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Eliminating sugar - Benefits?

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Eliminating sugar - Benefits?

Old 08-16-16, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
I think this is the crux of how a low carb high exercise diet works. I added low fat to mine, because I wanted the calorie deficit and fats are high calorie. Basically I sought out the most protein per calorie things to eat.

I dunno all the specific biochemistry. All I know is that it was extremely, surprisingly effective. I was able to cut 20 lbs of fat very quickly (6'0 cut from 174 to 154 in around 3 months) once I got focused on the specifics.

Calorie burning rides w/ big calorie deficits, eating 1200 to 1800 calories a day, mostly protein no gratuitous carbs no gratuitous fat, and a little gym work to force muscle build.

The fat melted off. Melted.
That's pretty much how I do it when I try to lose weight too (I compete at powerlifting, so I sometimes try to drop weight in order to lift in a lighter class) although more gym work and less cardio.
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Old 08-16-16, 10:24 AM
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I went a full year of racing eating virtually no sucrose (white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, soft drinks, etc), very little white flour and probably about half the RDA for sodium. I ate lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies, yogurt and cheese. I used honey (and still do). The sugar buzz that became so obvious when I was eating no sucrose has never happened to me from honey. (I noticed I did get the buzz from maple syrup, even the really good stuff from Hew Hampshire and Vermont. Learned years later that it is a 50-50 mix of sucrose ans fructose. My buzz-alarm was right.) I also rode ~350 miles/week with ~45 miles most mornings before breakfast and often a midweek 120 miles with climbs.

I felt incredible. Like my body was running completely clean. I had great recovery. And I raced at a level that I never believed this body could do.

The gycemic index made some sense to me until I saw that it rated potatoes and sucrose as equally bad. Huh? I ate potatoes that year as real food and my body responded well. My body reacted to sucrose as if it were a drug, a stimulant and I used it as such. A cup of black coffee with 2 packets of sugar would get me the last 50 miles home when I was cooked.

CanadianBiker - go for it. Do it long enough and you will never look at the Western diet the same. But do it like I did. Get to know your sugars. Stay away from sucrose and the new sugars. Stick to the fructose esp in fruit and honey. I consumed a lot of the elecrtolyte replavement ERG, no called Vitalylte with its small amount of glucose.

A book that is probably very hard to find and old information but was a huge boon to me was "Food For Fitness" . published ~1975 by Rodale Press (Bicycling magazine). That book was way, way ahead of its time. (I suspect the food industry has vacuumed up every copy except the one on my shelf.)

Ben
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Old 08-17-16, 07:14 AM
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Sugar is more addictive than heroin. I am the poster child. For health reasons I had to give up processed sugar many years ago. I still got small amounts of sugar from natural sources, as your body does need sugar, just not the kind most of us get today. I felt great, lost a lot of weight, was exercising. Life was good. Then I fell off the wagon (slowly), thinking a little bit here and there won't hurt. But it did, and haven't gotten back on that wagon yet. I've gained 40 lbs, feel horrible, and am not exercising anymore. I travel a lot and carry my folding bike. But that's all I've done - CARRY IT IN MY TRUNK. Is sugar the problem? Mostly, but mostly it is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and I let that go. But today I was thinking that I haven't felt this bad in years, and that I'm getting back on that healthy lifestyle wagon again. Your post was timely for me.
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Old 08-17-16, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JoDon View Post
Sugar is more addictive than heroin. I am the poster child. For health reasons I had to give up processed sugar many years ago. I still got small amounts of sugar from natural sources, as your body does need sugar, just not the kind most of us get today. I felt great, lost a lot of weight, was exercising. Life was good. Then I fell off the wagon (slowly), thinking a little bit here and there won't hurt. But it did, and haven't gotten back on that wagon yet. I've gained 40 lbs, feel horrible, and am not exercising anymore. I travel a lot and carry my folding bike. But that's all I've done - CARRY IT IN MY TRUNK. Is sugar the problem? Mostly, but mostly it is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and I let that go. But today I was thinking that I haven't felt this bad in years, and that I'm getting back on that healthy lifestyle wagon again. Your post was timely for me.
No it isn't. Not even close.
It acts on the same parts of the brain as heroin. But so does playing with puppies.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:03 PM
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If we made sugar illegal, and the black market price shot up to $100 a spoonful, would people become so desperate for their next fix they'd rob each other for sugar?

