Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on performance and body composition in trained cyclists
Cirer Sastre, Rafel
López Laval, Isaac
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Previous evidence suggests that low-carbohydrate diets may improve body composition and performance relative to body weight in endurance athletes. This has been the first study that has attempted to evaluate the utility of low-carbohydrate diets in a sample of eleven trained and experienced road cyclists who consumed 10% of their caloric intake in the form of carbohydrates during four weeks while maintaining a neutral energy balance (50 kcal/kg/day). Body composition was evaluated through an electrical impedance assessment before and after the intervention while maximal power output (5 and 20 min) was measured on a bike trainer by following a standardized protocol and in the same room conditions for all the participants. The study was performed during the preseason, when the subjects could abstain from performing high-intensity workouts. The participants, eleven men aged 31 ± 5 years, performed four weekly 150 min training sessions at submaximal intensities and received nutritional support from a certified sport nutritionist. The intervention resulted in reduced total weight (-2.51 kg) and body fat percentage (2.42%), and improved relative power (+0.2 w/kg for 20 min and +0.25 w/kg for 5 min) values while absolute power remained unchanged. The results suggest that low-carbohydrate diets could be used in order to induce changes in body composition and improve relative power during the preseason. However, future research with larger sample sizes and a control group is needed in order to validate the results.
Is part ofNutrición Hospitalaria, 2019, vol. 36, núm. 6, p. 1384-1388
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by-nc-sa (c) Sitko et al., 2019
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