As humans, when we have the ability to switch back and forth between using fat (and some carbs) and using pretty much just carbs as a fuel source, we are said to be ‘metabolically flexible’. Sometimes this is also called being ‘fat-adapted’.
Metabolic flexibility is the ultimate for the high performing human as they can take advantage of different fuel sources when and where they need them.
The six reasons LCHF will improve your performance in life (and sport) are:
- You will be mentally sharper – using ketones as a fuel for the brain helps with concentration, cognition, and you won’ fall of the “glucose cliff” every few hours.
- You won’t run out of fuel – fat is a big fuel tank and you can access it easily when you need to.
- You will be leaner – because you can manage your hunger and cravings better, you won’t crack into the sugar under pressure.
- You will tolerate more pain – OK it’s emerging research, but new evidence shows how high blood sugars make you tolerate less pain. Adenosine, a neurotransmitter seems to be part of this process which is not completely understood. LCHF can help both with chronic pain and perhaps acute pain.
- You will recover faster and your immune system will be better. Stress and exercise produces free radicals (reactive oxygen species or ‘ROS’) which you need to clean up. Antioxidants are part of this process. First, a good whole food LCHF plan is full of antioxidants. Second, when you burn fat you produce less ROS. And third, new research shows that when you are in nutritional ketosis your body engages its own antioxidant system. That’s right – you produce your own antioxidants but you need to be low carb to do so.
- You will have fewer gut/stomach issues. Eliminating grain seems to have big benefits in reducing bloating and you’ll feel great. You won’t have to shovel down gels and other sports drinks when you exercise for longer periods.
That’s my top 6!