couple of years.

The author, Joe Friel is a triathlete coach. Have you been to his blog?
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:29 AM   #8
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Very new to Atkins!

I have literally just been put on Atkins by my specialist and I am a bit concerned as I have a 50 mile bike ride next saturday. I am not an endurance athlete, but I do work out every week and cycle a fair bit. I cannot begin to imagine how I will do a 50 mile cycle with no carbs - especially only a week into Atkins. My specialist said by then I will "actually have more energy" but I am not convinced this will be enough for 6 hours of cycling. I am on Atkins because I have insulin resistance, but I am not overwight (140lbs on 5 foot 6). Any tips would be gratefully recieved!
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
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Wow. Quite an old thread. How'd you find this one?

It's still a good question as I'm also getting into longer distance events. I suggest experimenting with different foods on your longer training days. I think that as long as your body is utilizing the simple carbs that get released into your blood, you should be OK. It's just when you have glucose in your blood and it's not going anywhere that insulin grabs it up and converts it to fat.

I see nothing wrong with taking in more carbs on high endurance days. But again, YMMV.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:05 PM   #10
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I run ultra distance races, therefore my training runs are over 6 hours on the weekends. Typically, I run about 70+ miles a week. I eat low carb, only vegetables and cheese and a few nuts and of course meat and eggs most of the time. When my training runs last more than an hour and half, I consume carbs during my runs and for the 30 minutes that follow. This style of targeted nutrition has kept my body fat extremely low while positively effecting my performance.
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