T Nation

Conditioning on a Low Carb Diet


Hi friends,

I will keep this as short as possible. Im recovering from a long term chronic lower back injury, so I have recently replaced my leg day with a session of bike hill sprints At the moment this includes 5-7 sprints on a shorter hill (about 100 meters) and then followed by 2-3 longer sprints up a longer hill (about 300 meters).

For the past 4 months I have been experimenting with a lower carb diet, as I no longer play football and don’t need to run around in circles 4 times a week. Only carbs I have is berries or some in-season fruit before working out. Once or twice a week I will have some baked sweet potato or a corn tortilla with my Sunday morning mexican breakfast.

I have taken somewhat of an interest to low carb diets in regards to the claims of : decreased inflammation, less hunger etc etc.

I have noticed with my bike hill sprints I ran out of gas quickly on the last few hill sprints. I am sure that with some extra carbs I could probably do a few more sprints.

My goals are : longevity, health, lean muscle mass and general awesomeness. A little hypertrophy in the right places is always a welcome benefit.

Question is: should I increase my carb intake so I can do a few extra reps on the hills? Or should I stick with the lower carb approach and be happy with the less volume of work I can manage? Are those extra carbs worth it so I can do an extra 2-3 repeats up the hill?



If your not actively trying to stay in Keto, then definitely. You might even sip kool aid and bcaas while cycling.

On the other side, Dr. Peter Atilla is in Keto and cycles. Might check him out.



Not sure if this link will work, but he talks about it specifically here.


@dchris: Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

Im not too fussed about been in keto, although Im considering experimenting with it purely out of curiosity.

I already acknowledge that having some extra carbs will allow me to get a few more reps up the hill, but in view of my goals, would the benefit be worth consuming the extra carbs?? Remembering that Im not trying to became a competitive cyclists. Goal with cycling is to get some “action” into the legs and for the associated cardio benefits.

Sorry, I may not be expressing my question clear enough.



I think you should take these for what they are: claims. And nothing more than that.


Definitely carbs on sprint days. I remember on one of Attia’s posts, he said he consumes some sort of a carb powder on lifting days, straight after, which doesn’t really break keto, sinced its so quickly soaked up by muscles.

I cant see how rice, potatoes or fruit can negatively affect longevity, health and lean muscle. It will increase them all if anything.


Thanks mate.

I was thinking I would prefer to have the carbs the night before the morning I do the hill sprints. Just makes more sense than taking the carbs in after the session? (I know Im majoring in the minors here) Agree?



No, I’d take it right after/ before, when the muscles are more sensitive to insulin.

Or play with it and see which one you respond best