I ❤️CARBS! (and so should you!)

Relevant annecdote that I thought would fit here. In the past year, I’ve dropped about 10-15lbs and lost upper body mass from hardly swimming/lifting, so I look visibly leaner than in past years.

I spent the last couple weeks back in my hometown with family and friends that I haven’t seen since the last holiday season. I got quite a few comments of “wow you look really thin/fit, what did you do, did you cut carbs/go keto?”

Me: “Just the opposite, I ate MORE carbs than ever! Shifting to a complex carb-based diet has been the best thing I’ve ever done.”

I kid you not, I got almost universal confused stares and awkward topic changes from everyone. It really is unfortunate how much misinformation there is around carbs and broader nutrition in the general population.


I was listening to the Stronger by Science Podcast and the hosts were discussing a new study about glycogen storages.

The sexy name of the study was Subcellular localization- and fibre type-dependent utilization of muscle glycogen during heavy resistance exercise in elite power and Olympic weightlifters

Results: After exercise, biochemically determined muscle glycogen decreased by 38 (31:45)%. Location-specific glycogen analyses revealed in type 1 fibres a large decrement in intermyofibrillar glycogen, but no or only minor changes in intramyofibrillar or subsarcolemmal glycogen. In type 2 fibres, large decrements in glycogen were observed in all subcellular localizations. Notably, a substantial fraction of the type 2 fibres demonstrated near-depleted levels of intramyofibrillar glycogen after the exercise session.

I am far from a scientist, but I found it fascinating, and the results could have some implications for endurance-based fueling as well. The analogy of seeing muscle glycogen as a gas tank seems quite far off, and in the podcast, one of the hosts used an analogy of air compressed can.

What I took from this is it is even more important than I thought to keep “topped” up when doing long endurance events. For the science-minded people around here, please dive in and give some feedback!


Totally hardly anybody has time to listen when I start explaining how much I eat :rofl:

Does anyone have a link to to study mentioned a couple times on the podcast where injesting all the way up to 10g/kg of carbs improved performance?

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A whole lot more people should take note of this :wink:

Save some money folks!


Dr. Louise Burke is a legend here.

I think there is an even newer more resoundingly convincing one from the last 3 years. Maybe 2 review articles recently, actually.
and another:
BURKE 2020, Crisis of Confidence Averted, Impairment of exercise economy and performance in elite race walkers by ketogenic low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet is reproducible.pdf (2.0 MB)

Pure gold.

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They first mentioned my book a WHILE back when starting to discuss super-high carb fueling rates. I won’t link here to avoid being ridiculed for the shameless plug.

Here are some PDFs. :slight_smile:

TROMMELEN_2017 Fructose and sucrose intake increase exogenous carbohydrate oxidation during exercise.pdf (1.8 MB)

JENTJENS & JEUKENDRUP 2005 ‘1-1 ratio is good!’ high-rates-of-exogenous-carbohydrate-oxidation-from-a-mixture-of-glucose-and-fructose-ingested-during-prolonged-cycling-exercise.pdf (194.5 KB)

GONZALEZ_2017_Glucose plus fructose ingestion for post-exercise recovery-Greater than the sum of its parts.pdf (1016.7 KB)

REVIEW, Rowlands2015_Article_FructoseGlucoseCompositeCarboh.pdf (785.1 KB) :grinning: :grinning:

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YES! A year ago a found out I cannot digest gluten or casein (wheat/dairy) properly, and I have never had a greater love for potatoes (also, rice) than I do now. Especially sweet potatoes.

Within a week after stopping those foods I dropped 5lb (part fat, part water weight) and have never been leaner… and carbs are the bulk of my diet since I eat plant-based as well. I do however try and stay away from sugary things unless it’s a heavier training day. On my long weekend rides I love an oat-milk latte and big gf muffin to fuel :slight_smile:

There is a LCHF researcher/doc out there (been a few years so I don’t recall his name) who did a study with athletes, incl very frequent lab testing, and his conclusion was that it took ~2 years for the body (mainly the liver) to become 100% “fat adapted”.

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Pub’d in peer reviewed journal? Will read, if so.

That 2020 Burke article is about as airtight as it gets in research. I would love for someone to carry out a longer-term study with as tight of control as Burke has, at some point in the future!

Dr. Stephen Phinney.

Best I could do atm.

This looks like a 6-7-wk study discussion? Is there a 2-yr one?

Phinney cites his own previous work, almost exclusively. And it all points to weight loss as being primary benefit in his subjects though that is not directly mentioned in his discussion.

These folks lost 8kg, which fully explains their results:

These folks literally lowered their absolute VO2max, increased exercising VO2 (reduce their efficiency) and TTE was unchanged at very low exercise outputs, sans carb-fueling.

This is about as characteristic of the LCHF results as I’ve seen. Every time I bump into a new researcher or research article I’m honestly optimistic I’ll find something I haven’t yet seen. So far, not yet!

Post that 2-yr discussion one if you find it.


Hey a question
I am fueling my workouts :heart: Carbs.
I have changed from preloading by now adding carbs❤️ During the 90min workout (50g sugar in 700ml water). Previous to this I was struggling to see an increase in muscle mass ( I weigh myself after each ride with biomag scale) I typically hovered at 36.6% and weight 87kg now I see an increase in muscle only 0.5% but is this related?

you weigh yourself AFTER a workout?

I am very torn either to go low carb or high carb. I am dependent on Insuline Shots as a Type 1 Diabetic. Whenever I have carb intake I have to inject insuline which makes it superdifficult to get through high intense workouts without a sugar breakdown / Hypo or a tough sugar spike after workout.
Would I go low carb (which I do now) I dont have to inject insuline but cant go high intense or even SS without burning out and having mostly to cancel the workout. Z2 is no problem, going for hours without any carbs, although I feel I do not recover so well and feel tired the day after.
So … what to do… curious what you suggest.

This has probably been answered already…

How long does it take for the carbs to hit your system?

i.e. its been said already that when you’re fuelling on the bike, lets say you’re doing the whole 80-120g carbs in 500-1000ml water thing, when do you take your first sip and how quickly should you consume it? Before you start? 10 mins in? Am I overthinking it? :thinking: :relaxed:

Just listened to an AACC podcast (234) that went into this in detail - 10-15 minutes for simple gels/drinks to start absorption and thus provide a benefit, those times getting progressively longer as the carbs get more complex and other macros are mixed with them. Worth a listen.


And lets not forget that your brain sends a message to the rest of the body that carbs are coming just by sipping carbs :).
So start drinking from the beginning of the workout.


I am wearing a Constant Glucose Monitor on my body which shows me that simple carbs / sugar get into the blood and body real quick, especially when these are liquids like softdrinks, gels etc… these take barely a couple of minutes.

It is almost scary to see how quickly white bread and rice etc. are processed and pushed into the blood, 10-20 minutes, not to speak about fast foods (fast!!) etc.

More complex carbs (nuts, wholegrain, beans etc.) take much longer, or almost forever when combined with some fat.


Hmm, what about plain, cooked white potatoes? How long do they take? I need some REALLY quick whole food carb sources.

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Everbody is different. I feel like rice gets into my system superquick, potatoes take a bit longer but not long for sure, 15-20min