I don't think they would. Sugar consumption only took off when it became cheap. Humans have been extracting it from sugarcane for thousands of years.

This makes me doubt that sugar is as addictive as heroin.
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Old 08-17-16, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
That's pretty much how I do it when I try to lose weight too (I compete at powerlifting, so I sometimes try to drop weight in order to lift in a lighter class) although more gym work and less cardio.

How do you balance cycling and competitive powerlifting at the same time ??...The reason I ask is because cycling is all about endurance and a total opposite of powerlifting...Do you ever feel that cycling takes away some of your strength for weightlifting ??...Is it possible to do a lot of cycling and still be able to make progress in the weight room ??
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Old 08-18-16, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
How do you balance cycling and competitive powerlifting at the same time ??...The reason I ask is because cycling is all about endurance and a total opposite of powerlifting...Do you ever feel that cycling takes away some of your strength for weightlifting ??...Is it possible to do a lot of cycling and still be able to make progress in the weight room ??
To be honest, at this point I don't. I had a 2nd kid January and some minor nagging injuries before that, so I haven't competed in over a year as I simply don't have the time/energy to train enough to do it justice. I'm also only cycling currently to commute to work (roughly 20k round trip).

When I was competing at it, I was pretty mediocre. I'm naturally better at endurance sports. My best (unequipped) lifts are a 402 lb squat, 286 lb benchpress and a 501 lb deadlift. Those are good, and certainly beat almost anyone at a typical gym, but compared to what serious lifters with good natural ability can do it's pretty bad. It's definitely a hobby and I do it largely because 1. my wife competes and she's pretty good 2. in general the community is really nice (in person is much nicer are more accepting than online where it can be pretty harsh) and 3. a good way to motivate me to keep lifting.

As for my thoughts on how to do both: it can be done but you do have to accept that you'll be a little bit worse at each than you would be if you focused on just one. Cycling and lifting do seem to complement each other quite well. I did make good gains a few years ago while simultaneously training pretty hard for a Warrior Dash (I had a bet with some colleagues at work about who would win). That's obviously running, but I don't see why the same thing could apply. Alex Viada has a good book on how to train for sports with two very different sets of energy requirements. It's called The Hybrid Athlete if you're interested. He's very strong (squats > 600 lbs IIRC) and does a lot of ultra endurance competitions (not particularly fast, but still). I think in general, the idea that they're two different adaptations and thus one will take away from the other is overblown a bit. The biggest issue is, IMO, your training volume in each will be limited somewhat. You can't have too much "fluff".

Having said that, I aim to try in a year or two when my life stabilizes a bit and I have more time.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:55 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

Sugar doesn't make you slow.
........Sugar isn't some magical, impish thing with the power to rob you of your fitness and speed on the bike. Unless you try to pedal through molasses.
Yeah, the molasses would be really tough

Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919 | Mental Floss
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Old 08-18-16, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
I think this is the crux of how a low carb high exercise diet works. I added low fat to mine, because I wanted the calorie deficit and fats are high calorie. Basically I sought out the most protein per calorie things to eat.

I dunno all the specific biochemistry. All I know is that it was extremely, surprisingly effective. I was able to cut 20 lbs of fat very quickly (6'0 cut from 174 to 154 in around 3 months) once I got focused on the specifics.

Calorie burning rides w/ big calorie deficits, eating 1200 to 1800 calories a day, mostly protein no gratuitous carbs no gratuitous fat, and a little gym work to force muscle build.

The fat melted off. Melted.
A good chunk of that was water weight.
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Old 08-18-16, 01:26 PM
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^ to the extent that a good chunk of all body fat is water weight, you would be correct.

Otherwise.... wut?
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Old 08-18-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ball Bearing View Post
I don't see the problem. If he had gone to a GP I can bet that he would have been prescribed statins.
Probably because the GP is sick of dealing with people who are too lazy or stubborn to change their diet.
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Old 08-18-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
How do you balance cycling and competitive powerlifting at the same time ??...The reason I ask is because cycling is all about endurance and a total opposite of powerlifting...Do you ever feel that cycling takes away some of your strength for weightlifting ??...Is it possible to do a lot of cycling and still be able to make progress in the weight room ??
Wolfchild:

Google Alex Viada. He specializes in combining training for strength and endurance sports, competing in both powerlifting and triathlons. He wrote a book called "The Hybrid Athlete" that covers this very topic.
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Old 08-18-16, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
^ to the extent that a good chunk of all body fat is water weight, you would be correct.

