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    Low carb diet and bicycling?

    Anybody have experience with this? In the past I've lost weight on an LC diet but now that I ride (100 Miles a week) I'm kinda concerned about bonking. Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides
    Anybody have experience with this? In the past I've lost weight on an LC diet but now that I ride (100 Miles a week) I'm kinda concerned about bonking. Thanks in advance!
    I follow a paleo-diet and ride a little more than you. Just whip up a protien/bananna/strawberry smoothie after you ride and you'll be fine. Check out Loren Cordain's work regarding low carb diets and athletes.

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    Senior Member nostromo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides
    Anybody have experience with this? In the past I've lost weight on an LC diet but now that I ride (100 Miles a week) I'm kinda concerned about bonking. Thanks in advance!
    I've been on various carb manipulation methods for a few years with rotating carbs (cutoffs early in the day or low/high days) or going very low carbs. I use this to compliment weight training and found it's really helped keep my bodyfat in check, especially in the winters when I did no cardio.

    Since getting into cycling much more seriously this summer I have to say my craving for carbs has exploded. I manage about an hour a day (intervals) 5 days a week. I found I was bonking out on several early rides, sometimes literally riding on fumes. After upping my carbs, especially before and after rides, I'm able to sustain the rides better and improve on my performance. I also MTB, and have found this to improve as well. You don't have to add crazy amounts of carbs but cycling definitely works better with good clean carbs in your system.

    If you're doing 100 miles I'd map out a good carb strategy leading up to the ride, during and after.

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    You need carbs to exercise. 20 miles a day is not much. But still be carefull. If you decide to do a long ride without carb loading starting the day before you may pass out.
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    Are you trying to lose weight? If you go on any kind of "diet" and lose weight, what will happen when you eventually go off the diet? Obviously, you will gain the weight back.

    Or do you plan to stay on a low-carb diet for the rest of your life? You will never never ever eat cheerios or a banana again? Good luck with that, my friend.

    Or.... Find a sensible eating plan that can sustain your riding and your health--that you can live with for the rest of your life.
    Last edited by Roody; 10-08-06 at 08:18 AM.


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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I'm kinda concerned about bonking.
    I wouldn't worry about bonking, you'll never exercise to a high enough energy deficit to bonk. By avoiding carbohydrates you effectively train your body to continuously break fats apart to make glucose. You never bonk, you never get faster, you just sit there with a lot of fat in your system, hopefully without ill effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I wouldn't worry about bonking, you'll never exercise to a high enough energy deficit to bonk. By avoiding carbohydrates you effectively train your body to continuously break fats apart to make glucose. You never bonk, you never get faster, you just sit there with a lot of fat in your system, hopefully without ill effects.

    you're joking, right?

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    Forget all this crap about LC diets and let's reduce this to
    hardcore basics.

    Carb's= fuel for the body.

    As long as you don't "overfuel" instead fueling just below
    what your body needs you will lose weight without risk. The
    problem with carbs is that you must pay close attention to
    the amount of fuel you're taking in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    Forget all this crap about LC diets and let's reduce this to
    hardcore basics.

    Carb's= fuel for the body.

    As long as you don't "overfuel" instead fueling just below
    what your body needs you will lose weight without risk. The
    problem with carbs is that you must pay close attention to
    the amount of fuel you're taking in.
    fat and protien fuel too they do it for a longer time too. they also make you feel full longer.
    but I think jsut cutting otu the crappy carbs (most fo what you buy these days) is a big step.

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    Why would anyone want to follow the Low Carb diets as they are most commonly marketed?
    Eat good, whole foods and you will provide your body with what it needs.
    Oatmeal, beans, fruit, brown rice, and sweet potatoes are all carbs that will provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to perform at optimal levels. They will also provide you with fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

    By consuming some carbohydrates, your body wont have to catabolize your muscles for energy. Protein is a poor source for generating the energy you will need. The breakdown of protein in this manor will also yield higher levels of amonia, which will cause further stress to your liver which has to detoxify the amonia by forming urea. Eating some carbohydrate will allow the body to use the protein you consume in a much better way. This protein can then be used to form hormones, muscles, cellular repair work, and building up the immune system.

    If you eat enough quality sources of carbohydrates, the glucose release will be slower and prolonged, providing you the steady energy source you will need to support a quality exercise program. You will be healthier by balancing your diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I wouldn't worry about bonking, you'll never exercise to a high enough energy deficit to bonk. By avoiding carbohydrates you effectively train your body to continuously break fats apart to make glucose. You never bonk, you never get faster, you just sit there with a lot of fat in your system, hopefully without ill effects.
    Must be a joke cause I'm laughing.

