What (low carb) food gives the most energy for running?

This will be my third attempt at C25K and starting where I finished off at WK4 R2 (before man flu got me) After previous posts on here I realise I need to change my diet to give me more chance of finishing. Going to lay off the red wine for a couple of weeks and up my carbs a little (I've been on a very successful Atkins type diet for quite a while).

Any suggestions to which foods, low carb still if possible, that'll help with the increasingly demanding runs?

6 Replies

  • What you are asking is contradictory. You cannot have an "instant energy boost" without eating carbs/sugars (in whatever form).

    As you probably know, there are basically 3 main calories sources: carbs, fat and protein. If you are going to follow an Atkins diet to the ultimate detail while trying to run long distances (not recommended at all ) you are going to struggle finding those energy boost foods as no fat or proteins (they take longer to transform in energy) will replace a carb/sugar intake.

    W4 and in general for 5k you shouldn't need to change your diet that much. Try a banana (or any fruit) before your training that should do the trick without affecting your Atkins at all (you will burn the those calories in +/- 10 minutes running). However, if you are planning to run/train for a HM or marathon you should consider adjusting you diet to a more balanced distribution between carbs, fats and proteins during most of your trainning time and to more carb diet before the big races ...


  • If the OP is heavily overweight is body should be able to sufficiently metabolise the fat cells to provide the necessary energy.

    As i understand it,the capability to metabolise fat is limited by the number of cells you have. The body can only break down each fat cell at a rate that is ordinarily too slow to provide for immediate exercise.

    With a lot of fat cells though, this isnt an issue.

    Could be wrong.. I read a paper about this some time ago.

  • Good reply from Dhol. If you have your heart set on low carb have a look at Tim Ferris' 4 hour diet. He is sportsmad and incorporate carbs in the form of legumes etc. He calls them 'slow carns'. I have two runner friends who have been very successful on this - both in terms of weightloss and running achievements :-)

  • **slow carbs** - my fingers are a bit slow this morning...

  • ..thanks for the replies. I know I am asking a lot with doing without carbs but it has been very good to me the last year. runsusyrun I do like the 4 hour diet which gives me a day off! and Dhol I will eat a banana (Calories - 90, Fiber - 2.6 grams, Carbohydrates - 23.1 grams before my runs if as you say it gets burned off anyway! thanks again.

  • Hi I started a very low carb diet in April at the same time as C25k. i found I needed to eat something before I ran and if I needed to have a very smal amount of carbs as I got into the harder weeks I knee i would run off any extra calories. Back on it now again as had to rest because of my knees and lack of running and stress overload=carb overdose for several weeks! 9lbs later back on track....

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