For the last 30 years or so, we have been led to believe that fat is bad for us. Government recommendations for the average person have recommended we eat approximately 60% of our daily energy intake as carbohydrate made up of wholegrains.
As we have become more knowledgable, we realise that fat isn’t so bad after all and in fact there are ‘good’ fats and that a high carbohydrate diet may not be quite so healthy, particularly if those carbohydrates are highly refined or eaten when you don’t need them.
Average recommendations really aren’t that useful for an endurance athlete. Instead, we need to think about what we want our body to do and fuel it accordingly. When deciding how to split your macronutrients and what to eat, you will need to take into account your training volume and intensity. Your body shape and genetics will also have an impact. Some of you will do better on a higher fat diet and others on a higher carbohydrate diet.
Some of you will find that if you eat a higher carbohydrate diet, you will put on weight more easily. This is usually because you have become insulin resistant and in which case eating a higher fat diet day to day will be better for you. You may find that your metabolism isn’t working effectively and that you are burning carbohydrate at low intensity rather than fat.
Maybe you struggle to maintain weight and form muscle and you might do better on a higher carbohydrate diet.
Not surprisingly, there is no ‘one size fits all’, no average person, so you need to experiment and find out what works for you. By doing this, you will better understand how your body works and be able to optimise its composition to get better race day results.
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