VIGOROUS EXERCISE ADAPTATIONS OCCUR WITH A LOW-CARBOHYDRATE DIET

Lunn, W. R., Hawks, H. M., Derosier, A. n., Axtell, R. S., Crandall, I. H., & Pereira, J. B. (2013). Habitual, low-carbohydrate food intake does not influence muscular power performance in vigorously-exercising adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 576.

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This study evaluated how a chronic, low-carbohydrate diet can influence performance in high-intensity exercise tests in vigorously-exercising adults (M = 5; F = 3). Ss followed a 28-day, eucaloric, low-carbohydrate diet (3,142 793 kcal) consisting of 10% carbohydrate (total kcal), ~2.9 g/kg/day of protein, and ~60.7% dietary fat (total kcal). Ss were evaluated on peak power, minimum power, and power drop during a repeated maximal sprint test on a cycle ergometer, and average dominant-leg knee flexion/extension power during 180/second isokinetic dynamometry at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the habitual low-carbohydrate diet. Percent body fat and fat-free mass were determined by 3-site skinfold.

There was no significant change in peak power, minimum power, power drop, flexion power, or extension power between baseline, midpoint, or final testing during the low-carbohydrate diet.

Implication. Vigorously-exercising individuals can maintain muscular, anaerobic power performance during habitual, low-carbohydrate food intake. Adequate dietary protein and dietary fat intake exceeding the recommended daily amount, when consumed chronically in a eucaloric diet, facilitates metabolic adaptations allowing the maintenance of high-contractile velocity movements despite low-carbohydrate availability.

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