A catabolic component to training is necessary to increasing muscle mass and/or strength. Muscle tissue is traumatized and then recovers.
The end effect with a well written and executed program is an increase in muscle mass and/or strength.
High Carbohydrate Diet individuals are glucose dependent. The body runs off glucose and is inefficient at using body fat (ketones) for energy.
That means when glucose levels are low, the body converts protein into glucose, via Gluconeogensis. If not enough protein is available in the diet, it will cannibalize protein from muscle tissue. This type of catabolic state is counterproductive, as you stated.
Ensuring A Better Outcome
Two method that ensures the body does not venture into a destructive counterproductive state is…
- The Ketogenic Diet: The body learns to utilize ketones (fractured fats) for energy.
Research indicated (Drs Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney/The Art and Science and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance) that Low to Moderate Protein Intake (up to
25%), High Fat Intake (over 65%) and Low Carbohydrate Intake (50 grams or less per day) safeguards muscle mass (blocks Gluconeogenesis)
A Ketogenic Diet has been shown to increase Leucine levels. Leucine it that “Anabolic Switch” that triggers muscle growth.
My Keto Diet
I was diagnosed with Metabolic Condition about a year and a half ago. Research has shown the Ketogenic Diet is an effective tool for my condition.
As with most things, I went through a learning curve with the Ketogenic Diet and Strength Training. The end result is the I am now “Keto Adapted”. The Keto Diet and my Strength Training are now in sync. I enjoy the Keto Diet; it is second nature to me.
With that said, I am not a proponent of the Ketogenic Diet for the majority of the population. The issue is it’s…
Demanding and Restrictive
The harder you make something for someone, the less likely they are to comply and adhere to it. It takes an extremely dedicated individual to follow the Ketogenic Diet
My dedication and adherence is driven by the detrimental consequences that I face if I don’t.
Another alternative to ensure an individual become more adapt at utilizing both glucose (carbohydrates) and ketones (fats) is…
- Intermittent Fasting
I am a huge proponent of this method; primarily due to the ease of it. No food preparation is necessary, no work is involved. You just skip a meal every once in a while, which everyone has done at some point.
This method produces…
The body become efficient at using and switching from glucose to ketones.
This is the dominate fat burning hormone (Epinephrine). Thus, an elevation of “Adrenline” ensure you are utilizing body fat for fuel.
In conjunction with Epinephrine, Nor-Epinephrine, Cortisol, Growth Hormone and Dopamine are elevated and assist in the “Fat Burning Process”; utilizing ketones and protecting muscle mass.
Glycolytic Energy System Sports
Athletes in sports that involve this energy system are reliant on glucose. Thus, high carbohydrates are essential for them.
However, Intermittent Fasting for this group provides them with “Metabolic Flexibility”; enabling them to utilize more ketones (fats), preserving glucose (carbohydrates). The preservation of glucose secures their energy/endurance levels later in the game.
Phosphagen and Oxidative Energy Athletes
These two groups are less dependent on glucose.
- Strength/Power Athletes primary fuel source is ATP.
With that in mind, here is some interesting research regarding this…
One Off Event (performed one time)
- a 6 second sprint relies on 50% PCr and 50% anaerobic glycolysis
Source: Joe Eisenmann, PhD, National Strength and Conditioning Association Presentation
However, things things change with
Multiple Sprint training Training
Interval Sprint Training
Source: SNR #82: Dr. Jacob Wilson – Ketogenic Diets, Strength & Body Composition
Take Home Message
Acute Elevation in Epinephrine, Nor-Epinephrine, Cortisol, Growth Hormone and Dopamine are essential for burning body fat.
The acute (short term) condition is part of the muscle building process.
Chronic (long term) elevation of Cortisol, etc creates a lot of detrimental health issues
Insulin suppresses fat the fat burning process.
Insulin promotes “Global Growth”. It not only increases muscle mass but increased body fat, as well.