Very low carbohydrate diets have been shown to reduce body fat during the initial stages of a weight loss program. But since carbohydrates are your body’s primary fuel for physical energy, you’d think this kind of dieting might take something away from your training. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests otherwise.
Researchers recruited 9 gymnasts in their early 20s and had them switch from a typical western diet to a very low carbohydrate diet of green vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat for 30 days. Strength performance was assessed before and after the 30-day program, and there were no significant differences in push up, leg raise, pull up, dip, squat or countermovement jump performance. On average, these athletes lost 4 pounds of fat mass while gaining what study authors considered a non-significant amount of lean muscle.
True Strength Moment: Considering that these subjects continued their regular training while low-carb dieting, the results of this study are impressive. Of course, there are some drawbacks to reducing carb consumption over the long term. Saturday’s Olympia Prep blog by IFBB Figure Pro Alicia Harris and Sunday’s fiber satiety post by Natural Mr. Olympia John Hansen provide interesting insight. Read them at ABBperformance.com