Athletes are starting to question the benefits of low carb diets!

Athletes are starting to question the benefits of low carb […]

Athletes are starting to question the benefits of low carb diets!

Are you on a low carbohydrate diet but trying to train many times per week? Maybe it is time to re-consider this position as many athletes some of whom have been previously reducing their carbohydrate intake and losing weight found they lacked energy and were not breaking through performance peaks like they used to! these same athletes and researches are beginning to think this is linked directly to the role carbohydrate plays in repairing damaged cells from training and from prepping muscles with energy for the next raining session! Maybe its time to think twice about reducing carbs and maybe its time to think … which Carbs?

What is the Scientific Research Saying?

Ok! Lets start with the basic and define what we mean by Carbohydrate! A carbohydrate is a type of nutrient. Carbohydrate is actually one of three sources of nutrient that humans consume and those are protein, fat and carbs and there are actually 3 different types of carb which are starch, sugar and fibre. The human body actually needs carbs and its actually about being able to physically and mentally function at all, its actually our food and if you train harder then you will actually need more fuel if you want to improve your performance over time. As we accelerate we are using muscles and muscles need energy right? Where they get that energy from is actually from stored energy in the muscle and believe it or not the liver. Where does that stored energy dome from? It comes from Carbs! So need more energy then you need more carbs!

This issue actually become even more important the more specific your training. Take the deadlift. A core series of muscles are used and nerly every muscle of the body plays some sort of role in the deadlift. You are using the muscles stored energy resources when you train that muscle group. then your body is looking for carbs immediatly to repair the damage from the training! Then in order to grow your body needs even more carbs and then more to maintain the gwoth by which time you are back training that muscle group again! This is why dieting in this scenario by removing carbs is not a great idea, instead the experienced pros and science are siuggesting to change to fibre, removing sugar based carbs and intorducing fibre!

So what is the new research telling us?

There is an awful lot of research taking place and many many journals and online magazine distributing ideas and tips so condensing this is helpful although we encourage you to conduct your own ongoing research. Many recent articles and research is claiming that for those training to improve performances in athletic tests such as running, weights, judo etc reducing carbohydrate intake is not good.
According to material released by Lancet Public Health people actually die younger who are eating less carbohydrates, this research was actually conducted on a 50 year old and the difference in lifespan was actually between 79.1 and 82 years of age depending on wether the person eats a diet of more than 65% carbs! Research is also showing that carbohydrate affects mental processing too! For those who eat lots of carbs over protein then demntia could possibly be reduced! The scientists are recommending that people get the carbs from fiber. the magicconsumtion to aim for apparently is 25g which is quite a lot of fibre as your typical brown bread for example only has 2g of fibre.

Some ideas to also think about when training!


Diet plays a big role in performance and training but stretching and actually warming up the body is also very important and reduces injury and improves performance. Resting thoroughly is very very important as is lubricating the system with water which is a fuel for muscles. Of course working on injuries medically and looking after sprains and strains and even considering pain relief gels to minimize pain is helpful!

So prep and do your research. Check out the ideas hear and get to the science, and then implement!

Very best wishes!

Rugby Rep Training Editor

www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/cutting-carbs-could-lead-to-premature-death-if-you-replace-them-with-the-wrong-things/2018/09/13/17214ba2-b6bb-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e750b8c3e673
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46827426
www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/10/high-fibre-diets-cut-heart-disease-risk-landmark-study-finds
www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/21/low-protein-high-carb-diet-may-help-ward-off-dementia
www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6578291/Millions-risk-early-death-not-eat-fibre-warns-major-study.html
www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/data/pdf/Why_are_Carbohydrates_Important_for_Athletes.pdf