Fuel The Demand!
Why We Advocate Fuelling The Demand!
Understanding the difference between meeting energy demands and mass market myth-based media messages can be confusing for elite and everyday athletes.
Here are some key takeaways to guide you through the nutritional journey:
Personalized Approach with a Sports Dietitian:
- Work with a sports dietitian to tailor carbohydrate intake across the training, racing and recovery cycles.
- Align carbohydrate intake with energy demands and specific performance goals.
- Training with low carbohydrate availability and consuming carbohydrates only during competition does not enhance performance according to Dr. Louise Burke at the Australian Institute of Sport.
A Case For Low Carbohydrate Intake During Training:
- Increased rates of fat oxidation.
- Enhanced activation of cell signalling pathways.
- Increased mitochondrial enzyme activities.
Risks Associated with Consistent Low Fuelling:
- Inability to maintain desired training intensity.
- Lower overall training impulse (volume and intensity).
- Increased susceptibility to illness.
- Increased muscle protein breakdown.
- Loss of skeletal mass.
Strategic Training Lower Carbohydrate Approaches:
- Athletes may choose to train with lower levels of carbohydrate availability during recovery or low-volume sessions and cycles.
- Delaying carbohydrate replenishment post-training during low-volume and low-intensity blocks can promote skeletal muscle adaptation and improve performance.
- If interested in low-carb eating styles, consider implementing them during the off-season.
- During the high-volume and high-intensity training blocks and the competitive season, opt for carbohydrate fueling in training and racing
- This helps maintain glycogen stores and supports overall performance, progression and consistency.
- Focus on matching carbohydrate availability to the energy demands of training and racing.
- Consider the duration and intensity of exercise load on carbohydrate intake.
- Individualize carbohydrate intake to training and competition requirements.
- Every day athletes need to balance stress, recovery, training and racing to simplify and work long term.
- In almost all instances focus on increasing power through training not lowering weight through low fuelling.
- If weight loss is a goal work with a qualified medical professional over the long term and commit to the process.
Get moving, be disciplined where relevant and fuel the demand!