The Real Question: How Low "Should" You Go?

The Real Question: How Low "Should" You Go?

A big question for athletes attempting to achieve weight goals is determining their carbohydrate threshold. Body type, muscle structure, and natural metabolism all have a bearing on how any individual diet and training regimen will help you attain your goals. Many studies confirm that low-carb diets are effective in weight loss. Additional evidence suggests reducing carbohydrate intake can lower LDL, increase HDL, and improve overall triglyceride levels.

Reducing carbohydrate and increasing protein ratios in your diet will promote weight loss, but no two individuals have the same physiology. Making the right decision for your personal needs is very important.

Remember, despite of the focus on protein diets, your body needs some carbohydrates. They are important for neurological function and assist the liver in converting proteins and fats into glucose.  A diet which includes some carbohydrates, along with proper hydration, helps reduce lactic acid buildup during high exertion.

Incorporating the proper amount and type of carbohydrates can reduce muscle stress and help you recover faster, with less soreness. Ultimately, reducing your carbohydrate intake too severely can actually negatively impact your training and performance.

Integrating supplements into your training and competitive efforts will impact your results. The use of a high grade protein, like hydrolyzed whey, along with creatine will increase both your endurance and strength. The addition of key minerals like magnesium and potassium can help maintain hydration, which is critical for cellular performance and health.

To optimize your results do your homework, and continuously evaluate what is working for your specific training goals.

If you train smarter, with the right information, you’ll perform better.

Read the original NSCA article on-line.

This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns.