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I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for good sources of fuel for someone on a low gi/low carb plan. I'll be training for a long race this summer and need suggestions (ie sports drinks, fruit, etc). Thanks!

Thu. Apr 13, 6:45pm

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I assume you are referring to the practice of "carbing up" before an endurance event. In 1999, when I was in training in the months before my karate black belt exam, I changed from a low-fat diet to a low-carb diet. It took a week for my body's metabolism to change to be able to use protein as my fuel and I felt quite weak and sick during that week. But after the adjustment, I had more stamina than any of the guys in my class, and I was 45 and female (still female, no longer 45). I used the book Protein Power to teach me a balanced approach to using protein as fuel, and I still recommend that book. I no longer carb up before endurance events, and I use protein bars and shakes as my fuel. In sum, I guess what I am saying is that if you are going to go low-carb, it would be a good idea to give your body some time to adapt to protein and healthy fats as fuel. I think you will be pleased with your increase in stamina, and you just may surprise yourself at your ability to outpace the competition.

Thursday, April 13, 2006, 7:27 PM

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OP here-
Thank you for the information! I actually have been eating lower carb (not really low like atkins, but I mostly stick to lean meats and lots of veggies, and sometimes nuts) for 4-5 years now, so my body should be adjusted. I will be doing a 200 mile bike ride in 2 days (which I have never done before) and some people are worried that I'll have a hard time since I don't eat much in the way of simple carbs. Any experience with a long event like this?

Thursday, April 13, 2006, 7:42 PM

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Dear OP, this is 7:27. Sorry, I have no experience with a 2-day event. The black belt exam was 5 days of 2-3 hour events each day. My gut feel from my own experience is that you will be fine, however, you may have to adopt the mindset of a pioneer... Early in your training (so that you can recover and make adjustments), experiment with long events so that you can get a feel for your own stamina. The book Protein Power was written by 2 MDs and may help to give you confidence in your own methods. Over the years, I've learned to just trust myself and keep my mouth shut about my eating habits... I know that I am careful and I don't need others to agree with my experiments and my methods. If your own early experiments with protein as fuel are not working for you, then you will have time to switch back to carbs or any other plan that seems good for your body. Trust yourself and pay attention to the little signals that your body and intuition will send to you.

Friday, April 14, 2006, 1:59 AM

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Thank you!
Does anyone have any advice/suggestions?

Friday, April 14, 2006, 3:01 PM

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I say start with having steel cut oats for breakfast with cinnamon and raspberries, since they are low GI. Oatmeal burns slowly and should help with the energy ramp up. And since you've been on low carb for a long time you should really feel the effects.
During the event I suggest those fruity gel packs that you squeeze into your mouth. 200 miles in 2 days is not the time to worry about carbs. Your body NEEDS the carbs and will burn through them like nothing. After about an hour of strenous activity, you should be drinking mostly Gatorade, and some water (small sips). You have to maintain the sodium balance in your cells, so go easy on the water and take slightly longer sips of Gatorade. The last thing you want is to go into severe dehydration. Not fun. So don't worry about the carbs in the Gatorade during the event, either.
Hope that helps! :)

Friday, April 14, 2006, 6:00 PM

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