LCHF diets and performance in elite athletes

The topic of low carbohydrate high fat diets (LCHF) or ketogenic diets for athletes is still hotly debated. I posted some thoughts in a blog recently but a few days a paper was published in the esteemed Journal of Physiology that studies the effects of different diets on metabolism and performance in elite athletes and one of these diets was a LCHF diet. The study was performed at the Australian Institute of Sport in the lead up to the 2016 athletics season which included qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics. They called it project supernova. In this study they used very well trained athletes (21 race walkers) who were following a structured training program in 3 week blocks. The athletes we

A gut feeling about probiotics

Probiotics are food supplements that contain live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts can confer benefits to the health and functioning of the digestive system, as well as modulation of immune function. In the general population, studies have shown that probiotic intake can improve rates of recovery from diarrhoea, increase resistance to gut and respiratory infections, promote anti-tumour activity and alleviate some allergic and respiratory disorders (1). Several studies in athletes also indicate that some strains of probiotic – lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species in particular – can be effective in reducing the incidence of the common cold (5). The evidence for

Milk versus milk like beverages

I grew up in Holland, a country where children drink a lot of milk. The milk came from a cow and other types of milk were rare. Nowadays there are many different types of “milk” on the market; all with health claims and some even with performance claims. When traveling with professional athletes I often see the old fashioned cow milk is replaced by “fancy” new versions of milk like almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk. When I ask athletes “why?”, they tell me it is “better” or “healthier”. But exactly what does that mean and what is the evidence for that? First, it is important to realize that most of these drinks aren’t actually “milk”, even though they may look a bit like milk. They can

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