Otherwise.... wut?
One of the major phases of weight loss when going low carb is water loss as you deplete your resting glycogen stores.
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Old 08-18-16, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
How do you balance cycling and competitive powerlifting at the same time ??...The reason I ask is because cycling is all about endurance and a total opposite of powerlifting...Do you ever feel that cycling takes away some of your strength for weightlifting ??...Is it possible to do a lot of cycling and still be able to make progress in the weight room ??
I doubt combining endurance with powerlifting. However one of our great local endurance athletes, holder of a couple of LD records, is also a bodybuilder and has won AG competitions. He's incredibly cut, a tall lean Adonis. He teaches spin classes at our gym. His diet specialty: egg whites and ketchup. Not an easy combo. We also have a powerlifter who was second in Worlds last year and is training for this year's. He is not cut and in fact looks fat but his standing jump has to be at least 4'. He'd probably be in trouble on a 3% grade though
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Old 08-18-16, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
You don't need "processed" sugar to be healthy. But a small amount won't hurt you either. I use quotes because there really is no difference between processed sugar and natural sugar. Glucose is glucose. Fructose is fructose. The molecular composition is identical. The difference is that the blueberries and tomatoes have other things like fiber that are good for you. But you'd get the same effect from eating a salad plus a small amount of table sugar.
But sucrose isn't glucose nor it is fructose. Yes, naturally occurring sucrose is the same as refined sucrose. But going to natural sources and getting any significant amount of sucrose is very difficult. You want an ounce of sucrose from maple sap, the only ingredient in maple syrup? You have to drink 5 quarts of sap. You'll get there a little faster eating raw sugar cane, but not much. The kids who ate the cane from the fields show none of the high sugar behaviors (or tooth and health issues) of modern day kids.

Ben
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Old 08-18-16, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
One of the major phases of weight loss when going low carb is water loss as you deplete your resting glycogen stores.
On a daily cycle, yes. Up a pound down two pounds up two pounds down a pound.

Across 2-3 months, water weight and digestive lag is the noise on the longer trend.

This is why I don't count a morning weight the first time I see it. It usually bounces, before coming back down in a day or two.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
One of the major phases of weight loss when going low carb is water loss as you deplete your resting glycogen stores.
In my experience, that's true of any diet. In a calorie deficit, I lose a lot of water weight initially.
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Old 08-19-16, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
As for burning fat vs. carbs, I've never understood why people make a big deal about this. If you're in a caloric deficit but burning carbs, your body is going to use it's fat stores to replenish your glycogen anyway. The only difference between this and burning fat directly is that it happens in the few hours after you exercise rather than immediately as you exercise.
Well, I think if you look at it from the perspective of simply burning calories, as a weight loss thing, perhaps it would be the same. If you're looking at it from an athletic performance point of view, then it can be very different if you're doing an endurance event/workout as fat can fuel you much longer than carbs. If you don't train your aerobic system to burn fats efficiently, instead your system being to used to getting sugars and carbs, those are the folks that 'hit the wall'. For short faster workouts perhaps the difference is less of an issue though.

Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
But sucrose isn't glucose nor it is fructose. Yes, naturally occurring sucrose is the same as refined sucrose. But going to natural sources and getting any significant amount of sucrose is very difficult. You want an ounce of sucrose from maple sap, the only ingredient in maple syrup? You have to drink 5 quarts of sap. You'll get there a little faster eating raw sugar cane, but not much. The kids who ate the cane from the fields show none of the high sugar behaviors (or tooth and health issues) of modern day kids.

Ben
Exactly, in nature we are attracted to the sweetness of many fruits and berries. But these give us a lot of nutritional value, many berries even being categorized as superfoods. Nature I suppose intended to attract humans to certain foods by their sugar, perhaps like bees to nectar. Nature though did not realize man would figure out how to extract sugar and make it a snack itself. Most processed foods of course have less nutritional value unless it was specifically added, and in many cases the effectiveness of the vitamins and minerals that are added are in question since many of them are synthetic or processed to where they aren't quite the same as their natural plant-based counterparts. Blueberries were mentioned earlier, they are about 57 kcal per 100g which is about 2/3rds of a cup. Its sugar content is about 1:1 dextrose/fructose like many fruits. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/s...&qlookup=09050
That is a whole lot of nutrition for 57 calories. Plus probably dozens more phytonutrients that we haven't yet figured out. For the same calories as a 20oz bottle of pepsi you'd have to eat about 1.7 cups of blueberries. That is a lot, but think of the nutrition difference. My friend at work always says to me when I hesitate about getting a donut or my lunch order "you runners can eat about anything you want" and "calories in, calories out". That may be true specifically from a body weight perspective but anyone with half a brain should realize the huge difference in a bottle of pepsi versus 1.7 cups of blueberries.

