Body Composition and Wellbeing
Body composition and well-being in non competitive season
A reduced carbohydrate and sugar diet has potential to aid adaptations in recreational and athletes for body composition and sports performance enhancements. Numerous experts non recognize comprehensive literature and field studies based on athletes' experiences.
In a study based on New Zealand endurance athletes, underwent a 10-week periodised reduced carbohydrate and sugar dietary intervention. Body composition (sum of 8 skinfolds), performance indicators (time to exhaustion, VO2 max, peak power and ventilatory threshold), and gas exchange thresholds were measured at baseline and at 10 weeks. Mean change scores were calculated, and analysed using t-tests; Cohen's effect sizes and 90% confidence limits were applied to quantify change. Individual interviews conducted at 5 weeks and a focus group at 10 weeks assessed athletes' ketogenic diet experiences. Data was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.
The findings of this trial found the athletes increased their ability to utilise fat as a fuel source, including at higher exercise intensities. Mean body weight was reduced by 4 kg ± SD 3.1 (p = 0.046; effect size (ES):0.62), and sum of 8 skinfolds by 25.9 mm ± SD 6.9; ES: 1.27; p = 0.001). Mean time to exhaustion dropped by ~2 min (±SD 0.7; p = 0.004; ES: 0.53). Other performance outcomes showed mean reductions, with some increases or unchanged results in two individuals (VO2 Max: -1.69 ml.kg.min ± SD 3.4 (p = 0.63); peak power: -18 W ± SD 16.4 (p = 0.07), and VT2: -6 W ± SD 44.5 (p = 0.77). Athletes reported experiencing reduced energy levels initially for a short period, followed by a return of high energy levels thereafter, especially during exercise. Each athlete reported experiencing enhanced well-being, included improved recovery, improvements in skin conditions and reduced inflammation and muscle soreness post training. The athletes were keen to pursue a modified reduced/low-carbohydrate, nutrient dense eating style moving forward due to the unexpected health benefits they experienced.