The Body’s Fuel System with CrossFit Endurance

credit: Instagram @livelifepaleo

What would you say about an athlete who shows up for an endurance event after months of eating hardly any carbs?

I hope he’s on my team.

Ultra-marathoner Tim Olson recently won theWestern States 100-mile Endurance Run and beat the course record by 21 minutes! How did he do it? By training his fuel system.

CrossFit Endurance founder Brian MacKenzie recently sat down with WellnessFX CEO Jim Kean. They talked about Tim, his diet, and the body’s fuel system. Brian then goes on to share tips from his own diet during training and leading up to a competitive event.

If you don’t have time to view it, here are key points from their chat:

  • The body can be trained to efficiently use its fat for fuel. This is done with a low-carb diet.
  • Athletes can function off of high-carb diets–and do well–but they may not be as healthy on the inside as they appear on the outside. Examples include endurance athletes showing signs of Type II diabetes due to all the carb loading. Yikes!
  • Dietary distress is a common problem amongst endurance athletes. Some time during a long race abdominal cramping and vomiting can put a damper on your ability to perform. What causes it? The bombardment of the stomach with different polymers from multiple food stations. It upsets the dietary lining, causes inflammation, and eventually the pyloric valve (this lets food pass from the stomach to the rest of the digestive tract) shuts down in a panic. Sounds fun, huh?
  • Once you start taking in sugars and carbs during an event (like the food stations), you have to continue taking them. Even if you’ve trained your body to rely on fats, it will quickly switch back over during an event if you let it. For longer events, simple fuel sources should be taken towards the end.
  • For Brian MacKenzie and his athletes, the diet stays exactly the same the night before an event.
  • 3Fuel is and excellent source of resistant starch, medium-chain fats, and high quality proteins for optimal performance and recovery.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.