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    Senior Member garagegirl's Avatar
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    I used to work in a health food store and 5 times a day at least these pained looking people would come in and go "I'm on atkins, and I haven't pooed in 5 days. Please help me." Unless you want colon cancer, get off that diet. No serious athelete belongs on a low carb diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garagegirl
    I used to work in a health food store and 5 times a day at least these pained looking people would come in and go "I'm on atkins, and I haven't pooed in 5 days. Please help me." Unless you want colon cancer, get off that diet. No serious athelete belongs on a low carb diet.

    really, you must be joking! such nonsense!

    ok, there is a slight reality to these comments - some people do experience some difficulty during the first few days, or for some, the first few weeks at most. After your body adjusts and eliminates the poisons, er, carbs, from your system, you'll be poo-ing just fine and there is absolutely no danger of colon cancer. (If there is, prove it!).


    the only athlete who may need carbs are those involved at the very highest levels of exertion over extended periods. So unless you are racing against Lance next week, you dont need carbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I wouldn't worry about bonking, you'll never exercise to a high enough energy deficit to bonk. By avoiding carbohydrates you effectively train your body to continuously break fats apart to make glucose. You never bonk, you never get faster, you just sit there with a lot of fat in your system, hopefully without ill effects.

    The body can not make glucose from stored fats. Gluconeogenisis occurs from stored glycogen, primarily in the liver and muscle tissues, and from protein breakdown. Fatty acids are metabolized in the mitochondria with out change (except for the breaking off of the individual FA chains from the glycerine backbone of a di- or tri-glyceride).
    And you can bonk without having done strenuous exercise. It would be rare, but it is definitely possible once glycogen stores have been depleted. There is a lag time from entering a glycogen depletion to the time the body adapts to using certain ketones to fuel the brain and heart muscle. During this lag time, bonking is easily accomplished.

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    Senior Member garagegirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfreddy
    really, you must be joking! such nonsense!

    ok, there is a slight reality to these comments - some people do experience some difficulty during the first few days, or for some, the first few weeks at most. After your body adjusts and eliminates the poisons, er, carbs, from your system, you'll be poo-ing just fine and there is absolutely no danger of colon cancer. (If there is, prove it!).


    the only athlete who may need carbs are those involved at the very highest levels of exertion over extended periods. So unless you are racing against Lance next week, you dont need carbs.
    Perhaps I was too flippant earlier. If you are sure to get enough fiber on a low carb diet you should be okay. But you can't eliminate all sources of fiber from your system and expect to have a healthy digestive system. Go ahead and eliminate all the bad carbs (like white flour, corn syrup and cane sugar) you want from your diet, that stuff really is poison. But whole grains (like brown rice and oats) and veggies are really good for you and when eaten as part of a balanced "bad carb"-free diet should help you lose weight. And then you won't have to worry about bonking.
    The cycling and running tradition of eating a giant bowl of white flour pasta the night before a race really isn't all that good for anyone. I laughed my ass off when the new issue of Bicycling recommended white flour pancakes as part of a "healthy" breakfast. Please.

    How about following a low glycemic index diet? That makes much more sense than all of this Atkins and south beach business, and it's a diet you can stick with for life.

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    I'm on a high fat / low carb diet and if I'm only going for a gentle 1-1.5 hour ride I don't need to carb up. If I'm intending on going hard or racing then OK, I have some carbs but I don't find that I need to start carbing up the day before. 1 hour before the ride is enough + some carbs afterwards. To me carbs means fruit, fresh or dried and I will take dried fruit with me on the road. Dates or dried figs are good.

    Banana's are good. Cherrio's? Never!

    Regards, Anthony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides
    Anybody have experience with this? In the past I've lost weight on an LC diet but now that I ride (100 Miles a week) I'm kinda concerned about bonking. Thanks in advance!
    Another vote against LC diets in general, and specifically LC diet plus exercise.

    Weight losses and gains are a calorie game, period. If you use up more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Activities like cycling are positive because you burn calories and strengthen your aerobic system in a fairly low-impact manner.

    However, you will need to take in water and calories (mostly in carb form) during longer rides. The rule of thumb is 500-750ml of water and 250 calories per hour of activity. Otherwise you will bonk. Your body simply cannot convert fat into energy fast enough, especially after you've used up all your readily-available glucose.

    Forget the fads and stick to a healthy balanced diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garagegirl
    But whole grains (like brown rice and oats) and veggies are really good for you and when eaten as part of a balanced "bad carb"-free diet .
    I agree, and here is a supporting excerpt that i stumbled across today:

    >>You ask for scientific evidence. In 2001, a study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association titled "The role of whole grains in disease prevention." The authors conducted a meta-analysis on the subject by reviewing the available scientific literature on whole grains and cancer risk. The findings were as follows:

    Out of 45 studies on whole grains and cancer, 43 showed whole grain intake to provide significant protection from several cancers. Specifically, a protective association was seen in 9 out of 10 mentions of studies on colorectal cancers and polyps, 7 out of 7 mentions of gastric cancer, 6 out of 6 mentions of other digestive tract cancers, 7 out of 7 mentions of hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer,) 4 out of 4 mentions of pancreatic cancer, and 10 out of 11 mentions of other cancers.

