Does carb intake require adaptation?

In a nutshell, can I be low carb most of the time, and then carb up on race/performance days? Or, do I need to teach my body to use carbs so race day carbs are more effective?

Hi @Jas66, that’s a really good question. I think you’re going to get a yes to both questions depending on who you ask. the research I read preparing for today’s episode seems to indicate that you can be low-carb most of the time and then switch on race day. That said, I personally recommend to my athletes that they “adapt” a few days ahead of key races.


I’ll add that transporters within the gut are the limiting factor, not so much your ability to oxidize the substrate. So, I do think that you can incorporate higher carb into training prior to the event to increase your transporter density, while maintaining a lower-carb diet in daily life.

If you’re trying to push this to the max - e.g. 90 or 120g/hr, then you may need additional adaptive session than if you’re looking to include 30g-60g /hr.

Great timing @Jas66! We just published this story from @robpickels on the importance of multiple transport carbohydrates for longer efforts. Hope this helps, let us know if you have any more questions.