IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR CARBS
Timing could be the secret to efficient carb fuelling
Carb-depleted workouts have been shown to boost fat utilisation, but they also make running feel harder (which can result in a shortened workout) and leave your immune system vulnerable. Enter ‘sleep low, train high’, a strategy that involves alternating tough, carb-fuelled workouts with more moderate, carbdepleted ones. A recent study1 found that one week of sleeping low and training high improved endurance performance by over three per cent in a 20km cycling time trial. This suggests adjusting timing, not amount, could be the secret to efficient carb fuelling. Study subjects followed the following two-day cycle for six days:
DAY 1 Eat normally during the day. After 5pm, perform a high-intensity workout (8 x 5 mins at 85 per cent of your maximal aerobic power, with 1 min recovery). Consume no carbs before bed.
DAY 2 Before consuming any carbohydrates, do a low-intensity workout (60 minutes at 65 per cent of your maximal aerobic power; then eat normally for the rest of the day.