cannot exercise (hard) on low carb
cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-10-2010 02:23 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. When I ate a lot of carbs, I lifted weights and did intense cardio as I desired. Since low carbing (over a year now... eating around 20 carbs a day due to blood sugar issues), I can do low intensity exercise but cannot do anything high intensity... I hit the wall immediately. Have recently been eating a high carb meal when I want to exercise intensely (once a week) and then everything is fine but would really rather not have to do this. Any ideas what's going on and what I can do? Have been told that I should be able to use ketones for energy but it looks like I cannot.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-10-2010 06:40 PM


Expert Low-Carber


I haven’t had any trouble with hard exercise on a low carb diet. I exercise regularly including jogging, sprints, mountain hiking, etc and I have competed in 5ks and 10ks—all while eating a low carb diet. As for hitting the wall, I have found that with a very low carb, there isn’t a wall to hit. Fat and protein can be used to fuel the body as well as carbs.

There are others on this forum that have gone well beyond me and have competed in marathons on a low carb diet. marathon on this forum and you will find some interesting threads and posts.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-10-2010 08:51 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


Thanks... It looks like your experience is normal and mine is not. Although I do hear some experts say that my experience is to be expected under these circumstances (esp eating as few carbs as I am). So I don't know what to believe but it seems like they may be right... for me.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-21-2010 04:29 PM


Expert Low-Carber


I just do at least a mile on the treadmill daily.. it probably doesn't do much.. since it seems people do much more...but I do it for my blood pressure first and foremost.. and then to help with the weight loss etc..

Melinda

Start Date: June 2009--400-- Starting again:--296.6 ---Currently:--290.8
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-21-2010 05:46 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


Thanks Melinda. Do you need to eat extra carbs to do this exercise? Seems like I'm fine for my spinning class w/o extra carbs but not so for running on treadmill or doing a step class. What's really weird is that my heart rate is higher in spinning class than on the treadmill or in step class so you'd think I'd need extra carbs there, too.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-21-2010 05:56 PM


Expert Low-Carber


No I eat no extra carbs.. in fact sometimes I eat too little...which is why I think I am not losing faster..I am not much of an expert on what to eat actually.. I saw people doing that spin class and wow it looked like it burned more calories, heart is higher, than my treadmill..I think your doing fine..

Melinda

Start Date: June 2009--400-- Starting again:--296.6 ---Currently:--290.8
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-22-2010 03:22 PM


Junior Low-Carber


Some people can perform high intensity training with limited carb intake, others cannot. In general though, for most, consuming adequate amounts of carbs, not low, does have a positive effect on high intensity training. Try to incorporate more carbs in your diet and you just might feel invincible with high intenisty training.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-24-2010 12:04 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Hi,
I was a professional athlete for decades. Eventually I got too sore all the time, tried to solve it with eating, etc. Got off wheat and was cured. In my athletic incarnation I could not exercise hard on low carb because I was combining that with low fat and allowing wheat. This time, off wheat and on high fat I am totally surpassing my previous abilities using a protocol of high intensity, short duration, infrequent, irregular weight lifting. Don't give up and stop trying, keep tweaking things to find out what works, and allow your body time to adjust to a dietary change first. I took about two months off training at the start of this lifestyle change which helped me loose weight and be able to adhere to the diet for when I got too tired, sore, etc I found it too hard to eat right. Now, 40lbs lighter I'm on fire in the gym and while it was hard to change my mind and give up the daily workouts I enjoyed it has payed off insanely. At 50 years old and female I'm in obviously better condition than most of the people at the gym and I work much less getting it. The combo of the paleo diet I am on, and the evolutionary fitness training style has proven to be extremely anti-aging for me, in terms of my movement ability, strength, appearance, skin tone and skin tautness all have which have become noticeably improved. I'm very surprised!
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 12-26-2010 06:10 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


I don't have enough info here, but I can take a guess. You are not eating enough fat to support an intense workout. I had the same problems when I first started on my low carb, "paleo" adventure. I did good for a while and felt fine. Then a few months into it my workouts just started to crash and I had no energy during high intensity workouts. This was bad since I am in the Army and high intesity is how I earn a living. Lucky for me, I knew some smart people who analyzed what I was eating and instructed to eat lots of fat. Try eating more fat, a lot more. Robb Wolf's website is a good place to research how fat intake supports athletic performance. Good luck.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 01-05-2011 01:08 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


I found this bulletin board while I was searching to answers for this very question. I have been doing elliptical workouts for at least a year now with no trouble but since I began low carbing again on Jan 1st, my workouts have been more like treading through mud. My legs feel so tired! I haven't changed my intensity, speed, etc... but there's a *definite* difference in the level of difficulty.