So my motto is to reduce processed sugar as much as I can, and when I do consume sugars, go for the natural variety. Nature has provided us with plentiful and healthful options for food. Of course now we are messing with nature too with hybridizing and genetic modifications, and that is usually not done for nutritional purposes - nutritional content might not be as good as the original (we are a capitalist society after all, it's all about yield and taste), as well as all the pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc often used, so a flipside to every argument. Best thing is grow it yourself

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Old 08-19-16, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
But sucrose isn't glucose nor it is fructose. Yes, naturally occurring sucrose is the same as refined sucrose. But going to natural sources and getting any significant amount of sucrose is very difficult. You want an ounce of sucrose from maple sap, the only ingredient in maple syrup? You have to drink 5 quarts of sap. You'll get there a little faster eating raw sugar cane, but not much. The kids who ate the cane from the fields show none of the high sugar behaviors (or tooth and health issues) of modern day kids.

Ben
Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose.
And yes, too much is bad. I don't think I've ever said otherwise.
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Old 08-19-16, 08:30 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
Well, I think if you look at it from the perspective of simply burning calories, as a weight loss thing, perhaps it would be the same. If you're looking at it from an athletic performance point of view, then it can be very different if you're doing an endurance event/workout as fat can fuel you much longer than carbs. If you don't train your aerobic system to burn fats efficiently, instead your system being to used to getting sugars and carbs, those are the folks that 'hit the wall'. For short faster workouts perhaps the difference is less of an issue though.
Perhaps someone who knows more can chime in, but my understanding is that most Tour de France riders eat a lot of carbs when competing. I don't think they are relying on fat as their primary fuel source. My understanding is that for intense efforts, fat is not as good a fuel source as carbs.
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Old 08-19-16, 09:19 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Perhaps someone who knows more can chime in, but my understanding is that most Tour de France riders eat a lot of carbs when competing. I don't think they are relying on fat as their primary fuel source. My understanding is that for intense efforts, fat is not as good a fuel source as carbs.
The anti-sugar and anti-carb faddists like to muddy the waters.

Yes, an endurance athlete can put out more total kJ during a race or event if they can burn more fat. However, they can also put out more total kJ if they can burn more carbs, too. As athletes, we should view our bodies as trainable chemical factories. We can train them to burn more fat, and to burn more carbs. If one is after maximum personal performance in an event of a particular length, one trains as necessary for said performance. It's obvious that sprinters don't train like marathoners. However not everything is obvious.

Let's say you are going to train for a personal best hilly century. On rides of that length, one will save time by attacking the hills and holding high zone 4 on them. That means being trained to burn carbs, lots of them, as fast as possible. However, doing that would exhaust glycogen stores if one hadn't also trained to move carbs across the stomach wall as fast as possible. Blueberries aren't going to work. You're going to need sugar.

Another however: carbs won't be enough. You can't move carbs across the stomach wall fast enough to fuel with only carbs. The more fat you can burn, the fewer carbs you need to burn and thus not be as limited by the stomach. Thus your total maximum watts sustainable over a few hours will be greater if you have also trained to burn fat. That's called base training, with which we should all be familiar. Carb burning training is called intervals, with which we are also familiar.

So we see pros who do stage races training in the early season on very long moderate rides where they eat very little and thus stimulate fat burning. As the season approaches, they do a progression of intervals. During races, they fuel primarily with carbs, going through huge quantities of sugar during a stage and huge quantities of carbs for dinner and breakfast to replenish glycogen.

But say you are looking at events of 500 miles. What then? Same thing. Fat burning training for base, then huge quantities of carbs during the event.

RAAM is very different. It's a carb-eating contest. The idea is to move food across the stomach wall as fast as possible. Carbs are the only thing what works. Fat burning is not that important because the event is just too long. OTOH they can't eat just sugar, either. They also need lots of protein, some fat for metabolism, and the usual micronutrients one gets from real food.

Anyway, it's all very complicated and depends on one's goals. Thus threads like this are simply ridiculous. If you're an athlete, you do what works. Ideology is as bad an idea for an athlete as it is for a politician.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
^ to the extent that a good chunk of all body fat is water weight, you would be correct.

