In endurance sports new research suggest that fat may be fast
Posted Mar 23 2009 3:04pm
You' ve probably heard of " cabo-loading " (eating high quantities of carbohydrates) before a big race, but new research suggests that what you should be doing is " fat-loading. "
The good news is that scientist now have some proof that fat may equal faster performance in endurance sports.
The bad news is that it is probably not the kind of fat (read ice cream) you may be picturing right now.
Researchers have found that in animal studies in which the animals
were fed a high fat diet for more than four weeks showed a significant
increase in endurance performance.
According to iafrica.com, a recent "review of runners diets found that most
runners are actually eating 50 percent carbohydrate rather than the 60
to 70 percent recommended anyway, so eat a higher fat diet than
originally thought.These athletes were performing well."
So the obvious question for the researchers was, " are these better performance results due to the higher intake of fat?"
"To investigate this, researchers
studied trained cyclists. They placed them on two regimes: a high fat
diet (67% fat, 7% carbohydrate, 26% protein) and a high carbohydrate
diet (74% carbohydrate, 12% fat, 14% protein). They then evaluated
their endurance exercise performance.
The results of the research showed that, "at moderate intensities, over a long time period there would seem to be some advantage to fat
So now the obvious question for endurance athletes is should you "fat load" before a big race.
The answer is: it depends.
" Most marathons are run at very high intensities, so fat-loading may not
have any benefit at these intensities anyway. Most of the work so far
has been with cycling, a different type of endurance sport.
It may be than fat-loading is most appropriate for very long
races, ultra-marathons and more, and for iron man type triathlon
events, not for normal marathons"
And of course by fat loading incorrectly you could just get fat---which both scientis and most athletes agree is not fast.