Can high protein, low carb or Paleo regime benefit runners?



  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    Velloo - I am not aware of any real evidence but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence. I asked about paleo on my club's Facebook group last night and was overwhelmed with people saying that they follow a 'broadly paleo' diet and that it's vastly improved their running.  I'll try and check out that book you mentioned and I agree that this stuff shouldn't be complicated.

    Debra - thanks for the tips. 

  • Big G - I echo what I said last night on FB, but you will probably find once you start delving deeper into it that you end up following some hybrid version of paleo/atkins/keto.  As long as you're sensible and apply common sense, this ought to work (IMHO of course!)

  • Big_G what is a broadly paleo diet? 

    If they've cut carbs, and therefore calories and are losing weight then their running will improve. It would also improve if they lost weight doing whatever.

    From my own anecdotes all the fast skinny runners I know eat carbs, some from vegetable sources, some from grains, some from nuts etc. I have never read any convincing study to back up the theory that cutting carbs in itself (not any associated weight loss) benefits running. 

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    velloo - one chap still ate potatoes but ditched all other carbs. One chap still had milk, but other than that followed paleo.  I'm not saying this is right/wrong but (to me) seems  a reasonable compromise. 

    I agree about the weight loss probably being the main reason for running improvement but to be honest I'm not looking at it from a weight loss point of view and don't really want to lose weight (I've lost a lot of weight anyway). I am very interested in potentially running a marathon without using gels though.....

  • Lots of fruit and vege - not so much potato if I can - meat and quorn and fish - almond milk and some dairy.  I have GF oats in the morning, maybe some rice/rice noodles in my lunch or tea (along with vege etc) and gluten free buns and pizza every now and again image

    When I was trying to loose weight I cut out all refined wheat/flour products and refined sugar - ate a little bit of rice but it was mainly fruit, vege and various protein sources.  

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    A diet with loads of meat and veg and no cake sounds a bit rubbish to me.

  • booktrunk wrote (see)

    What has natural got to do with it? Do you all wear leather shoes scrapped from skins of dead animals, with no plastic or rubber in their construction at all and how about your clothes, natural has nothing to do with it. 

    Sorry! But until you answer yes to all of those then there is no natural argument, held together by natural glue, and not of course a machine in site for any of the construction.  



    Nature has everything to do with it booktrunk, it takes millions of years for humans to adapt to food change - we have not adapted to our over-indulgence of carbs. The idea behind paleo diets is to return to the default diet of our ancestors which is very low carb. For me this is a very good "natural" argument and is scientific if you sample the research

    Short Version:

    Carbs = unessential nutrient

    Protein = essential nutrient

    Fat = essential nutrient

    Longer Version

    If the Endurance theory is true (the lieberman theory that we changed to a protein diet when we came out of the trees) THAT took aeons of of evolution, we can't expect the human body to suddenly adapt to eating sugar by the lorry load as with the modern processed food diet, and (in many cases) the runners diet

    . If you stuff your body full of sugar (rice, pasta, potaoes) when you run your body will use the easiest source of fuel (carbs/sugar) but the prefered source of fuel for a runner is FAT - fact not fiction. We have inadvertently trained our bodies to run on carbs which it doesn't actually need, remember their is no such thing as essential carb, it's a luxury.

    Just  my opinion but this information is backed up with lots of evidence already talked about on here.


    Give this a whirl booktrunk, might change your approach in years to come. Worth a listen if your a runner!

    I had always been a CARB crucher but I'm starting to switch to lower carb currently. the evidence for high fat, high protein not only healthier than high carb low fat, but also good for us runners if the right strategy is used.

    I live in hopeimage

    I'm not 100% converted on the idea of low carb because I haven't finished my experiment of one yet but things are looking good so far. The research my wife and I have been reading the last month or so has meant a re-thing on what we used to believe and a shift in our diets. Call it a fad if you wish...





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