Otherwise.... wut?
Wait, i missed this the first time. WHAAAAT?

Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
On a daily cycle, yes. Up a pound down two pounds up two pounds down a pound.

Across 2-3 months, water weight and digestive lag is the noise on the longer trend.

This is why I don't count a morning weight the first time I see it. It usually bounces, before coming back down in a day or two.
If you are at a constant glycogen deprived state you will always carry around less water. Each glycogen molecule is bound to 4 water molecules.
Glycogen storage: illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition.
Try this, eat 500g(~1lb) of sugar(~2 cups), and check your weight religiously over the next few days. You will have gained 4-5lbs of extra weight that was unaccounted for. Water weight.

Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
In my experience, that's true of any diet. In a calorie deficit, I lose a lot of water weight initially.
Yep, glycogen deprivation, see my explanation above.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:24 PM
  #73  
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After a very long experiment of not using any sugar...I decided to go back to my former ways of eating and start using sugar in limited amounts, whenever I feel it's necessary. I just started using Gatorade about 2 weeks ago during my workouts and bike rides, it's been a long time since I last had Gatorade. It definitely helps...Carbs and sugar is important during intense physical activities not only because it provides quick energy but also because it helps to spare protein and prevent too much protein from being broken down for energy. Let the carbs do it's job providing energy and let protein do it's job in maintaining and preserving muscle.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:07 PM
  #74  
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Huh??? Is that you, wolfchild?? For a moment there, I thought you had quoted someone and had forgotten to write you own post!!
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Old 08-19-16, 05:13 PM
  #75  
Rowan
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The anti-sugar and anti-carb faddists like to muddy the waters.

Yes, an endurance athlete can put out more total kJ during a race or event if they can burn more fat. However, they can also put out more total kJ if they can burn more carbs, too. As athletes, we should view our bodies as trainable chemical factories. We can train them to burn more fat, and to burn more carbs. If one is after maximum personal performance in an event of a particular length, one trains as necessary for said performance. It's obvious that sprinters don't train like marathoners. However not everything is obvious.

Let's say you are going to train for a personal best hilly century. On rides of that length, one will save time by attacking the hills and holding high zone 4 on them. That means being trained to burn carbs, lots of them, as fast as possible. However, doing that would exhaust glycogen stores if one hadn't also trained to move carbs across the stomach wall as fast as possible. Blueberries aren't going to work. You're going to need sugar.

Another however: carbs won't be enough. You can't move carbs across the stomach wall fast enough to fuel with only carbs. The more fat you can burn, the fewer carbs you need to burn and thus not be as limited by the stomach. Thus your total maximum watts sustainable over a few hours will be greater if you have also trained to burn fat. That's called base training, with which we should all be familiar. Carb burning training is called intervals, with which we are also familiar.

So we see pros who do stage races training in the early season on very long moderate rides where they eat very little and thus stimulate fat burning. As the season approaches, they do a progression of intervals. During races, they fuel primarily with carbs, going through huge quantities of sugar during a stage and huge quantities of carbs for dinner and breakfast to replenish glycogen.

But say you are looking at events of 500 miles. What then? Same thing. Fat burning training for base, then huge quantities of carbs during the event.

RAAM is very different. It's a carb-eating contest. The idea is to move food across the stomach wall as fast as possible. Carbs are the only thing what works. Fat burning is not that important because the event is just too long. OTOH they can't eat just sugar, either. They also need lots of protein, some fat for metabolism, and the usual micronutrients one gets from real food.

Anyway, it's all very complicated and depends on one's goals. Thus threads like this are simply ridiculous. If you're an athlete, you do what works. Ideology is as bad an idea for an athlete as it is for a politician.
The fat burning thing with ordinary riders is OK, but if you look at the physique of the typical Grand Tour hill-climber in particular, they carry very little fat if any to have available during their hard efforts in the mountains. For the sprinters, it is different because they cruise for much of the day, and only sprint for less than 5 minutes in total.

I also have to say that early season long moderate rides for a pro rider would be much like a moderate couple-of-hours spin for the average guy... not much energy intake needed. For the pros, it comes down to what I consider to be a much better metabolic efficiency.

There have been several articles over the past few years on the food and the volumes of it that a GT rider will eat each and every day. For ordinary people, it is enough to literally make them sick.
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