Low Carb Diets for athletes are the topic of intense debate. Some research has demonstrated that low carb diets impair exercise performance, especially during intense exercise (since ketones cannot be used as fuel during anaerobic exercise). Other studies have shown no difference between low carb diets vs. control diets for exercise performance. A recent study examined elite race walkers (yes you read that right). They had them consume a low carb diet to become fat adapted (elevated blood ketone levels and elevated rates of fat oxidation matching those rates in people who have consumed a low carb diet for 12 months) and then had them test their exercise performance.
The researchers found that the low carb diet impaired performance and increased oxygen consumption. In this video, I break down the study, what it means, and how you can apply the results to yourself.