Unveiling the Potential: New Research on Fat Oxidation at Higher Exercise Intensities

A thought-provoking review on low carbohydrate diets and substrate oxidation rates was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology (10). The author list includes a couple of the big names in low carbohydrate research, Tim Noakes and Jeff Volek. In this blog, I will summarise some of the key messages and takeaways from the review.

The traditional model of exercise and substrate oxidation

During prolonged, endurance exercise, we primarily use two fuels to support our metabolism and keep us moving. We have carbohydrates, which are stored as glycogen in muscles and in the liver, and we have fat, stored in fat cells and in muscle. The rate at which we use carbohydrates and fats to support metabolism changes with things like exercise intensity and duration (14, 17), heat stress (6), and recent diet (2, 16). As our carbohydrate stores are relatively modest, we can become carbohydrate-depleted, and fatigued as a result, after exercise of sufficiently demanding intensity and...

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