    Meanwhile, 98% of the wheat eaten in the United States is eaten as white flour. <<

    North America loves white flour
    Jarery

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    Quote Originally Posted by garagegirl
    Perhaps I was too flippant earlier. If you are sure to get enough fiber on a low carb diet you should be okay. But you can't eliminate all sources of fiber from your system and expect to have a healthy digestive system. Go ahead and eliminate all the bad carbs (like white flour, corn syrup and cane sugar) you want from your diet, that stuff really is poison. But whole grains (like brown rice and oats) and veggies are really good for you and when eaten as part of a balanced "bad carb"-free diet should help you lose weight. And then you won't have to worry about bonking.
    The cycling and running tradition of eating a giant bowl of white flour pasta the night before a race really isn't all that good for anyone. I laughed my ass off when the new issue of Bicycling recommended white flour pancakes as part of a "healthy" breakfast. Please.

    How about following a low glycemic index diet? That makes much more sense than all of this Atkins and south beach business, and it's a diet you can stick with for life.
    I really dont worry about fiber.. it's highly overrated. Did you know that the inside skin of your intestines has about the same texture as the inside of your mouth? Rub your toungue around the inside of your mouth. Now do you really believe your intestines need a lot of non-nutritive stuff crammed thru them to function properly? I dont....

    btw, a study came out a year or so ago totally debunking the notion that high fiber diets help prevent cancer.

    one last note about fiber. We humans evolved on a high fat and protein diet. We ate animals. And what little edible plant matter we could find. Depending on the season and where you were, that ranged from none at all to not very much. In other words, we ate little fiber for the millions of years that we evolved from apes to modern humans. So, why do we suddenly need it now?

    sooooo... step away from the Bran Flakes!!!

    personally, I think all this good carbs/bad carbs/low GI stuff is bunk. what matters is how much sugar you put into your body, no matter what form it's in. If you eat a giant bowl of apples, low GI/good carbs or not, you will have ingested too much sugar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfreddy
    I really dont worry about fiber.. it's highly overrated. Did you know that the inside skin of your intestines has about the same texture as the inside of your mouth? Rub your toungue around the inside of your mouth. Now do you really believe your intestines need a lot of non-nutritive stuff crammed thru them to function properly? I dont....

    btw, a study came out a year or so ago totally debunking the notion that high fiber diets help prevent cancer.

    one last note about fiber. We humans evolved on a high fat and protein diet. We ate animals. And what little edible plant matter we could find. Depending on the season and where you were, that ranged from none at all to not very much. In other words, we ate little fiber for the millions of years that we evolved from apes to modern humans. So, why do we suddenly need it now?

    sooooo... step away from the Bran Flakes!!!

    personally, I think all this good carbs/bad carbs/low GI stuff is bunk. what matters is how much sugar you put into your body, no matter what form it's in. If you eat a giant bowl of apples, low GI/good carbs or not, you will have ingested too much sugar.
    If we evolved from apes, then we were vegetarians to begin with.

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    You got Madoned! munkyv22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere
    If we evolved from apes, then we were vegetarians to begin with.
    We didn't evolve from apes, we are apes. We both evolved from a common anscestor. Also, many species of ape / monkey are omnivorous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Another vote against LC diets in general, and specifically LC diet plus exercise.

    Weight losses and gains are a calorie game, period. If you use up more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Activities like cycling are positive because you burn calories and strengthen your aerobic system in a fairly low-impact manner.

    However, you will need to take in water and calories (mostly in carb form) during longer rides. The rule of thumb is 500-750ml of water and 250 calories per hour of activity. Otherwise you will bonk. Your body simply cannot convert fat into energy fast enough, especially after you've used up all your readily-available glucose.

    Forget the fads and stick to a healthy balanced diet.
    I agree about the calories. If I am gonna limit my calories to lets, say 1800 per day, it makes perfect sense to me to make sure that 1800 calories contains enough protein and fats first, because that is what really satisfies and is what your body needs the most. then I add some fruit and vegetables to top things off.

    If you build your 1800 calories from mostly carbs on the other hand, you are gonna feel less satisfied and you are gonna be producing a lot more insulin.

    my understanding that, once you are fat adapted (after eating low carb and working out for a few weeks), your body gets better at burning fat and sparing glucose. even the most carb addicted athlete will always be burning a mixture of fat and glucose - the mix depends on the level of effort, the amount of glucose used rises with your level of effort.

    so it seems that a low carb athlete will take longer to bonk, and can add some small amounts of fruit or whatever on high intensity days to avoid bonking all together.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    At 100 miles a week, I wouldn't worry about bonking unless you're doing more than 40-miles in a single ride... But losing muscle can be a possibility if you don't have a recovery drink afterwards.

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    Make a compromise and do a low glycemic index diet. Low carb is just plain unhealthy.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere
    If we evolved from apes, then we were vegetarians to begin with.
    let me introduce you to the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis:

    http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/im..._the_brain.htm

    Humans have voracious brains. ....As Leslie C. Aiello, a paleoanthropologist at University College London, puts it: "Where does the energy come from to fuel the large brain?" And if there is an energetic constraint on how big a brain can get, how did our ancestors overcome that limit?

    Aiello speculates that we could reduce our gut size to free up energy for a larger brain because of a dietary change that was taking place as brain size expanded. Our ancestors were shifting from a heavily vegetarian diet, which requires a massive gut to digest plants and nuts, to a more easily digestible, nutritious diet that included meat and requires less gut tissue.

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