Couch to 5K
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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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