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Thread: Is Primal/Paleo not conducive to anaerobic activity? page

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    erikbehan's Avatar
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    Is Primal/Paleo not conducive to anaerobic activity?

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    After reading "Keotgenic Diets and Physical Performance" from nutritionandmetabolism.com (link is both work and fam safe) http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/2 I have a couple questions reagarding the findings in relation to primal/paleo diets and their effect on athletic performance, specifically sprinting and weightlifting.

    For those of you who didn't read the entire article, the author concludes:
    "Therapeutic use of ketogenic diets (paleo/primal) should not require constraint of most forms of physical labor or recreational activity, with the one caveat that anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitve athletics."

    Essentially he's saying paleo/primal lifetsyles are in deed healthy for overall wellness and health, have little negative impact for those who engage in endurance activities but may not be ideal for those of us who want to excel in olympic/power lifting, sprints and other movements which are integral to what a CrossFit athlete does.

    It's a pretty interesting article which highlights the benefits of Primal/Paleo and it was posted on the CrossFit Football site (serious paleo advocates) 05.05.10. It's left me kind of confused regarding implementation of this lifestyle with regards my goals as an athlete. I would like somone smarter than myself to read the article and knock some sense into me. I have been doing Primal for a couple months now and have noticed no negative issues with regards to performance. Like before Primal, I have good days and bad days.

    For those of you who are going to give me the simple response of: "Just up your carb intake prior to blah blah..." I will recommend you look at the portion of the article (Resolving the Performance Paradox) which states:

    "This adaptation process (referring to the first couple weeks/months when we first implement Primal from a grain-based diet) also appears to require consistent adherence to carbohydrate restriction, as people who intermittently consume carbohydrates while attempting a ketogenic diet report subjectively reduced exercise tolerance"

    That's why I'm confused. Any help or explanation is appreciated.

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    I am not the best to answer this but I wonder a few things that may help or make more questions.

    Why can't fruit and the occasional tubular (like sweet potatoes) not provide the necessary carbs.

    I understand that certain training requires the user to utilize glycogen as a fuel source BUT shouldn't the limitation of muscle glycogen only be limiting if one is doing repeated or long duration anaerobic activity?
    It is sad that the measuring stick of our progress is the speed by which we distance ourselves from the natural world. Even sadder is that we will only see this when there is no nature left to save.

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    "Therapeutic use of ketogenic diets (paleo/primal) should not require constraint of most forms of physical labor or recreational activity, with the one caveat that anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitve athletics."

    I would suggest creatine to offset

    I can tell you that if Lance Armstrong has accomplished what he has - a diet void of grains will not be holding you back if you don't want it to. If anything another motivation to shift to a higher gear imo.

    aside from that you can up your carbs marginally without grains pre-exertion (sweet potato, butternut squash). This will not negatively spike your blood sugar. You should experiment with your body and determine your own personal results - I don't think theoretical assertions by lab mice are the answers you need

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFastCat View Post
    You should experiment with your body and determine your own personal results - I don't think theoretical assertions by lab mice are the answers you need
    I was urging all who reply to actually read the article in it's entirety. If you do this you'll see it does not present theoretical assertations by lab mice. It shows data from multiple studies, most of which were not done in a lab but rather, in the field (expeditions contrasting European outposts and Inuit tribes in the Canadian Arctic. Those studies in the article which cite clinical settings were used to disprove conventional wisdom (with the exception of the MIT-mentored study).

    Again, I have not seen any negative results of Primal Living in my athletic programming. I just wanted some insight on this paper from those who have incorporated the Primal Lifestyle into a legitimate strength building program.
    [/SIGPIC]

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    I did read the article

    I have incorporated the Primal Lifestyle into my legitimate strength building program

    You can easily build lean muscle - my energy level while lifting actually seems higher during the last three weeks after I cut out grains. I have lost fat and gained strength. http://www.leangains.com/ is a good overview to adding lean muscle. It fits well with Primal - the site owner recommends a 16 hour fasting cycle with 8 hour window for feeding. By incorporating this into my Primal plan I have found plenty of energy (6 days a week of anaerobic) with terrific recovery. I don't eat breakfast, lunch at 1 and dinner at 7. I don't get hungry otherwise - plenty of energy/recovery for heavy lifting 6 days a week.

    Just be sure to practically OD on protein - plenty of fat also.

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    rphlslv's Avatar
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    Here's an advice from a low-carb powerlifter: it's about your priorities. When I want to be healthy, I stick to a very low-carb, near carnivore diet. But when I want to excel in my sport, I will eat tons of carbs, from white rice, sweet potatoes, and whatnot. I don't think you can be a grok and be an olympic lifter at the same time, but you can definitely find a middle ground.

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    There are many members here that in my opinion overdo the carb restrictions.

    Cut out the grains. No arguement. Our fruits have more sugars than in the past. Agreed... cut back.

    Many don't practice the lifting heavy weights to drain the muscles of glucose. That process helps keep the insulin sensitivity working.

    My carbs average 85 grams a day. since going primal 9 months ago I'm in my best shape that I've been in the past 25 years.

    My son is a rugby player. He cut down on the carbs, applied the big 5 with synaptic training and at the age of 29 put in his best season ever.

    What are your actual physical goals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick View Post
    There are many members here that in my opinion overdo the carb restrictions.

    Cut out the grains. No arguement. Our fruits have more sugars than in the past. Agreed... cut back.

    Many don't practice the lifting heavy weights to drain the muscles of glucose. That process helps keep the insulin sensitivity working.

    My carbs average 85 grams a day. since going primal 9 months ago I'm in my best shape that I've been in the past 25 years.

    My son is a rugby player. He cut down on the carbs, applied the big 5 with synaptic training and at the age of 29 put in his best season ever.

    What are your actual physical goals?
    Vick,
    If you don't mind me asking what are you eating carb wise to keep your intake that high? Not that it's super high but I eat copious amounts of veggies daily sans fruit on most days, and am typically vlc <50 I would say.

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    As a former competitive powerlifter, I can tell you from experience that since switching to a primal lifestyle 4 months ago my strength (on my 3 "big" lifts) has decreased by at least 5%. And 5% is alot when you consider that my "big" lifts are 600+ pounds - that's a significant decrease in strength.

    But, on the flip side, I'm 65 pounds lighter than I was before, so pound for pound I'm stronger.

    Take that as you will.

    **I consume < 25g carbs/day**
    I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.

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