I'm going to try your suggestion, Mike, and up the fats a bit. I'm not avoiding fats but I haven't made a point of eating them either.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 01-05-2011 03:36 PM


Junior Low-Carber


A well balanced diet with the required carbs, protein and fat are essential for anyone who needs to keep a high intensity level during training.
Here's a great paper about nutrition and performance from ACSM:

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fullte...ce.27.aspx

You can scroll down to the key points to get a snapshot of the paper especially these points:
*Fat intake should range from 20% to 35% of total energy intake. Consuming ?20% of energy from fat does not benefit performance. Fat, which is a source of energy, fat-soluble vitamins, and essential fatty acids, is important in the diets of athletes.
High fat diets are not recommended for athletes.


*Athletes who restrict energy intake or use severe weight-loss practices, eliminate one or more food groups from their diet, or consume high- or low-carbohydrate diets of low micronutrient density are at greatest risk of micronutrient deficiencies. Athletes should consume diets that provide at least the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for all micronutrients.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 01-12-2011 02:47 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


I was religious about Atkins for several years and found I could go all day so long as I controlled my heart rate. But couldn't manage anything that required getting my heart rate above 80% of max. And anything requiring better than 90% of max was impossible, even for 30 seconds.

For me, I found low carb doesn't allow storage of enough glycogen in the liver and muscles. Without it, my body had to catabolize muscle protein to create carbs. These carbs then fed into the Krebs cycle. I ran an average 60 miles per week before my latest injury, a torn achilles. Now all I can do is three sessions of HIIT per week. Using a treadmill I get my heart rate over 95% of max and sustain for 30 seconds, then rest by walking for 90 seconds, then repeat for a total of 9 sprints. I can manage it only because of eating a high carb meal the day of the workouts. This is the Mercola protocol. He says it stimulates intense growth hormone release, especially if not eating for two hours after the workout. Staying the course for 30 seconds at 95% max heart rate is the hardest thing I've ever done. Every second is a battle of wills between continuing versus jumping off. I'm always right on that edge.

kevin
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 01-13-2011 02:49 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


It has been shown multiple times that a meat based diet is the most nutrient dense diet available. It is hard to beat liver and egg yolks for micronutrient density. Go look at Cordain's or Robb Wolf's websites for comparisons of different type diets micronutrient content. I know plenty of "athletes" that eat minimal carbohydrates. Free Fatty Acids can and do also feed into the Krebs Cycle.....more efficiently than carbohydrates even.
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 01-13-2011 09:34 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


The Krebs cycle requires a small input of glycogen. If the body doesn't get it it makes its own by gluconeogenesis. Some bodies make more than others. I never made enough to run as much as I wanted.

kevin
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 03-01-2011 08:40 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


I don't exercise hard. Mark Sisson calls it 'chronic cardio' and the net result with be muscle LOSS and fat GAIN, due to the continued release of cortisol.

I do 30 minutes moderate cardio 5 times a week, never allowing my heart rate to rise above 75% of maximum, or drop below 55%.

For <10 minutes per week I flat out sprint. Ten minutes. No more.

For more info, see this article.

Sarah
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 03-02-2011 02:49 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


Sissin writes: "Put your all into it for 20-40 seconds and then rest for two minutes or so between “sets.” You can start out with three or four bursts and work your way up to as much as eight..."

That sounds exactly like Mercola's Peak 8's protocol, which I've done for three months now. Nearly thirty years as a distance runner, I can't make my legs move fast enough on the track to get my heart rate high enough. I can only do it on a treadmill. My calculated max heart rate should be 165 but on the treadmill I generally get it around 170-174. I've gone from a 5% incline, 10:00 pace to 7% incline, 6:40 pace. And am about ready to increase either incline or pace; the past couple of Peak 8's did not leave me on the verge of barfing so I assume I'm not working hard enough. :-)

kevin
RE: cannot exercise (hard) on low carb , 04-08-2011 03:35 AM


Junior Low-Carber


patti look into FAT loading. In foreign countries, they do this prior to fitness competitions. eat more cream, eat more butter.

You probably aren't eating enough FATTY cuts of beef. You can either do LOW CARB HIGH FAT, or LOW FAT HIGH CARB... LOW FAT LOW CARB is not a great option.

Eat more fat. LEAN PROTEIN is for people who are eating a lot of carbs.