WHEN You Carb-Think VITARGO
For many athletes-especially physique and functional athletes-carbs are often considered an afterthought, assumed to be less than essential for fueling or recovery, and often questioned in relation to promoting adaptations to training, such as getting:
Greater Muscle Mass
1) Metabolic individuality-a concept that each person has a different “metabolism” may also operate with dietary carbs and fats. We first saw this in short term creatine monohydrate loading university-based studies we were doing. Some athletes showed dramatic increases in muscle creatine and lean body mass, and some did not-this is where the term “non-responder” was first used (we later learned that everyone is a responder, IF you use creatine correctly…). Some keto and low carb studies show that some people respond almost magically, with impressive performance numbers or metabolic response, and others do not-specifically, their performance can suck.
2) Intensity-Guided Fueling Strategy-when I first started reading about low carb and keto diet research and then tried to translate it to REAL WORLD conditions-athletes training and competing-I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around how these athletes were doing high intensity exercise, or maintaining race pace. What has been leaking out-and we’ve spoken with a number of these elite keto athletes to get first hand comments-is that these athletes ARE using carbs, just before, during, and even just after these bouts. Some reach for carbs on select, ultra intense days (leg training; or when carb cycling), and some just the night before and day of competition (race or contest)-but they fuel with carbs because they discovered they couldn’t get the work or race done without them.
From all of the exercise biochemistry research that exists emerge the First 2 Laws of Muscle Metabolism:
Any exercise uses carbs as a partial fuel, even in a ketogenic/keto-adapted state
The higher the intensity the higher the percent reliance on carbs as fuel (and the less on fat)
Problem-You can never “break” these laws, but if you undercarb-from your meals days or hours before-you could be putting the brakes on your own high intensity performance.
Solution-Tapping into the “Jet Fuel” of your stored carbs rips the brakes off, allowing you to get after maximum strength, power, speed, and endurance. If you train LOWER intensity, or never compete or race, your body may be able to convert your excess dietary protein intakes (more than 0.1 grams protein/lb of body weight for younger adult athletes, per meal or dose, and more than 0.18 grams/lb of body weight for older athletes), and lactate formed during training, into muscle and liver glycogen-giving you enough to get by. If you want to increase the intensity, or are answering the call of competition, it may be time to practice Strategic Carbing-around the time of training or competing.
Low Carb/Keto-Is VITARGO Possible?
If you’ve ever been inspired (or required) to do a high intensity workout, or engage in an athletic/sport competition, while in a short-term (one day) or long-term (weeks to months) low carb or keto-adapted state (simply stated, keto-adapted means approximately less than 50 g carbs/day for several weeks to months), chances are it was not easy, you didn’t PR, or it was less than memorable. Maybe you tried to power through it by upping your pre-workout/pre-race STIM (stimulant) dose, and found that STIM doesn’t always equal FUEL.
I have worked with hundreds of intensively training, low carb (60-150 g carbs/day) and presumably keto athletes and suggest this Strategic Carbing Solution:
On days where you need to dial up the training intensity, when “one-a-days” become “two-a-days”, or when you are in competition mode (and race pace makes training pace look like standing still), shift your daily carb allocation to just before and/or during your training or comp (some choose to “save” carbs until just around a competition-that’s OK), allow the speed of Vitargo to do the fueling work, AND let it be your sole or major source of carbs for that day. Mix Vitargo with your pre-workout supplement (if you use one) and GULP it all down, about 20-45 minutes before training or competition. Still low carb, still possibly keto (depending on how much you use), but fueled for the most important segment of your waking hours. The results most of these athletes have experienced have inspired them to continue to Strategic Carb with Vitargo and still align with their 24-hour macro goals.
Fueling is All in Your Head…
One of the most overlooked components of a good, high intensity workout is having peak activation of your Central Nervous System (CNS; the initials of your brain and all of its spinal wiring). This is what distinguishes a “good” workout from a “killer” one-you know, the workouts when you have to be peeled off the floor, you’re sprawled flat on the track or trail, or are forced to hold on to the side of a pool, or a railing while walking down stairs…which is also the kind of workout that’s sure to induce maximal gains-the gains you’ll see weeks later as performance and body comp changes (function and physique adaptation).
This type of intensity demands that your CNS is locked in, not out of, your body. The brain stores a few grams of glycogen and likes blood glucose as a fuel during intense training or competition. The brain also uses glycogen indirectly, via the ultimate by-product of glycogen breakdown (called lactate), as a fuel during exercise (if you’ve been fasting, or have ingested MCTs, coconut oil, or even ketone salts, you could be using some ketones…). For these reasons, you’re going to want the Fastest Muscle Fuel™ doing double duty as CNS fuel. Think of it as Jet Fuel for your brain.
Stim + Fuel Stack-Most pre-workout products contain stimulants (STIM “energy”), but minimal to zero FUEL energy (low to zero carbs). It’s a bit like a race car revving its engine while standing still, but when it tries to accelerate at full throttle up a hill it literally “gases out” minutes later. Adding Vitargo S2 can be like flooding racing fuel into a racecar engine; it’s a powerful feeling, and a perfect partner to STIM energy.
Directions For Vitargo S2:
HOW? In a shaker bottle
- Add 10-12 oz. of water (room temp. is best) to a large shaker bottle.
- Add 2 level scoops of Vitargo® S2 and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
- Add an additional 10-12 oz. of cold water and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
In a blender
- For best results add 2 level scoops into a blender with water while it’s blending at low-medium.
WHEN? PRE- (before) or INTRA- (during) training or competition
- Mix 1 or 2 level scoops of Vitargo S2 as stated above. Feel free to add your favorite pre-workout, amino acid, electrolytes, or other non-carb supplement. Note that Vitargo is a fractionated STARCH and is thicker/more viscous than other powdered drinks.
POST- (after) training or competition, or for glycogen loading
- Drink 2 level scoops as soon as possible after finishing. Ideally, mix 20-25 grams of a protein source. After longer training/competition (>1-1.5 hrs) take another 1-2 scoops 30-90 minutes later.